Industry: Technical Graduate


“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.


“There is always someone looking out for you and ensuring that you are reaching your growth potential”

What’s your current role, what does a typical day look like for you?

I am a Technical Consultant currently working on a defence project as an Applications Security Assurance Analyst conducting security assessments on applications that need migrating from legacy domains.

This role requires collaboration with several teams to ensure applications pass smoothly through the factory floor. I am also a mentor for the current cohort of new starters, Student Kick-Starter Initiative (SKI) which has a typical aim of volunteering 3 hours in the week towards improving an aspect of office life, such as streamlining the parking situation at a particular site or bridging the skills gap in the form of hosting STEM clubs at local schools and encouraging uptake of STEM subjects, in turn, boosting CGI’s reputation in society.

Did you relocate for you role?

I relocated from Bradford and initially found the move a bit overwhelming, however, during the induction week, I was able to meet the other graduates who were in a similar situation to myself and gained comfort from knowing that I was not dealing with this alone.

Meeting my project team and People Manager made a big difference as they were all very welcoming and friendly, and encouraged me to consult them on any problems I may have adjusting to my new role in Reading. Additionally, the £1000 relocation bonus helped to cover some of my moving costs and did not make me feel too out of pocket for joining this new role.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of CGI?

There are many aspects of working at CGI that I enjoy that include the numerous benefits offered to all employees such as as the Share Purchase Plan which allows you to purchase shares of CGI via salary contributions and own a small percentage of the company. This reinforces the ‘membership culture’ at CGI which treats employees as fellow owners of the company and encourages one to strive for the overall success of the company.

Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become apparent that CGI is a resilient industry as most members were able to successfully transition to remote working without much need to physically come into the office. This was a positive move for me as I was able to attend to family needs in Bradford whilst also fulfilling my role duties by working from home.

What would be your top tip for someone considering joining CGI?

My top tip for someone considering joining CGI is to attend the Open Days and experience CGI in the element. There is so much to learn about the company that even a year on, I am blown away by the breadth of industries and projects the company is involved in or leans technical support towards.

CGI is a company that appreciates each members contributions and rewards them with numerous compensation options. There is always someone looking out for you and ensuring that you are reaching your growth potential and strive to push you further at a pace that is suited to you.

And finally why did you choose CGI for your graduate role?

I chose to join CGI for a graduate role because I believe it offered me ample career growth to develop new skills, refine what I already have and provide job security which are very important aspects for myself.

I was also keen to explore the IT and Tech industry as I believe the world is heading in a direction that mainly relies on automation and technology bridging the skills gap and completing processes more efficiently. I aimed to capitalise on this reliance on technology and gain skills in a fast-paced industry that is constantly evolving with the changing landscapes.


“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.