What it's like to join a Creative Agency

Our newest employee, Jacqueline, wrote a blog on what it's like to join the CGI team - check it out below!

Things you learn when graduating college: you won’t find a job right away. In fact, it may take five long, grueling months.

Things you learn when joining CGI Interactive: within your first month, you will see that each week, day, hour, of those stressful five months was worth it.

The summer temperatures began to trade themselves in for cooler ones, and I still didn’t have a job. I was convinced that I would have to stand on my chair at the Thanksgiving table and announce to my 30 family members, yes, 30, that I still had not found a job.

It felt like I was going on informational interviews every week, but the information rarely differed from one to the next.

“It’s all about networking.”

“Make sure you have a professional LinkedIn picture.”

“Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job!”

Mid-October, I visited CGI Interactive for an informational interview. Right off the bat, this one felt different and before I knew it, I was leaving the office with a date to come back for a second interview, (that’s right - a real interview). A week after my second interview, I officially began “adulting” as a Business Development Representative at CGI.

Before I started at CGI, I was under the impression that starting a new job would be scary, overwhelming, and intimidating. Though this may be the case for some people, it has not been the case for me.

A month has gone by since I joined the team at CGI Interactive and I have had nothing but a positive experience. Within my first few days, I felt like I already knew the ins and outs of the office: what days the cleaning ladies come, who visits the candy bowl the most, and why there is such thing as the “CGI 15,” (gaining 15lbs after joining CGI), 10 of which I am sure can be attributed to the candy bowl.

In my first, quick month at CGI, I have already seen opportunity to grow at this company. I cannot tell you how many times I read, “no room for growth,” in company reviews during my job search. I read it so many times that I started to believe that staying at one company and growing in it was merely impossible. In addition to the responsibilities of my position, I have participated in others, such as helping the project managers proof and organize projects, and contributing to CGI’s marketing.

At CGI, no one is seen simply as an employee, but rather a valued, integral contributor to the overall success of the company. Everyone supports everyone. Not once have I felt like I couldn’t ask a question, and with each question I’ve asked, not once have I felt like someone didn’t want to help.

In fact, people here go out of their way to help.

As I stand writing this piece, Brent, our Creative Director, is trying to adjust the standing desk to better suit my height. It is the small things like this that show how willing to help everyone at CGI is.

Update: Brent could not adjust the desk and now he is in the supplies closet looking for an alternative solution, even though I insisted I was perfectly comfortable. See my point?

The wrapped-up version is this: my time at CGI has been exciting, welcoming, informative, and rewarding. I am surrounded by a team who is always willing to help. I am congratulated and encouraged when I achieve my goals, and I am enthusiastic to continue doing so. I am immersed in an office where the philosophy “one of us is not better than all of us” truly breathes life into everything we do.

My advice to the frantic job seeker that I once was?

Patience.

All good things come in time, and finding the right job takes time. Don’t jump at the first opportunity but don’t shoot something down because it doesn’t check off all the boxes for your “dream job.” First jobs rarely do.

Go on informational interviews!

Not only to learn more about the job search, but also to put yourself out there and familiarize people with who you are and what you can do. I wouldn’t have my position at CGI if it weren’t for an informational interview.

Stay positive and believe in yourself.

Rejection is tough. Each rejection will almost always take a toll on your mindset but if you change the way you think about these rejections, you have the power to control the toll they are taking. Instead of thinking, “they didn’t want me,” think, “I didn’t get this one because I have something better coming along,” and trust me, you do!

Everything will work out.

When I was looking for a job, everyone kept saying, “it will all work out in the end!” Truthfully, I felt like rolling my eyes and then falling into a heap of sobs each time I heard this. Now, however, I am saying the exact same thing to those in the position I was in a few months ago, and I can say it genuinely and with pride.


I mean hey, look at me. I didn’t have to stand on any chairs at Thanksgiving.