Sarah Kay

Sarah Key talks about her sponsored degree programme with CGI

With its broad range of industries, products and service lines, the CGI sponsored degree programme gives undergraduates the chance to fully explore and experience a number of different roles, clients and sectors. That’s what first attracted me to the company, when I started to look into the programme at one of University of Winchester’s Open Days.

I was never 100% sure of the career path I wanted to follow. And after three or four years doing a regular degree, I think I’d have been even more confused. So one of the great things about the CGI programme is that it’s helped me think about my options, realise what interests me most and consider avenues that previously I would never have had exposure to.

I liked the fact you can undertake degree-level studies whilst accruing valuable work experience. Part-time study undertaken independently is usually drawn out over a considerably longer period of time – we complete our degrees in three years. It’s not always easy to do that and sometimes social sacrifices have to be made. But work and the university do understand the pressures and provide all the guidance and support you need. Studying at the University’s Business School with other full time students allows us to momentarily immerse ourselves into ‘real’ university life. Being a student there also affords us all the perks of student union and NUS membership.

The best thing, however, is when you see the results of work out there in the real world. Employers all look for that ‘something extra’ from graduates and the ability to demonstrate relevant experience. This programme addresses these issues directly, applying modules of study directly to the working environment.

People don’t really think about it, but technology has a tremendous influence on practically every aspect of modern life. Every time I go through Gatwick Airport’s passport and retina scanning gates, for example, I smile because it was our project team that designed, tested and delivered them. And there aren’t many recent graduates, let alone undergraduates, who can lay claim to a project like that. With these experiences, many of us are already leading small teams and people managing small groups. I am grateful for this head start