1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Project Manager Daily interaction with the client over the phone and email. Daily tasks include Project specific documentation to manage small projects requested by the client on their sites across the country. Currently working in a CGI base office, sat next to my team where we have regular discussions in person or over the phone surrounding all the projects we are managing etc.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In addition to my degree in "Business Management in IT" I have also attended other training sessions including "Driving Personal Impact for Performance" and "Developing and Influencing Relationships" run by QA. This has improved my confidence and helped me to gain a role as a project manager within my second year of the programme. My organisation skills have also improved as a result of having to attend multiple meetings and calls whilst still maintaining progress on my projects.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy studying and working at the same time. Quite often I can apply what I have learnt at University to situations in the workplace. This often provides a different perspective at work that my colleagues appreciate. The programme is a lot of work as it requires working 30 hours a week plus attending university and studying when I'm not at uni or work. But with dedication to the company and the programme it is achievable.
4. How valued do you feel by CGI?
Every member at CGI is aware of the Sponsored Degree Programme, as a result they often offer help and valuable information that can be used in my University assignments. My manager always makes a point of thanking me for my project work contributions and makes sure that I am taking the appropriate study leave to help me achieve my desired degree grade.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
At the beginning of every year we always have an induction at university to understand what needs to be achieved this year and to meet the new students joining the programme. Additional training is offered to students in certain roles where the training will be beneficial. Some training such as "Driving Personal Impact for Performance" is offered to all students. Whilst we only have one day a week to study during the holidays (not the Summer) we take the day we would normally be at University as a study day. In third year, students are also provided with 30 paid days leave to work on dissertation. We have a tutor for the programme at University and mentors to represent both the IT and Business Degrees in each year group. These mentors meet with the lecturers and tutor to highlight any issues with university work, lectures and seminars. CGI is a project based company so whenever you move between projects there is often an introduction to other members of the project and what the project does. Shadowing of someone else in the same role that you are going to be fulfilling is a frequent tool used. Every member of the company is always happy to assist you in a task if there is something you are stuck with.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Tutor at University - easily contactable via phone and email for university problems. Career/People Manager - at work this manager provides you with company updates that apply to you. Career improvements such as training and guidance to achieve career goals. Line Manager - approves leave, timesheets etc. Moves depending on the role and project you are in. Can assist with project issues and advice on project situations.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager noticed from feedback that I received that it was similar to feedback she used to get on her assignments (also went through the CGI Sponsored Degree Programme). She revealed she was dyslexic and requested for me to be evaluated. As a result it was revealed that I am severely dyslexic and straight away work provided me with hardware and software to make it easier for me to work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I currently breakeven every month on a 21.5k salary.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Work celebrations for milestone birthdays and leavers are often held. Sports and social club at each base office allow you to be involved in outside work activities such as wine tasting and field mazes. Each base office also has a community ambassador who raises money for selected charities throughout the year.
9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Great opportunity to gain experience through work and get a free degree! They will have the money to do things that normal university students might not be able to do.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI? *
Be yourself and answer questions honestly. It's as much about your personality and whether you would fit into the company as well as qualifications and skills.
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