One thing I love about working at CGI is that I have been able to continuously redefine my career. As customer or team needs have evolved, I’ve always had support from leadership to try something new when I saw where I could help. That’s one of the things that keeps me at CGI, the encouragement to adapt or shift to a new role as the team needs change.
Twenty-two years ago, I started at CGI as a technical trainer. Soon after, I worked my way up to team lead and supervisor roles, followed by a position as a junior project manager. Since then, I have worked as an access database administrator, SharePoint administrator, deputy project manager, mentor, lead auditor, release manager and DevSecOps engineer.
Today, I provide DevSecOps support for multiple, critical enterprise systems on a platform consisting of Windows and Linux servers. Most of my work is on the delivery side, focusing on DevSecOps deployments and updates for our clients. Recently, a lot of my work has shifted to include security vulnerabilities and patching. So, in addition to helping developers with updating their software, I work with the federal technology leads and federal security staff to ensure identified vulnerabilities are remediated in a timely fashion.
Currently, my favorite part of the job is having the opportunity to support a highly motivated, dedicated, cross-functional DevSecOps team that supports our product owners and helps our technical leads successfully manage critical systems.
Managing physical disabilities at work
CGI has been extremely flexible and supportive whenever I needed to take time to care for my family or request accommodation at work for my disabilities.
During my recovery from spinal surgery, I needed adaptive resources, such as a chair with a mesh back that didn’t put pressure on my scar or “puck” (what I call my spinal cord stimulator), and the company has always provided those resources without issue.
Likewise, my managers were proactive when ordering a standing desk for me to help ease some of the pain and spasms I have throughout the day. And they changed room layouts, so my cane didn’t catch on table legs or chair casters.
Sometimes you don’t want to ask for accommodation because you don’t want to be seen as different. So, it’s really appreciated when someone says, “I see what you’re enduring throughout the day, so let us try to help you.”
Championing diversity, equity and inclusion
At CGI, our member resource groups (MRGs) are varied, and one of the most recently launched is the Disability and Neurodiversity Advocates (DNA) group. The DNA group is near and dear to me, as I have a physical disability, along with being dyslexic and having a stutter/stammer.
I also had the opportunity to participate in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Challenge, where our cross-functional team provided a review and input on the state of DEI to CGI leadership and submitted recommendations on how we can do better. We were able to provide input that DEI needs to be baked into the culture, not bolted on—just like security for IT systems.
And now we are seeing that progress. The MRGs have grown from a concept to several hundred members and several different MRGs—and that’s a real source of pride for me. Team members are trying to participate as much as they can and really embracing DEI concepts. It’s proof that CGI didn’t want to just check a box but wanted it to be real and true—not just for our team members but for our customers and the communities that we live in and support.
Family, foster dogs and staying active
When I’m not at work, I like to spend time with my wife and son. My wife and I volunteer with the local animal shelter to foster dogs before they are adopted. I earned my Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do prior to my surgery, and my son earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt on the same night. While I’m a bit more limited now, I stay active using a rowing machine. My son, Dylan, is a freshman at UVA and currently studying computer engineering. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!
Read more CGI member stories in the Life at CGI blog series.