CGI’s graduate program has given Esther Knuckey a much clearer idea of her future path, allowing her to realise she has a passion for finance! Read more about our grad program and her current role as a Finance Analyst in our Central Government Business Unit.
In this age of technical innovation, a career in tech has always appealed to me. There’s an ever-growing need for professionals in this space, and when choosing a graduate program after finishing my degree, CGI in particular stood out to me. Its projects are ground-breaking and its graduate program is very unique. Since joining I have also discovered how brilliant the company culture is too.
I am currently working in the Central Government Business unit, which I find particularly interesting since the projects we deliver make a real impact on society and everyone involved has a passion for making a difference. There is a huge sense of commitment and feeling of collaboration in all of the work we do.
What makes CGI’s graduate experience different?
As a CGI graduate, I’m offered a lot of training and development alongside my day-to-day role. All graduates and returning placement students attend technical boot camp sessions, where subject matter experts provide presentations covering critical technology areas. Joining CGI as a business graduate meant I did not have a technical background, so these boot camps gave me a good grounding in the more technical aspects of CGI’s project delivery.
Another great aspect is the Student Kickstart Initiative (SKI). We’re tasked with a pioneering or emerging technology project that has the ability to make a difference to CGI, which I found really valuable.
For me, this is what makes CGI's graduate program stand out from others. The training covers many areas, allowing graduates to develop a well-rounded skill set and knowledge base.
My journey so far
My first placement as a graduate at CGI in 2020 was on the HSBC Trade Transformation Engagement, which provided a revolutionary new platform for the bank's trade finance activities. I started off as a PMO Analyst, transitioned into a PMO Finance role shortly afterwards and then moved into a Junior PM role at the start of 2022.
I feel extremely lucky that I was able to work on such a large and complex program with multiple stakeholders across the globe. I enjoyed trying out different roles within the same engagement as it allowed me to expand my network whilst seeing which aspects of different roles I liked best. It was also useful to bring my prior knowledge of the program from one role to the next without having to learn a new client from scratch.
Working on the PMO finance team and as a Junior PM made me realise I had a passion for finance. When my current role as a finance analyst in the Central Government Business Unit was advertised, I knew I wanted to go for it, and I was delighted when it was offered to me.
My responsibilities follow the monthly financial cycle, which makes each week interesting and different. The main part of my role is business partnering, where I provide insight and add value to the business from a financial perspective. I report the P&L of each of the sub-sectors within the Public Safety sector to various stakeholders within the business, from the Senior Vice President to non-finance graduates. I also advise on future forecasts and review new bid work to ensure it is financially viable for CGI. Alongside this, I am also in the midst of completing my CIMA professional accounting qualification.
You can take your career in any direction here
At CGI, there are many different roles on offer: development, project management and business analyst roles, as well as roles in the central functions like finance and sustainability. There is something for everyone with almost any skill set.
The business leaders are dedicated to helping members excel in the areas that interest them, so they advocate for rotation opportunities within CGI and provide a lot of support. Thanks to this support, I’ve been able to develop a clear idea of where I want my career to go and I’m excited to keep building my future in this company.
Head to our careers page for open roles and graduate opportunities at CGI here