Industry: Business Graduate

Alisha

“Considering I work in a male-dominated industry, I have not once felt out of place.”

Alisha, as you have already stated, you work in a male-dominated industry sector. How has CGI ensured you feel welcome in the working environment?

Considering I work in a male-dominated industry sector, I have not once felt out of place. CGI has made me feel welcome from the word go.

Once the job offer was made I was invited to a pre-induction day at Fenchurch Street (CGI Head Office). This allowed me to better understand the type of company I was going to work for. The Student Recruitment team also provided the necessary support for relocation, which was great!

On my first day at CGI I was introduced to a buddy who made me feel right at home. She showed me around and introduced me to the rest of my colleagues. My buddy has supported me ever since.

I feel there are many CGI initiatives which focus on Women in STEM. For me, this demonstrates the effort the company makes to ensure women feel welcome in a male-dominated environment.

I have been welcomed excellently into the industry by CGI and the company is doing everything it can to continue making me feel comfortable in the workplace.

How have you been inspired to progress you career at CGI, or have you inspired others?

I have been involved in many STEM-related activities to inspire others, including:

  • STEM Camps
  • Student Kickstart Initiative (SKI) – new students are invited to bring their ideas to the table and develop them in to something that has the potential to benefit the business.
  • Career fairs and events.

A career highlight for me was representing CGI at ‘IT’s Not Just for the Boys’ event. It was great to inspire other young women to pursue a career in STEM.

In addition to this, I have two female mentors who have both done really well in their careers at CGI. This gives me the motivation to become as successful as them, and to continue to progress my own career at CGI.

What tools or techniques has CGI helped you acquire to develop your skills and career?

Since joining CGI, I have developed many skills through training modules and classroom-based training:-

  • I am now a trained interviewer, and have been involved in the recruitment of graduate and industrial placement students.
  • I have completed many training courses such as Campus to Corporate, Managing your Career, IT Project Management and many more!

In terms of career development, my director and I have regular catch ups in order to ensure I am on track and working towards my objectives.

What’s the one thing you would like women considering applying to CGI to know?

When applying for a career in a male-dominated industry, I think it is important for you to consider what the company is doing to encourage women to work for them and how they are supporting women in STEM.

Abbie

“The thing that has surprised me the most, is that I am not the odd one out and that there are other people without IT and Business degrees that work here.”

What degree subject did you study?
BA English Literature from Winchester University

What is your current role at CGI: role name and overview. What does this job entail (eg. what do you typically do day-to-day).
My current title is Business Development and Sales Analyst. I work within the SDI Bids Team, in Secure Business Engineering. For this, I use my degree by helping create and edit materials that will help the bid team, both internally but also externally in our bids.

Your previous roles at CGI
This is my first role within CGI. I started in October 2018, and so have only been here for 15 months. I am looking at the next career level though, which is a Proposal Analyst role.

Why did you decide to work for CGI / in the IT industry in general?
At university, the Careers Team suggested that I should continue on the pathway of either going into Publishing or Teaching based on what previous students had done. However, I knew I didn’t want to become a teacher and when I started applying to Publishing Roles, it was extremely competitive and demoralising for myself and my peers when our CV’s in some cases were never looked at.

After graduation, I got a marketing internship at a tech company, and really loved being in a business and learning more on a new industry to me, yet still using my English degree and the skills I’d acquired from it, through editing, proofreading and creating content that ultimately aided the business. This inspired me to look into Business Roles, which prior to this opportunity I believed I couldn’t do as I hadn’t done a Business or IT degree. It inspired me to apply to things where my skills could work and where I could continue learning after university within a new sector to me. I looked into roles where my skills would suit, and that is when I came across bidding and got inspired to work in this type of role.

What worried you about working in IT with a non-IT degree (if anything) and what was the reality?
Joining as a grad, I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in as I believed everyone would be ahead of me in their knowledge due to having a Business or IT degree, and therefore fit in faster than me. I found that amongst the grad community, my degree did come as a bit of a surprise to some, however, within the wider CGI community, they were less surprised and just intrigued by how I could help with projects using my skillset. This ultimately allowed me the chance to settle in and not feel like the odd one out, which as a grad was important to me in my first career role. I now realise that my skillset can be used in a different way, making me useful, whilst I still learn new skills and industry knowledge, which will help me further in the future.

What has surprised you most about working for an IT consultancy with a non-IT degree?
The thing that has surprised me the most, is that I am not the odd one out and that there are other people without IT and Business degrees that work here. I don’t know why I thought I’d be the only one, but having now met others who have been through the same process they all say the same thing, so it is nice to realise you aren’t and that the company is open and accepting to all these non-IT and Business graduates.