Sonya Balasubramanyam is a member of CGI’s corporate services group, working as a writer and editor within the marketing and communications department. Based in Bangalore, India, her role enables her to collaborate with colleagues in many countries. A passionate advocate for mental well-being, Sonya is part of CGI’s Mental Health Ambassadors network. She enjoys playing squash and trying new restaurants. Most of all, Sonya loves spending time with her two senior dogs.
Hi Sonya – thank you for participating in CGI's career stories series! Tell us about how you got started at CGI.
I must admit I didn’t know about CGI until a friend told me about a soon-to-be-open position on the marketing team.
And how did you know that CGI would be a good fit?
Before the interview and hiring process, I researched CGI and discovered that I strongly identified with the company’s core values. I was really impressed with the distinctive culture and how our Founder, Serge Godin, talked about the company. At that point, I knew that I wanted to be a part of CGI.
I also really connected with my manager during the interview. It was clear that she didn’t just want to learn about my professional skills; she also wanted to learn about me as a person.
Tell us about your career path once you joined the company.
I joined in 2016 as part of an India-based team providing global communications support and services to various teams across CGI. My focus was on writing and editing content on a wide variety of industry topics in line with our editorial and brand guidelines. During this time, I got to really develop my writing skills and my knowledge of the IT and business consulting services industry.
A couple of years later, I got the opportunity to move to my current global brand and marketing role. What I love about my job is the variety of assignments and the chance to collaborate with colleagues from across the globe. I primarily work on marketing content, but the topics change all the time. The world of IT is constantly changing, so the nature of our work evolves quickly. As a writer, I’m continually learning as macro trends evolve. In one week, I may write about data-driven manufacturing, then jump to AI in retailing, and then work on sustainability and ESG content. It keeps things interesting!
That definitely sounds like interesting work. How do you manage to keep up with the constant change?
I think it’s essential to have an open mind and to embrace change. I find something new to learn every day. As a team, we work on evolving our craft as brand and marketing writers. This requires constant upskilling, so we show up every day with the willingness to learn, unlearn and learn again.
We have great resources on our internal learning platform and via content marketing experts. I have had the opportunity to participate in many workshops about message frameworks and storytelling, for example. We also learn a lot from each other. I’m lucky to be part of a close-knit team. When I need help or feedback, I always have a colleague to lean on or learn from.
That’s amazing. It sounds like you have very supportive colleagues and leaders.
I do! They are very supportive, and I can honestly say that I haven’t experienced this elsewhere. My manager is very present and committed to seeing us succeed and reach our full potential. Every year, we refine our development plan; it’s an opportunity to identify the skills we want to work on. My manager and extended leadership team ensure we have the guidance and tools to achieve our development goals.
Do you feel you have this same level of support with your health and well-being goals?
I really do. At CGI, I feel like I am heard and can show up as myself. My colleagues and leaders have always been supportive, and empathetic of our life both at work and outside of work. I recently went through a very difficult challenge in my personal life, and my CGI family was with me every step of the way. It helped tremendously.
At the time, I was also receiving training to be a Mental Health First Aider. My experience with my team reinforced my belief that I had chosen to do the right thing so I could support my colleagues with their mental health. As part of CGI’s Mental Health Ambassadors network, I feel like I can give back and be there for my CGI family like they were for me.
What a beautiful testimonial of the supportive culture at CGI. Thank you, Sonya, for sharing your experience and career journey so far!