Sharon Cameron

Sharon Cameron is a director and project manager in Canada. Her career at CGI spans 25 years, working across a wide range of projects and technologies and consulting with clients from different industries. In the fast-paced world of IT, Sharon believes that seeking out new opportunities and maintaining a growth mindset are key to staying ahead. In her free time, Sharon enjoys spending time with family and friends and volunteering in various community organizations. 

25 years at CGI! Congratulations, that’s truly impressive. Sharon, how did you begin your career at CGI? 

In 1999, CGI acquired the company I was working for at the time. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with CGI, but I remember being impressed with the culture and the potential to learn and grow.

Can you tell us about your role when you were first hired and how it evolved into your current role?  

At the time my previous employer merged with CGI, I was working as a consultant and business analyst in a quality assurance role for a government client. I had a strong relationship with the client and helped my new leadership team at CGI establish the same type of relationship. During this transition, I was recognized for my leadership abilities and was quickly promoted to a senior consultant role.

As time went on, I continued to look for projects that challenged me and enabled me to learn new skills across different sectors. Soon, I ventured into supporting clients across the banking, insurance, wealth management, and media sectors. Each project taught me new skills, and I also learned about service delivery and building strong relationships with clients, something CGI is known for. 

My years of project delivery experience have led me to take on new responsibilities in business development as an opportunity pursuit leader. I worked closely with my manager to develop my career plan and objectives, and after achieving targeted milestones in client projects, I was promoted to my current role as director. 

That’s really an inspiring career journey. How has focusing on learning helped you navigate the journey while ensuring growth along the way? 

My biggest learnings come from the variety of assignments I work on. Each project has taught me something different. In addition, together with my manager, I made sure to develop a career plan to define my professional growth objectives. I then set out to achieve the objectives by completing professional training on CGI Academia, our internal learning platform, and a few external platforms. For example, I did my project management certification training and exam on CGI Academia. 

The ability to adapt and be flexible has been a big asset in my career progression. The world of IT is constantly evolving. If we wait around for opportunities that we are fully comfortable with, we may miss out on a lot. I learned quickly that I needed to show initiative, be willing to adapt, and have a growth mindset if I want to remain relevant in the IT field. 

How have your leaders supported your career?

My managers are flexible and open to change. Being trained in different areas of the business is very beneficial. Not only does it help me grow professionally, it also enables me to provide more value to our clients through new skills and knowledge.

Is there a particular project you worked on that stands out in your mind?

Over the past two years, my team has collaborated with three different delivery teams from across the globe to deliver the first mainframe modernization project for a client in Canada. This work is very innovative as we needed to develop the tools and skills to replace the old application and adapt to current technologies in a cost-effective way. We had daily meetings to make sure everyone worked together, to review the deployment, and to resolve issues. We also had frequent check-ins with our client to discuss progress and roadblocks and make sure everything went smoothly and within our timeline. 

This was an important learning experience from a global collaboration perspective since there were many people involved. We had to have a creative and supportive mindset to ensure a successful delivery. In the end, I’m glad to say we fully met the client’s expectations!

On a personal note, how do you achieve your work-life balance and health and well-being goals as a busy professional?

It's not always easy, but it’s very important. As much as possible, I block off time in my calendar if I’m not available, and I make sure to let my team know. It really helps me manage my priorities and my time.

I plan time for family, friends, and my own self-care, where I totally disconnect from work. I like to exercise, meditate, play sports and read; I need to do a bit of one of these things every day. It’s not always possible when I’m working on a large, critical project, but I make sure to catch up when I get the opportunity. 

Volunteering in my community is also very important to me. It has helped me grow more as a person and has brought so much to my life. I volunteer in a food bank, in an English language assistance program, in different environmental activities and a local emergency services center. I love getting involved in different things and knowing I make a positive impact in someone’s life. 

Thanks, Sharon, for sharing your story and for what you do in your community. Congratulations on your inspiring tenure and progression at CGI!

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