Will Fraser is a senior consultant and lead software engineer based in the UK. Joining CGI in 2014 as a graduate, Will’s career journey has been marked by the pursuit of knowledge, acquiring new skills and taking on challenges to drive his personal and professional growth. Outside work, he enjoys writing poetry and spending time with his partner and border collie Poppy.
Hi Will! Thank you for participating. Tell us how you got started at CGI.
I was completing my degree at the University of Aberdeen when I first learned about CGI at a university recruitment event. During the entire recruitment process, I felt an inclusive and warm energy from everyone I met. I have been with CGI for almost a decade, and I can definitely say I was right about the inclusive and supportive culture here. I can always count on my colleagues and leaders; there is always someone I can reach out to.
Can you share more about your career journey?
I joined as a junior consultant in the development team for a CGI solution dedicated to hydrocarbon accounting in the oil and gas industry. A tech lead role became available, and I was chosen for it. With this change, I went from smaller development mandates to taking on more of a leadership role that involved planning and designing the solution’s evolution for clients. This included helping build the strategic direction for the solution.
Much of my career journey at CGI has revolved around this solution. With each project, I learn something new that helps deliver greater value on the next project. The ability to constantly learn is critical since a significant part of my role today involves developing the solution's strategy and planning its future roadmap, including widening its scope to serve clients across the broader energy sector.
Energy is certainly a dynamic industry to be part of. Do you feel like you are doing innovative work?
Absolutely. As a tech lead, I need to look ahead and create our vision for this solution. We need our IP solutions to follow market and technology trends to stay relevant to our clients' needs.
Evolving our solutions includes migrating to new technologies, rethinking the user experience, and adding new functionality. It requires designing and developing new proofs of concepts. There is a lot of innovation involved in the process.
In the midst of these interesting and challenging assignments, do you feel you have the support needed to be successful?
I do. My leadership team is accessible, and I’ve always received support when I needed it—both in my personal life and professional activities. My manager and other leaders have consistently supported my professional development, including continuing my education to expand my expertise.
During the pandemic, I decided to go back to school to tackle a long-term goal to grow my expertise in cybersecurity. I enrolled in a masters degree in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics. My leaders understood that doing this course was important to me and would also add value for our clients. When exams or school meetings were scheduled, my manager and team were keen to help me adjust my working hours so that I could give my best to both my degree and CGI. It would not be a stretch to say that without CGI’s support, I wouldn’t have been inclined to take up this course, let alone achieve a distinction.
At CGI, I see immense benefits from having colleagues all over the world. For example, I’ve attended training with colleagues in the Nordics, collaborated on software development with a team in India, and am now involved in artificial intelligence discussions with my Canadian colleagues. It’s pretty awesome! Global teamwork not only fosters creativity and innovation but also provides diverse perspectives to help us overcome challenges.
Great to hear about the support you have in building your skills and being part of cross-geography team-oriented work. Do you have time for self-care?
I am very invested in my work and love what I do, so, to be honest, it’s difficult for me to disconnect. Sometimes, my dog, a border collie, reminds me when it’s lunchtime if I’ve forgotten to step away from my laptop. But generally, I live by the idea that if something is interesting to you, it is worth doing.
Otherwise, I really enjoy writing poetry. I have two published anthologies: MelonCollie Ravings of a Dyslexic Poet and Have Yourself a Pesky Little Christmas. I love having a creative outlet outside of my work at CGI. I am also married to the most wonderful man and have a wonderful dog, Poppy, though I suspect she’s the laziest dog I know.
Having spent almost a third of my life working for a single company without it feeling like a chore says something about CGI’s supportive work environment. I have never been made to feel sidelined because of either my sexuality or my dyslexia.
P.S. I’m the writer behind the blog Pesky Poetry, if anyone wants to check it out!
Thanks, Will. What an inspiring testimonial of your journey at CGI!