Samuel Faria is in his second year of the CGI apprenticeship scheme, where he’s gaining valuable real-world experience while completing his university studies. In this article, he shares more about his experience so far and how he’s growing his early career with CGI.

December 2022

I joined CGI’s degree apprenticeship scheme in September 2021 and I’ve loved every minute of it. The experience has allowed me to build up my practical workplace knowledge alongside the learning I’ve gained from my degree. Applying everything in a real development environment is invaluable and enables me to pick up an array of skills and knowledge that a degree alone couldn’t provide.

I get to take on new information and put it straight into practice, while expanding my network and making great connections. I feel like I’m being very well set up for the future.

My apprenticeship experience

I started the scheme as a Test Analyst within the smart metering systems integration testing team. My responsibilities included the design and planning of tests to ensure that our solution met the requirements set out by the client and wider energy industry. This role was both interesting and rewarding as I was working on a project that made a real difference to society, with over 23 million meters now in people’s homes at the time of writing. 

After six months, I moved into a more development-based role and became a DevOps Engineer working to deliver a key cyber capability for a meaningful and strategic client.

Thanks to the opportunity to work on a number of large-scale projects in a variety of industries, I’ve developed a well-rounded skill set and a sizable network. To build upon this, I've taken part in numerous training courses teaching in-depth skills in industry-leading technologies, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Elasticsearch. These come with official certifications, which is great!

CGI also pays for a professional membership subscription for its members – we’re called members instead of employees as most of us choose to own shares in the business. I’ve chosen to become a member of the British Computer Society, which opens up a whole new realm of information, learning and like-minded people to connect with.

Fostering early careers is a big focus

There’s a strong focus on fostering early careers at CGI. Each year, we take on large cohorts of apprentices, placement students and graduates, which provides both great early careers opportunities and support for students, and a chance for more experienced members to become mentors to newcomers.

CGI paired me with an experienced member who had been an apprentice themselves. They not only helped guide me through my first steps into working life, but also supported me from a university perspective with managing the new workload and proof-reading assignments.  I found this relationship invaluable as it gave me access to someone who I could speak to in confidence about anything that I was finding confusing or challenging.

As our mentor-mentee relationship developed, I was able to speak with them about career development opportunities and how I could continue to move in the direction I wanted to. In part, this is how I was able to move into my current role as a DevOps engineer and has opened me up to multiple fantastic training and certification opportunities.

What I find so inspiring about CGI is how we use technology to improve the way our clients operate. We’re always looking at developing new features that users are asking for, or implementing entirely new applications to expand the capability of the platforms we deliver. Knowing that the work I do is making an impact on a national level is very rewarding, and as a result, I'm very invested in what I do. 

Want an opportunity to help us make a difference to big clients at CGI?  Find out more about joining our apprenticeship scheme