Industry: Degree Apprenticeships

Sim

“I really enjoy the company culture; everyone is really approachable. Having recently joined a project, I feel I have a really good support network, and there is always someone I can ask if I have a question.”

Did you relocate, if so how did you find it?
Yes, it was a great experience. I was able to become financially independent and I finally learnt how to use a washing machine.

Your current role at CGI: role name and overview. What does this job entail (eg. what do you typically do day-to-day).
I am an apprentice developer on a large agile scaled program. The project I work on is consumed by many other projects under the program which means we deal with many client requirements and changes on a daily basis along with triaging multiple live issues a day on top of my day job as a developer.

What you enjoy most about working for CGI (eg. culture, benefits, SSC, variety of work, networking, work available etc)?
I really enjoy the company culture; everyone is really approachable. Having recently joined a project, I feel I have a really good support network, and there is always someone I can ask if I have a question.

Your top tip for someone considering the CGI and the apprenticeship?
Considering this is a male dominated sector, being in the minority I found that it was not as daunting as I originally thought. My top tip would be to always speak your mind and ask questions, as everyone is really supportive and willing to help you learn and progress.

Why you chose an apprenticeship over university?
I wanted to get industry experience while also learning and developing my skills working towards a qualification. Getting hands on work experience helped put the theory into practice.

How an apprenticeship has benefitted you?
I am earning a salary while gaining a qualification and commercial experience. I am also learning a lot of business and interpersonal skills.

Charlotte

“Earning while I learn has allowed me the financial freedom to save up and buy my own flat before my 21st birthday.”

Your current role at CGI: role name and overview. What does this job entail?

I’m a Digital Marketing Communications Consultant so on a day-to-day basis I am responsible for the creation, curation, search engine optimisation of content for CGI UK’s social media and website marketing. I’m also involved in digital marketing strategy and channel management for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. As a member of the Global Marketing team I have opportunities to work on a wide variety of social media campaigns and I work closely with our industry subject matter experts and other departments such as CSR, HR, and Recruitment.

What are your previous roles at CGI
I’ve worked in a variety of roles and locations since I joined CGI in 2017. I started off as a Junior Software Tester in London learning how CGI develop and test software for the Ministry of Justice. Then I worked in Project Management Support for a variety of projects across Reading, London, and Birmingham, helping run the administration, resourcing, and finances of projects with many different focuses from Modernising Central Government, to ensuring GDRP compliance, to Smart Metering Implementation.

What you enjoy most about working for CGI (eg. culture, benefits, SSC, variety of work, networking, work available etc)?
I like the way a career at CGI is not just committing to one job in one industry, you can move between different roles, on different projects, in different locations. In my 3 years at the company I’ve worked on 5 different projects so work is never dull as you can move around and shape your career however you want to.

Your top tip for someone considering CGI and the apprenticeship?
Think about what you want over the next few years and what your priorities are. If you really want the ‘university experience’ of living in halls, going out a lot, and joining societies then an apprenticeship may not be for you. But if you your priority is getting industry recognised qualifications and a head start in our chosen career then a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship may be the better option.

Why you chose an apprenticeship over university?
In year 13 I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career so I didn’t want to commit to a 3 year university course in a random subject! I’d always had an interest in technology and business and I prefer to learn by doing, but I didn’t want to go straight into employment and give up on the idea of getting a degree. So when I found out CGI’s Degree Apprenticeship would allow me to gain valuable on the job training and get a university degree without the student debt I knew I had to apply.

How an apprenticeship has benefitted you?
Earning while I learn has allowed me the financial freedom to save up and buy my own flat before my 21st birthday, something I thought I’d never be able to do! I also have 3 years of experience working in a business environment on a variety of roles which has shown me what I’m capable of and has grown my confidence massively.

Josie

“No doubt you’ll be told when joining the company that you are in charge of your career and guess what, that’s correct.”

 

Base Location

I am based in Bristol

Did you relocate, if so how did you find it?

I made the decision to relocate, CGI provided me with a lot of support with this. I have found this has helped me become so much more independent and is really fun. Having housemates is very different to living at home and there is also always something new going on, I found them through a website called SpareRoom where you can find likeminded people looking to share a house. I would recommend sites like this if you are planning on moving to a new city.

Your current role at CGI: role name and overview. What does this job entail (eg. what do you typically do day-to-day)?

I am currently completing the software development apprenticeship. A lot of the work is done online where video calls and instant messages are prevalent, for me this is a new way of learning and I feel I have adapted to it well. A typical day will start with a morning meeting with the training provider to see how myself and the rest of the cohort are doing and discussing any queries we may have.

We then have workshops where we learn about new concepts and then apply them to a project in pairs or groups for the rest of the day. On Fridays we complete independent tasks based on what we had learnt that week, which is then reviewed and feedback is given. We will soon be starting real life projects within the office, I am looking forward to this as I will get to apply what I have learnt while extending my knowledge further.

What you enjoy most about working for CGI (eg. culture, benefits, SSC, variety of work, networking, work available etc)?

Everyone in my office is very friendly and have made me feel so welcome, there is always someone I can ask for help whether that be my manager or other apprentices.

There are many benefits working for CGI. I am part of the sports and social club, this gives me the opportunity to attend lots of out of work activities, this includes bowling, paintballing and cocktail making. this is a very fun way to be able to network with people within CGI. There are other benefits available to us such as the pension scheme, ability to buy CGI stocks and the member discount scheme.

Your top tip for someone considering the CGI and the apprenticeship
Believe in yourself. No doubt you’ll be told when joining the company that you are in charge of your career and guess what, that’s correct. Know your goal and ambition and drive yourself to get there. No one knows how good you are, so you need to go and prove it. Seek out the work and challenges you need to prove you have what it takes to reach your goal.

How an apprenticeship has benefitted you?

Choosing to do an apprenticeship has allowed me to kick start my career and CGI is the perfect place to do so as it provides its employees with support many opportunities for personal development. Being able to combine what I have learned with real life work feels very rewarding.

Our dedicated Early Careers Team

Our dedicated Early Careers Team are here to support you from application right the through to joining CGI. You will see them at university campuses and schools, chat to them before your assessment centre, meet them on your assessment centre and be welcomed by them on your first day.

Plus at any time during the process they are on hand to answer any questions and support you throughout.

Sid

“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.”

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.