1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have been given the job title of analyst programmer. At the moment all of the apprentices have been given a group project. Our day to day activities involve completing this project under the instruction of whichever apprentice is in charge (which changes week to week).
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
We have all been booked to go on several training courses in order to learn java coding. These courses have so far been to a very high standard, helping me go from complete beginner to fairly competent much quicker than expected.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy being at work 99% of the time. Working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week was a daunting thought, but once you get into a routine it becomes normal and you learn to just take full advantage of the evenings and weekends off. I get on really well with all my colleagues and fellow apprentices to the point where after 2 weeks off work over Christmas I didn't mind coming back as I got to see everyone again!
4. How valued do you feel by CGI?
CGI have made me feel incredibly valued. We were taken on a welcome lunch and have been invited to several social events since then, including a Christmas party. My line manager is lovely and makes us all feel like we have someone looking after us. Also the project we are on feels relatively important and not just a pointless task to keep us busy, meaning we feel like we are contributing.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction was well put together and all the training for the next two years has already been booked and is in my calendar, so it all feels fairly organised. We are also going through the steps that all employees go through such as a 3 month review. This process is the same everywhere in a multinational company, so it has to be well organised.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
QA are the company that provide our training and they have given us lots of support. They are in contact relatively frequently to let us know about the next block of training and arrange to meet us to check how we are doing and that we understand the next stage in the process. the training we have received has been to a high standard, and every QA contact we meet puts their contact details in our folder so we can get hold of them if we need further guidance.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We are supported constantly by our line manager, who looks after us very well and is always available to address any concerns or questions we have. I have spoken to a number of colleagues when I have needed technical help in a project and they have always been very helpful in supporting me. HR and IT support are easy to get hold of if you need them.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am paying £412 a month rent, £65 on travel, and £35 on my phone bill. I leave £200 a month for food and put £200 into savings for a mortgage in a few years. I still have a reasonable amount of spare cash for general spending. I do have to be careful but as long as I keep an eye on my spending, my salary is easily enough for what I spend. That isn't to say I am not looking forward to getting a pay rise each year!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have joined an SSC (Sports and Social Club), which costs £5 a month, which is amazing value for what you get. I will take part in a number of events, including weekly 5 a side football, laser tag, comedy clubs, skittles, wine tasting and so much more. CGI also hold an annual football tournament (last year in Germany, this year in Portugal), where you can play in the national stadium with a team comprising of colleagues.
9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Because I feel like there are so many opportunities for future work, I have learned so much whilst training here, and I have enjoyed myself and made friends along the way.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI? *
During the assessment day try to come across as a friendly, nice person and don't be too worried as it isn't as scary as you think it will be. There is an interview but just think about what you want to say before you go in and none of the questions should come across as a surprise. Apply through QA and they will give you lots of help when it comes to preparing for the interview and the assessment day in general.
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