Working in tech isn’t just for people with existing technical qualifications. At CGI, you can develop a career no matter where you’ve come from, and help us make a big impact on our clients and the world! Niamh joined us as a graduate a few years ago. She’s now developing a bright career as a consultant despite not having a technical degree when she started at CGI.
The Supportive Environment for Women in Tech at CGI
In spite of not coming from a technical background, I was attracted to the tech industry by the range of roles and sectors that I could work within. Health, finance, utilities, government: every industry has a need for tech in some way.
I had no idea what type of business role I wanted when I first graduated, but I knew that by heading into a tech company like CGI, I’d be able to try different things and find what suited me best. I joined the company straight out of university and I’ve been working within the Energy Transformation sector since I started.
In the last year, as well as my consulting role, I’m also the Project Manager of a separate programme. I’ve been able to gain more responsibility and experience in client engagement, new business development, financial reporting, commercials and marketing. This combination of experience helped me to achieve my first promotion last summer.
There have been so many opportunities to learn and develop my skills. It’s been a great start to my career.
My early days at CGI
I spent my first year or so learning the ropes. I was taking on activities such as market research, analysis and stakeholder mapping, which helped me build a base level of industry knowledge and kick start my business skill set.
I then moved onto a part-time Project Management Office (PMO) role for a few months where I started learning about the basics of project management.
Early on, I attended a series of training ‘boot camp’ sessions that provided a solid start on the fundamentals of software engineering, DevOps, Agile and Emerging Tech. I was also part of the Student Kickstart Initiative (SKI) in my first year, where graduates and placement students are challenged to run a project and produce an outcome that will deliver real business value.
I’ve also taken training courses to help build more personal skills. I’ve become a Mental Health First Aider and taken a communications masterclass, which have both been really valuable. This year, I am looking to gain either my Azure Fundamentals or AWS Cloud Practitioner certification to help build more technical knowledge and support my career progression as a consultant.
In terms of development, it’s up to you to schedule time for training, and good leaders recognise the importance of learning and development. I’ve found that CGI leaders will help you fit this training into your work schedule.
Mentorship is integral to CGI’s culture
I’ve had a mentor since joining CGI and she has been invaluable. My mentor has helped guide me to where I am now by advising on how to tackle issues or uncertainty, and defeat imposter syndrome. She’s given advice when I’ve needed it, and she helped me develop my Level Two promotion panel presentation.
I’m currently on the lookout for an additional mentor within my consulting career stream. I’m going for my second promotion to career Level Three this year. The jump to the next career level after that will be considerable, but having an experienced mentor in my stream will really help with that.
Starting your first ‘real’ job straight out of university can seem really scary and intimidating, but everyone I have met at CGI has welcomed and supported me. There’s also a range of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion networks available to me, and I’m a member of the Women’s Network and Young Professionals Network. Through these networks, I have met many like-minded members. Many of them are in the exact same position as me - young women starting out in their careers. But there are also many experienced members who are able to offer advice and guidance, which I have really appreciated.
With the work that we do at CGI, I can see tangible impact. We make a difference in the world through our technology solutions, and we make a difference to our clients through our excellent delivery. I’m looking forward to continuing to help make an impact, and building my own personal brand with the support and networks of CGI behind me.
Join us at CGI! Head to our careers page for open roles and opportunities.