In Italy, I worked as a computer technician for eight years but seen little opportunity to progress. I decided to study in Scotland after I came to visit a friend and saw there were more technical jobs available here. In my final year of university, I applied for a lot of roles. Many of the interviews were quite dehumanising, but Baillie Gifford was different. They made me feel really comfortable. They were more interested in my personal experience than all the technical details. They’re looking to get to know you and find out if you’re someone they can invest in.
Support and training
I received a very comprehensive induction that included technical training on SQL, Palo Alto, VM Ware and Azure. There was also a lot of support to help us gain the Investment Operations Certificate. Studying for this qualification was really useful as I only knew a little about finance when I started. Our induction also included soft skills training, such as speaking in public, body language and the importance of words for effective team working. As we did a lot of our induction with the other Technology Solutions and Business Operations graduate trainees, it was a great way to get to know everyone on the different programmes.
Out of my comfort zone
Since joining Baillie Gifford on the Technology Solutions programme, I’ve been involved in live jobs and received real responsibilities. One of the highlights was working on the Microsoft Edge Browser upgrade across 1500 computers. I was out of my comfort zone as the job lay outside of my experience and skill set. However, I got a lot of support from the team and time to write a background study on the topic. As part of the project, I helped write the policy for the upgrade – what it can and can’t do for the users. First, that had to be signed off, and then there were three phases of testing. In all, it took three months to complete, and now everyone in the company is using it.
One of the stand-out moments for me was when a month into my placement on the Infrastructure Service Delivery team, we all went into lockdown. The decision in March was that we would all work from home with immediate effect, and the Information Systems department had a fundamental part in making this happen. I was really impressed by the firm’s contingency planning. There was already a well-communicated plan for the scenario, and we all knew our responsibilities. My particular job was to help with transferring the phone lines to the already equipped computer system. Then, just a few days after the announcement, everything was in place and ready to go.
Communication is crucial. Everyone says that but, when you work with massive systems and a wide range of technologies, many different people are involved, and you all need to be on the same page. You also deal with lots of people around the business daily, so you also have to be good at explaining things in both technical and non-technical terms.