1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
At CGI, on a day to day basis I have many different roles as I have been on different projects. Currently I am in London near St Pauls working with Schroders where I am on the data analysis team and I am helping to write specs to load data and also create some synthetic data. I have also been working with the solution architect to gain knowledge in that area where I have been helping him manage Microsoft Azure.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. I am constantly learning new things on my apprenticeship. For example on my previous project I was put in charge or setting up and maintaining the PRT and now this role has continued onto my current project. I have also been taught how to use Microsoft Azure which was something I hadn't heard of before this project.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The team I work with at CGI are really helpful and friendly. This has been the case on all of my roles through my career. The QA side of my apprenticeship is very enjoyable as there is a good amount of workload and I have the help and support I need from QA and CGI. I am constantly learning and that is why I chose to do an apprenticeship rather than going to university.
4. How valued do you feel by CGI?
Within my team I feel valued. I feel like I bring something to the team and am helpful when I am needed to. The people on my project are calm and patience with me and it is really nice and reassuring for me. However when I am not on a project I feel that I am undervalued. As an apprentice it is difficult to find a role that is suitable for me. When I go to weekly meetings for people in between assignments people seem to skip over me as they were unsure as to what to do with me. I have also been passed around different people managers as they keep leaving the company or couldn't deal with having apprentices who needed a bit more time from them.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is a unique one. I have been doing various courses and none of them seem to link in. For example I have done courses on SQL and Java which would be programming but I have also done courses on project management and networking which are things that are irrelevant to me and not what I signed up to do.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider is very helpful. She is always reachable and always has time for me if I have any questions or queries. With a few problems I have had she has been able to sit down with me and draw out a plan on how to resolve them. She helped to set up a meeting with others about my issues where I could speak and tell management about my problems.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive mixed support from my employer. On my project I receive a lot of help and support with my work. However when I am not on a project I feel that support is lacking as there are very few roles for apprentices near to where I live and in the end my manager had to move finances around on his project to cover my costs just to get me billable.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I believe that currently my salary meets my costs as I have just been given a pay rise as I have been at CGI now for just over a year. However I have been told by multiple people that for the work I do I should be being paid more money than I am as I work in London. However my travel expenses are paid for so I kind of balances out.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there are very little opportunities. Most of the opportunities are in Reading or Leatherhead where the big CGI offices are. As I work on client site and not in a CGI office there is very little for me to do. As for my base location, I do not work there so I miss out on activities such as lunches out and football.
9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would not recommend CGI to a friend if they lived over where I do. Although I am very close to my base office there is just very little, if anything, for my to do their so I have to be moved to London based projects. However if I was in Reading or Leatherhead where there are big offices with lots of opportunities then yes I would recommend CGI as they will be given the support they need as there will be a higher number of apprentices over there.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI? *
When applying for CGI you need to be willing to travel. The Chelmsford office is very small and offers few opportunities so you will need to be willing to commute to an office in London or be put up in a hotel for the week. Although I have enjoyed my time here it was originally not what I applied for. When applying for the apprenticeship I applied to become a software and website developer for CGI in Colchester Monday to Friday. And since being here I have not done any website development or software development apart from a 2 week course where I didn't actually build anything it was all theory based. I think CGI need to either focus more on apprentices out in the Chelmsford office or decide not to hire out in this office as there is just not the support and opportunities that we need here.
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