Article by: Cecilia Manalac
I believe in the value of developing one’s professional skills, but in order to do so, a few things need to line up. Two important factors that come to mind are learning to overcome fear and actively seeking out valuable opportunities.
I started my career in the Philippines as a call centre resource, managing inbound and outbound customer calls. Being straight out of university, it was a rather abrupt beginning, as I soon found myself in a roller coaster of emotions from dealing with stressful situations and then being rewarded with gratification almost instantly.
The door to build a career in technology opened for me when I joined an IT consulting firm as a software engineer. I soon realised that it was an environment that I saw myself contributing and flourishing in. I moved from one IT company to another which eventually led to overseas opportunities in Hong Kong and Singapore. I think that working in a foreign country comes with challenges, but the life skills you develop, learnings you gain and the extraordinary memories you build are worth it.
I continued to search for overseas prospects and I applied for a job at CGI that seemed like a good fit for me. 2005 saw me hopping on a plane to Canberra where I began my career journey with CGI in Australia. I spent a few years working on a government project as a CRM designer and developer, shuttling between Canberra and Melbourne, and then I eventually relocated to Melbourne. I grabbed every opportunity locally and interstate to be involved in various projects and work across different industries - finance, telco, construction and distribution services, health, transport and utilities to name a few. I took the time and immersed myself in the area of trade and finance, cash management, collections, credit assessment, identity management, user provisioning, timetable management and even security operations.
Over this time and after years of being involved in software development, I made a career shift and transitioned into the business analysis path. I progressed from being a senior technical business analyst to lead business analyst and eventually to where I am now as a managing business analyst. I lead multidisciplinary teams and I get to do all the things I enjoy.
What I’ve learned from this experience is not to wait for opportunities to surface and land in your lap. You have to actively look out for them because they are not always obvious. I consider myself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take on distinct roles, engage in high-profile projects and work with a diverse range of clients across different industry sectors. It has been an enriching experience all around.
CGI has a collaborative and innovative culture and provides the resources and support to allow individuals to thrive and further develop themselves with access to training, mentorship and stretch assignments. One of my favourite things about CGI is its strong advocacy for diversity and inclusivity and the encouragement it gives members to give back to the community. It is truly rewarding to have a sense of purpose and be able to contribute meaningfully through your work.
I feel the sense of trust CGI has for its people is reflected in how we interact and work. I believe that this trust creates a sense of security and community that should not be taken lightly. In hindsight, I think that the decision to build my career with CGI was a good one and I truly enjoy my career journey here.
If you’re interested in joining me, take a look at the CGI Careers site for more information on open roles.