Why does Baillie Gifford have an Alternative Internship?
We used to have a more traditional approach to internships and invite students to work in our offices during the summer period. But this felt artificial and didn’t accurately reflect the job or our forward-thinking ethos. So, we created the Alternative Internship to better illustrate the purpose and approach of our firm as well as dispel some preconceptions about investment management as a career choice.
At Baillie Gifford we try to imagine what the future will look like – we research ideas, form a hypothesis and discuss our opinions. This is the role of an Investment Analyst at the firm and what we expect our candidates to do during their internship.
What are you looking for in applicants?
We’re looking for curiosity about the world and a breadth of thinking. You need to be able to join the dots of seemingly unrelated topics to see where innovation and opportunity could lie. We’re also looking for truly original ideas and angles that people haven’t explored before, and we don’t expect your answers to be about companies or economics. For example one of our interns researched how creativity is being taught in global education systems. This is a very important question for society going forward and therefore it’s something we’re very interested in.
You don’t need to be someone who already knows a lot about their subject, but you should have the curiosity and interest to find out more. So you have to be a self-starter who is open-minded to new ideas and ways of thinking. We don’t expect you to know all the answers at this stage, but you should know how to ask the right questions.
Why limit answers to 300 words?
Sometimes less is more and having the ability to distil complex thoughts into short, coherent arguments is an essential part of life here at Baillie Gifford. Limiting answers to 300 words shows us that you can consider a large amount of information but then focus on the most salient points to communicate your idea succinctly.
How much do we advise interns?
We deliberately give our interns very little guidance, as we expect them to be self-motivated and organised enough to carry out their own research. This is just what we expect of our Investment Analysts. You’ll have the independence and complete freedom to make the most of this exciting opportunity.