Did you relocate, if so how did you find it?
I did! It wasn’t too bad at all; managed to find other apprentices easily via the CGI New Joiner’s Facebook group, and it was basically smooth sailing from there. The relocation allowance more than covered for the move, and took the vast majority of the stress out of it. Getting used to being away from home is a shift in gears, but once you’re settled in it’s fantastic.
Your current role at CGI: role name and overview. What does this job entail (eg. what do you typically do day-to-day)?
I’m currently a software developer – I write and review code for Java applications. Day-to-day, my team and I use the task-tracking software Jira to organise, manage, and record work done. It’s great, as no two jobs you do are the same, so things stay fresh and interesting.
What is your previous roles at CGI?
I joined as a tester. This was a good role for me to begin with, as I learned how the systems I worked with functioned, since I was testing every element of them. It also gave me a good idea as to how code should be written, and the steps through which work progresses.
What you enjoy most about working for CGI
I’d probably say the Sports and Social Club! Every week there’s something on, be it cinema nights, trips to London, board game nights (with pizza), and it’s all ridiculously cheap. Just last week, we went for Burns Night in Kings Cross, which was a full Scottish meal with all the trimmings (and whiskey!) for only £5 in a top bar. The benefits are broad and varied, too, and are well worth investing in.
What is your top tip for someone considering the CGI and the apprenticeship?
With the government pushing apprenticeships as they have recently, the career and learning options available are many and rich. I’d say, even if you’re set on university, why not apply for a couple of apprenticeships? You may well find that with the options in front of you, the balance is in their favour.
Why you chose an apprenticeship over university?
The cost of university is downright silly, and more and more people are coming out with a degree, but not enough opportunity to use it. An apprenticeship puts you straight into those opportunities, skipping the fees and time a degree demands; it basically lets you jump the queue, and gives you hands-on, applicable learning! I saw the degree apprenticeship and thought it was the best of both worlds.
How an apprenticeship has benefitted you?
This apprenticeship has been great for me! With the degree apprenticeship my learning from work feeds straight into university, and vice versa. I’m honestly not sure I could’ve powered through a degree without the support CGI applies; this course motivates me, interests me, and enables me to skip the stress that comes with university and finding a job. It’s helped me find confidence, independence, and a strong work ethic; I can’t recommend it enough.
Maria, who works in the CGI Early Careers team, embraced a golden opportunity five years ago when she embarked on a sponsored degree apprenticeship.