Emma Wilkinson, project management, CGI
By Emma Wilkinson, project management, CGI
My name is Emma Wilkinson, I started at CGI four and a half months ago as a graduate. CGI is the 5th largest independent IT and Business Process service firm in the world.
If you had asked me when I was doing my GCSE’s where I would be when I was 23, I would have had no idea! I chose subjects I enjoyed at school to balance out the subjects I found particularly difficult. When choosing my A-Levels I had no idea what to pick, so I decided to choose ICT as it was something I enjoyed and had good grades in. During A-Levels I gained work experience where I was responsible for updating product information on the company website and resizing product images.
Having started my A2s I needed to think about my next steps. As I did not know what I really wanted to do I decided to combine my A-Levels and do a degree in Computing and Management. I studied at Loughborough University for 4 years, which included a year long industrial placement.
To be truthful when I started my degree I found it incredibly difficult and I really disliked programming. I enjoyed all the other areas of the computing side of my degree, such as the legal side and databases. After a lot of persistence I managed to get through my programming modules with a good grade. During my placement year I went to a small company where I was the second person in the IT department. I had real responsibility and real work! Throughout the year on placement I gained considerable confidence in my programming ability, as I have always had a drive to overcome the areas I find most challenging. When I went back to University I decided to do my final year project on something I had a passion about which was the Elderly and computers. I had this passion from regularly attending and running an elderly computer class at a community centre in Loughborough. I developed something which aided the elderly use the Internet and resulted in me graduating with a 1st Class degree.
During my final year I knew I needed to find a job: I wanted to work in technology but not programming. I did not know what jobs were out there so I attended the TargetJobs event IT’s Not Just for Boys. From attending this event I applied to Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year Award 2015 run by TargetJobs. After a long application process I was the runner up in the competition and I was offered a project management role in CGI’s Edinburgh office!
If I did not have all the experience of programming and technology my job now would be much harder. I feel that it will help me develop a successful career in project management in the technology industry. I have learnt that stepping out of my comfort zone and persevering in areas I found difficult has opened opportunities which I would never have dreamt of.