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Christie’s Graduate Training Programme

  • The programme


    This exciting 18-month programme offers 10 outstanding graduates the chance to experience our business through a series of placements, spot rotations and workshops. Each Graduate Trainee will be offered a competitive salary and will have the exclusive opportunity to be mentored by experienced business leaders. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of Christie’s, heightened commercial awareness and advanced specialist skills. We aim to retain all of our Graduate Trainees – the next generation of Christie’s business leaders.


    A Trainee will complete a series of rotations with both specialist departments and key support departments. They will work closely with the department teams, while completing training and mentoring programmes. Each Graduate Trainee will receive a formal performance review at the end of each rotation.


    The 18-month scheme will also include shorter spot rotations with teams beyond our specialist departments, from Marketing to Legal. These placements will enable Graduate Trainees to develop an understanding of how the different business functions work together, and foster relationships across Christie’s.


  • The locations


    The Graduate Training Programme will be available in three locations across the globe; London, Head Office for the EMERI region (Europe, Middle East, Russia and India), New York, Head Office for the Americas and Hong Kong, the primary office for Asia.


    Please note you can apply for more than one region, however with the exception of Hong Kong you must have the right to work in the location(s) you apply for. Due to local immigration regulations, Christie’s cannot sponsor visa applications for the training programme in London or New York.


    The graduates


    Our Graduate Trainees will have strong academic records, a clear appetite for personal development and the ability to thrive in a collaborative environment. They will also display commercial acumen and a passion for the arts.


    The application process


    • 1 October 2019: The window for online applications opens (Please note that no hard copy applications will be considered.)

    • 31 December 2019: Application window closes

    • February 2020: Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an online interview

    • April 2020: Finalists will attend a rigorous assessment day, following which offers will be made

    • August 2020: The cohort will begin the programme

    • Winter 2020: Start of formal application process for the 2020 intake


    Please contact graduateprogramme@christies.com with any queries.

More about the Christie’s Graduate Training Programme


Meet our Trainees

  • Elizabeth Cowden

    Graduate Trainee

    How did you find the application process?
    The application process was intense!The video round was the hardest for me but you just need to throw yourself into it and don’t be afraid to look a bit silly. The assessment day was tiring but extremely enjoyable. It was essentially a day-long workshop on art business. Being able to meet Christie’s employees from across the company was a valuable experience in itself, and it was both fun and challenging to discuss and defend your ideas and thought processes with them and your peers.

    How would you describe the culture at Christie’s?
    The culture at Christie’s has been incredibly supportive and positive. Because everyone is so passionate about what they do, they are always very willing to take the time to talk to you and share their enthusiasm for their speciality with you.

    Tell us what you’ve learnt so far.
    So far, I have learnt a great amount about periods of art history that, even though I have studied the subject at university, I hadn’t been exposed to before. Such a wide variety of works come through the door that you are constantly shown new objects and asked to research artists that you weren’t very familiar with before, so you are constantly learning and being asked to push yourself.

    What has been your highlight so far?
    A career highlight has been seeing my own words being printed in a Christie’s catalogue. Knowing that something I researched and wrote will be read by collectors and academics around the world is both humbling and very exciting.

  • Joseph Robson

    Graduate Trainee

    How did you find the application process?
    The application process was a challenging and extremely valuable experience. My background is primarily in archaeology and numismatics, so I was initially concerned that this may not be directly relevant to Christie’s. In reality the interviews and assessment centre were a prime opportunity for anyone with a passion for art. We were challenged on our existing specialist knowledge, and invited to engage with objects and business scenarios far beyond our comfort zone. In this way the process gave me a real insight into what to expect at Christies; as a dynamic and varied work environment, and an institution that champions amazing art.

    How would you describe the culture at Christie’s?
    The culture at Christie’s is welcoming, supportive, and highly motivated. I have been fortunate to work alongside specialists and sale co-ordinators, and there is a strong collaboration between the research, business, and client-facing areas of each department I have worked in so far. The Graduate Training Programme provides a rare chance to experience every facet of a department first-hand and simultaneously. Colleagues recommend training workshops, courses, and opportunities for further development on top of all this. The trust your department places in you is particularly important, and I have enjoyed being given real responsibility on important specialist and business projects.

    Tell us what you’ve learnt so far
    Much of my time so far has been spent cataloguing and researching for upcoming Decorative Arts and Private Collection sales. By working closely with specialists I have learned about the overarching process undertaken for each lot, from consignment all the way through to auction and post-sale. Through hilling sessions (where all available specialists brainstorm in front of the object) and provenance research, I can now approach a range of objects with a critical eye, and write description, provenance, and literature entries for catalogue publication. Beyond this specialist experience I have learned how to navigate the Christie’s object/client databases; assisting with the nuts-and-bolts of the auction process.

    What has been your highlight so far?
    A highlight of my Decorative Arts rotation has been assisting with the view for the November 2018 series of The Collector sales. It has been enormously fulfilling to see lots I have helped prepare catalogue entries and condition reports for exhibited on public view. Responding to client requests and in-person queries emphasised the immediacy of what the art departments do in the run up to an auction. Having completed the telephone bidding training I was then able to directly help with the bidding on some of the lots. It felt immensely rewarding to contribute as part of the team towards this culmination of months of hard work within the department.

  • ShiWei Miao

    Graduate Trainee

    How did you find the application process?
    I think overall the application process is straightforward. The first-round of selection was based on my CV and cover letter, as well as my answers to all the questions, and it went smoothly. For the second round, which is the video interview stage I encountered transmitting issues, and the live chat feature on the website helped me to get through that, so it was fine in the end. We took personality assessment game prior to the assessment day, which is the last round, and were asked to prepare a brief presentation on one object. I would describe the assessment day as nerve wrecking. 10 candidates for the Hong Kong location stayed together for 8 hours, going through group and individual activities. The last one of the day which is the client task was intense but realistically recreated a scenario regarding the client-facing aspect of the auction industry, and truly got me thinking for a while even after that day. Going through the entire process was a valuable learning experience for me.

    How would you describe the culture at Christie’s?
    After visiting Christie’s in NY, Paris, and interned in South Kensington (before it closed) and now working in the HK office, I’ve noticed that each location’s culture is a blend of Christie’s corporate culture and the regional culture. Overall, I’d describe the culture as hard-working, collaborative, and social.

    Tell us what you’ve learnt so far.
    My first rotation is in the Chinese Paintings Department, and I have very little knowledge of the subject. I’ve learnt the basics of how to handle Chinese paintings, such as how to hang a hanging scroll, display a handscroll and a scroll that hasn’t been mounted, as well as how to condition check and distinguish different mediums for traditional paintings, e.g., paper, silk and satin.

    What has been your highlight so far?
    For this season, painting Wood and Rock by one of the most renowned cultural personas in Chinese history – Su Shi, inarguably steals the show. Almost all Asian Art sales in Hong Kong this November have been curated in dialogue with “the most important Chinese painting ever to come to auction”. Seeing this painting in person is such a privilege for me, and this brings me to a very rewarding aspect of my job, which is being able to observe, handle and study the beautiful works of art passing through the sale room. The aesthetics, cultural and historical messages as indispensable parts of artistic objects from different cultures never cease to amaze and inspire me.

  • Melody Lin

    Graduate Trainee

    How did you find the application process?
    During my job hunting period in my senior year at college, I encountered the graduate trainee program on Christie’s website. As an art history major, I have always wanted to explore the operation of auction houses, to learn more about how to connect art with business. And this program is a perfect chance for me to grasp the whole image of the globally presented auction house.

    How would you describe the culture at Christie’s?
    Christie’s has a very friendly and welcoming culture. It is a great workplace that is full of inspiration. Colleagues here consider me as a part of the team, provide me with wonderful opportunities to be deeply involved in the daily operations, and always happy to offer suggestions and answer questions. The fast-pace and highly collaborative working environment also continuously inspire me to learn by doing, and be flexible while working with the team.

    Tell us what you’ve learnt so far.
    Tones of things! I am currently rotating in Asian Contemporary Art Team at Hong Kong office. Joining them during the busy season of catalogue productions allows me to profoundly understand and experience the role of a specialist, ranging from appraisal, condition checking, cataloguing, essay writing and which are all extremely essential to my further career development. Joining during the busiest period also developed my time management and communication skills. It is extremely crucial to communicate with colleagues to understand the importance of tasks and prioritize them accordingly. I also learnt to maintain efficiency and accuracy when completing tasks.

    What has been your highlight so far?
    One of my best highlights so far is when our senior specialist identified a potential forgery during condition check. He spotted the questionable restoration marks revealed under UV inspection and explained how those traces are different from regular restorations. The restorer added those marks to create an aging effect which could potentially make the work more valuable. It was this fascinating moment that made me believe that being a specialist requires not only a deep understanding of artists and their artworks, but also comprehensive knowledge of restoration purposes and the trends of art market. There is always so much to learn which makes this field so interesting.