Entering the CGI sponsored degree programmeI had never heard of CGI before discovering the programme, so I didn’t know anything about what they did. When I looked online and found some of the really interesting and exciting projects CGI are involved in, I saw that they cover everything from creating a new system to improving a business process. And that variety was attractive. I wanted to continue in education to get my degree, but I wasn’t sure if university was the right option for me. The CGI sponsored degree programme seemed like the perfect choice.When applying for the scheme, I didn’t know how CGI worked or what it was like to work in a real business. We found this out in our induction week when we were thrown into working in an office environment – so we learnt very quickly. I have learnt that to get where you want to be you really have to work hard and be able adapt to new situations quickly. You have to be really committed and put the hours in to complete your university work. However, I’ve found I’ve gotten better at time management, so I’ve never found balancing work and study to be too much of an issue.I think you can gain much more on this programme than from just going to university. You get a real sense of achievement working on a real life project, and also have the undergraduate community around you, so don’t miss out on the social side of university either. In my year, we have 18 of us on the scheme, so we organise nights out and events which we get to do together – there’s always something going on!Future Career PathFrom my two years working at CGI, I have identified a career path I would like to follow. When I started working, I had no idea what I wanted to do. But after working or a variety of projects, I have found I really enjoy data architecture and would like to pursue this. Plus, it’s really motivating to know what you are working on is going to go out into the real world!I wish I knew before I started how much I would gain from the scheme, and how much more confident it would make me. I think this scheme has set me up for my future career, and given me a goal to work towards. I have met some really great people, been involved in exciting opportunities and have had some ups and downs, but it has all helped me develop as a person.