1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role at CGI is as a subcontract co-ordinator. This involves managing changes that our client submits, and ensuring all deadlines are met. I deal with the subcontractor each day, and chase them if they are late meeting any deadlines. On a daily basis I receive updates from project managers, and use these to update the change tracker. I take minutes for various calls. Each week I produce 2 management reports that cover the progress of each change and any problems I need advice on.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When I first started this role I felt overwhelmed, but 4 months in I have learnt many new skills - such as change management, and feel much more comfortable in my role. My training involved shadowing for a few weeks. I told my career manager that dealing with people is a big part of my role, and something I would like to improve upon. He has arranged for me to attend a training course in developing relationships in a few weeks, which will be very useful.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The Programme is quite intense at times, dealing with both work and university. But I have learnt a lot, and gained loads of valuable work experience. There are 23 of us in the year, so it's always fun seeing everyone at university.
4. How valued do you feel by CGI?
My manager is very friendly, and always shows appreciation when I do something well. However, otherwise there is not a lot of recognition for undergraduates.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The Programme is well structured, especially the induction week. But a lot of it is left to yourself to organise - such as studying and meetings with buddy's/mentor's, so this is dependent on your own organisation. The university course could benefit from better organisation - the deadlines are moved a lot, and getting the course books is sometimes a struggle.
My project specifically is very well structured, they take on a few new undergraduates each year and gradually move them up to take on more responsibility.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We do not receive a lot of support from the university - we have been made aware of various support plans, but as we are only there 1 day a week it is quite hard to arrange this.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There are various ways to receive support at CGI, but you definitely have to seek these out yourself and make people aware you need it. When I have an issue I usually go to my career manager, who is very helpful and understanding. He usually knows a solution, and if not he will do some research for me. I think that undergraduate support could be improved on, but there are lots of people at CGI who are there to help if you need it.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I still live at home and commute to work, so my salary covers the cost of commuting comfortably. But if I had moved out this year, over half my salary would have gone on rent and bills. The salary goes up each year which is really good.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
CGI organise lots of company events and volunteering opportunities. They have a sports and social club, which is about £5 a month and covers various activities. I don't live in Reading, so unfortunately I haven't taken part in any of these.
9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It's a great opportunity to get a free degree and gain lots of real life work experience.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI? *
Get someone to read over your application form, as they won't accept you if you have lots of mistakes. I would recommend that you ask questions on the assessment day - it's an opportunity to find out if this is right for you, and shows you are interested in the Programme. I wish I had been told that you may need to travel to other offices - a lot of roles require you to travel somewhere once or twice a week. This won't be unreasonable, and you can always say no to that role, but its definitely something to bear in mind.
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