Year after year SAS is recognized globally for its workplace culture, including 19 straight years, and counting, on Fortune magazine’s elite list of Best Companies to Work For. But SAS isn’t just an employer of choice for experienced professionals, it’s also a great place for students and recent graduates too.
For students, SAS offers a wide range of highly-competitive internship and fellowship opportunities. SAS’ internship program provides summer and year-round experiences in both technical and non-technical roles. For doctoral candidates, the SAS fellowship program provides an excellent opportunity to explore software development as a career choice. The program accepts students from a number of areas such as computer science, statistics, financial engineering and mathematics. Both programs are great for students interested in gaining experience that will be invaluable as they enter the job market.
For recent graduates, SAS offers entry-level programs to prepare recent graduates for careers in Sales, Technical Presales, Professional Services and Technical Support and Training. “SAS is strategically focused on our next generation of leaders," said Patty Hager, Global Academy Director for the Sales and Presales Programs. "The academy approach provides a bridge from the academic to the professional world. The program provides an experiential learning environment led by instructors who have over two decades of customer-facing experience and deeply understand how SAS technology drives customer value.”
In this post, I wanted to introduce you to six recent graduates now working at SAS. (Two of them were graduates of our academy programs mentioned above.) Here's what they shared about their early career experiences at SAS.
Jozef Moffat is an Associate Analytical Consultant
“When I left university in May 2015 with a degree in Statistics and Economics, I had surprisingly never heard of SAS. A lot of the work that I’d done up to that point was using open source software. Once I started looking for jobs within analytics however, a lot of the opportunities I came across needed someone with SAS experience. This made me look for positions that offered training in the SAS programming language. By chance, SAS had a graduate program starting around the time I applied so I decided to apply for that - I figured if I could get the job, I would get to learn SAS from the source. That’s how I ended up working as an analytics pre-sales consultant for SAS.
My experience so far has been fantastic and not only have I learnt the SAS programming language, I’ve also learnt several other products that are used across many industries. My role allows me to be a data scientist in addition to interacting with various stakeholders in support of sales opportunities. To be a successful data scientist, in addition to having the technical acumen, you need the ability to communicate ideas and results in a way that less technical business people get the message.
Communication is a skill not often emphasised when we think of a data scientist skill set. However, if you have an amazing idea that nobody else understands or knows how to apply within the business context, then it will go to waste.”
Stefan Doblitz is an Associate Account Executive
“You don’t have to look far to hear from an organization that they proclaim to be good or even the best at something. SAS has been recognized worldwide as one of the best employers, especially for millennials. SAS is also recognized by customers for its services and by analysts for its products.
When I graduated from the University of Oregon, strangely, I didn’t know anything about SAS. However, having worked at SAS for nearly two years now, I can full-heartedly say that these recognitions aren’t just mere statements. SAS, although incorporated, is a true family. It is a home for smart, driven, and compassionate people. It is an accomplishment and honor to be part of this organization.
I’ve just read an article on the considerations that top employers make in regards to building the future through integrating the millennial workforce. SAS has done an outstanding job in this area, strategically differentiating not only in its offerings but also in its multi-generational evolution.
Within just a few years, my personal development and professional skills have leaped far from the time I’ve joined. SAS’ leadership is an email or even elevator ride away. I work in a team that deeply cares about how we enable other businesses to operate at their best. There’s collaboration beyond just combination of people of different backgrounds and expertise. Throughout my daily tasks, I learn to present effectively, speak with C-level executives, learn with data scientists, and offer meaningful products and services to impact the mission of organizations. Specifically working within the healthcare environment, it boils down to saving lives and improving the quality of peoples’ lives."
Adeel Ali is an Associate Accountant
“I am working in the finance department as SAS, rotating around three major functions: Operations, Financial Accounting and Financial Planning & Analysis. Right now I’m working within the Financial Accounting team, focusing on statutory accounts and reporting.
The interview process was thorough, but reasonable; the managers were laid back and made me feel as comfortable as possible when conducting the interview. There were a range of general questions as well as more technical ones relating to the role, and a short test of my knowledge at the end.
Some key tips I would give future applicants is to make sure that you have a good knowledge base of the area you are applying for, and be prepared for follow-up questions in addition to what they initially asked you. They don’t want you to sit there and praise SAS and list the projects and customers they work with, they want to know what value you can add to the team and why you’re the best candidate for this role.”
Anna Rakers is a Senior Associate Technical Training Consultant
"As a Technical Training Consultant in the Education Division at SAS, I develop learning assets for the Fraud and Compliance Solutions, as well as teach programming 1. I came into this role with a background in teaching, but I lacked the technical component. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Technical Enablement Academy. Having a passion for both education and learning, I knew the academy was right for me.
The academy was a very challenging but rewarding experience. During the 20 weeks of instruction, I received training on a variety of SAS products and was able to receive multiple certifications. In addition to learning this content, I met a lot of other SAS employees across various departments. All were extremely kind, knowledgeable, and willing to help in any way that they could.
Gaining this knowledge and developing these connections before even starting my official position was extremely beneficial; I felt confident and comfortable at SAS before even starting in my job role, which has made the transition from academy into my position very smooth. In addition, everyone in my department has been extremely welcoming and willing to help with anything I need. I couldn’t ask for a better start to my career!"
Chris Dawson is an Associate Talent Acquisition Specialist, Talent Acquisition
“I’m a member of the Talent Acquisition team here at SAS and responsible for recruiting people into our company. When preparing for job interviews, I’d say that it’s a good idea to see it as a two-way process. We want to know if you have the potential to succeed in the position, but you also need to see if the company you are applying for is the right one for you!
Come with questions. Ask if there are many other graduates working there. Ask about the opportunities for development and progression available. Above all, ask your interviewers about what it’s like to work in their team! If you ask intelligent questions, this will make a good impression.”
Bukunmi Ogunye is an Associate Technology Specialist, Platform Innovation
“My role at SAS is about balancing technical, business, and customer services skills in addressing the needs of the customer, while supporting sales initiatives.
After gaining a degree in Product Design Engineering, I had a solid grasp of all stages within a product development process, and could apply this when learning about the analytics sales and product development process across industries. A good understanding of this, along with great stakeholder management and communication skills, is what’s needed to be effective. Through understanding the customer need, coupled with the eagerness and flexibility to learn and take on new challenges, my time at SAS has become increasingly exciting.
I first came across SAS during a job search. After finding out about some of the products, solutions and services SAS provide (e.g. SAS University Edition – a free SAS programming platform), I was impressed at the effort SAS goes to in educating future generations. I knew my career development would thrive.
Aside from work, the culture and people at SAS can truly be described as top class. Everyone wants to succeed together, so as long as you have the capability and drive you’ll be in the right place.”