The SESUG 2011 conference was filled with top notch presentations, interesting posters and lots of great people. I had the pleasure of spending time with several first time attendees who also happened to be student scholars. SESUG offered a Student Grant Program as a way of supporting students who were using SAS in their studies or who were interested in becoming a SAS user. This type of program is very beneficial to students as it gives them an environment filled with activities designed to facilitate learning SAS. It also gives them access to people from all industries, who remember what it was like to be a beginner and are happy to share their knowledge and who also enjoy hearing about how students are using SAS and how that applies to their career aspirations.
The exchange of ideas and helpful advice at these types of conferences is amazing. There is a special area at the conference where users can bring code they are having difficulities with and experts will sit and review the code and help get things back on track, all for free! I talked with one student who was attending his first SESUG conference and he shared how he learned SAS and why he was so keen to continue to develop his SAS skills. He was gracious enough to share his SESUG experience so that other students could learn about the opportunity.
My name is Moses and I am from Atlanta, Georgia. I was a student scholar at the SESUG 2011 conference in Alexander Virginia. I am currently a graduate student in Applied Statistics at Kennesaw State University. I am also a Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9. Like many students, I learned SAS in graduate school and currently use SAS in my assignments and projects. I learned about the SESUG 2011 Student Grant Program from my school and decided to apply.
This was my first SAS conference and I had a great time. I attended the hands-on workshops and various presentations. All of these activities were great and I learned a ton of stuff. The good news is the conference was inclusive so it didn't matter if I wanted to do some hands-on learning or sit in on a presentation, it was all included and I got to choose what aspects to participate in.
It doesn’t matter whether you are new to SAS or experienced, there were presentations that fit every ones need. The conference also provided me a great opportunity to network with different SAS professionals and with other students. The attendees at the conference were very friendly, helpful, and made you feel that you were at home. To mention few of the great people I met and had time to chat with are Julie Petlick, Student Programs Manager from SAS, Joy Smith, Business and Technology Application Specialist from North Carolina State University, and Sunil Gupta, Best Selling Author & Global Trainer from Gupta Programming.
If you are a student and you are keen to learn SAS, attending this conference will be a great opportunity.
For me, it was a great experience. Thank you to all the staff at the SESUG Student Grant Program for giving me this opportunity. I hope to meet you in future conferences.