Rebecca Cackett talks about her Sponsored Degree Programme with CGI

Name:Rebecca Cackett

Education:I stayed on at my school sixth form to complete my A levels and then joined CGI’s Sponsored Degree Programme whereby I completed my Bachelor of Arts Business Management Degree

Base Location:I am based in Leatherhead, but I often travel to London for meetings and to meet other members of the business.

My Role:I have had a couple of roles whilst being at CGI, as you have the ability to change and try different things. Before I started on the programme I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do. CGI gave me the opportunities to try various roles. I started in our justice sector working with a team who managed contract changes with the client. This was a great role for me, and I learnt a huge amount due to the support I received. I then decided to take my knowledge, and move into the contracts and commercial function which sits across all business units at CGI. Whilst in this team I worked within the subcontract management team, whereby I was involved with the contract negotiations and making sure we not only got the best deal possible but also that we were protecting ourselves from legal aspects. After graduation I decided to change my career path and move into HR and am still here and loving it! This shows the diversity CGI offer. Many of my friends who I started the programme with are project managers, software developers, business analysts etc.

How did you get to this position:In order to get onto the programme I went through the application form which was online, and then I was invited to an assessment centre. This was not as scary as I initially thought it would be, and the team made me feel relaxed. My advice to anyone who is going to be attending an assessment centre, is not to be as nervous as you probably will feel. There is nothing there to trick you out, and the team just want to see your personality. In terms of how I received my roles at CGI, it is all about NETWORKING. To change roles and try out different things, you have to be willing to speak to people and find the opportunities.

Why did I choose this path?For me I knew I wanted a degree, but because I was not 100% certain what I wanted to do for my career, I thought that going to university full time may have not been beneficial for me. I also knew how important work experience was, and therefore considered just working full time and working my way up – especially as I was the first year the fees went up! When I came across the opportunity to work and study at the same time, this was a no brainer! CGI paid for my tuition fees and paid me a competitive salary which rose on graduation. How could I not take this opportunity up? Now I am in the position where I not only have a degree, but have years of work experience, which sets me aside from other graduates who are looking for their first job as they come out of university!