CGI member Natasha Martin Wright has enjoyed a diverse career journey at CGI. From our graduate program, to a succession of roles in varied parts of the business, she’s been able to explore many different directions. It’s been an exciting path which has seen Natasha build up her skill set and knowledge of different domains. Now she’s looking forward to developing her proficiencies in a new area: Software Testing and Governance. In this careers article she shares her journey so far…

June 2021

I was first introduced to CGI at a recruitment event. I had completed an MSc in Information Systems and spoke to a number of CGI employees who had all come through the company’s graduate training program.

I was impressed by the way they spoke about their experiences. The program sounded flexible and diverse, offering a range of opportunities to try out different roles within the company. It was clear CGI offered a lot of support and career development to graduates, which was very attractive to me. And so my decision was made.

The beginning of my journey with CGI

I started out as an Application Support Analyst, providing first and second-line support for a portfolio of software applications used by geologists and geophysicists for an oil and gas major. The set of applications was large and diverse, from critical systems supporting operations to high end sophisticated modelling tools.

Soon my role expanded to include incident management and software testing ahead of new releases or upgrades to infrastructure. I was promoted to a Regional Team Lead and spent seven months in Malaysia setting up a team in Asia-Pacific.  From there I moved on to become a Regional Team Lead in Europe, based in Aberdeen, UK.

For my next career step, I was promoted to Global Service Delivery Manager.

Navigating the market downturn of 2016

In 2016, we saw a downturn in oil prices, resulting in the need to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and add more value. 

As the Global Service Delivery Manager, I focused on sustaining existing services and improving services. Where possible, we transitioned to a more blended support model in which we increased services delivered from offshore locations.

Though this was a challenging experience, it was very rewarding for me. It resulted in me expanding my network, and I helped my team members develop their skill sets and capabilities.

I found that open communication and engagement with team members made a big difference to achieving positive outcomes for the services transition and transformation activities.

Then came time for a change.

A new direction

One of the things I like most about CGI is the diversity of the business. There is always support if you want to explore new directions and develop your skills in other areas.

I decided to take the opportunity to diversify and work with different clients. My next role was as a Management Consultant, for which I obtained my COBIT5 Foundation certification (an IT Management and Governance framework).

This allowed me to work at a more strategic level and I became involved in the development of IT strategies and policies for another oil and gas client. 

Then I moved away from oil and gas altogether. I made the switch into the public sector and re-trained again for an exciting new role providing software testing governance and support.

Software testing offers many avenues for development

Though I am in a different environment now, I have found much of the knowledge I gained in application support and service management usable in software testing governance. I am already ISTQB Foundation certified and have been able to utilise my existing skills as I develop further in my new role as Defect Manager for a utilities company undertaking a significant technology change.

I know that working with multiple stakeholders on a large critical program will help cement my experiences in software testing. While there is a lot of overlap with Incident Management, it is still a stretch for me – and that’s exciting! It’s also great to be in a different industry because it gives me a chance to increase my knowledge from a domain perspective.

What’s next for me

Software testing and governance is so multi-faceted. There are many ways to develop in this area and that means there is a world of opportunity available to me and others who are interested in growing in this field. 

Currently I am studying for my ITIL4 certification. I am already ITIL3 Foundation certified, but the ITIL framework has come a long way in focusing more on value creation, which is something that really motivates me.

In the short-term, I am building my experience and capabilities as a Software Test Lead/Manager. Longer term, I would like to develop a breadth of experience that enables me to focus more on IT management and governance at a strategic level. I always aim to deliver value and I know that the training and experience I am benefiting from at CGI will enable me to successfully do that as I go forward.

Do you want to explore your career and capabilities with us at CGI? Head to our careers page for our latest job openings.