In my last post, I discussed the outstanding experiences I’ve had as an intern at SAS and some of the things that I’ve learned so far. I love working at SAS, and now that I’ve been here for a while, I can confidently say I’m contributing to the success of our team. Getting to this point took a lot of training and encouragement from our department. I invite you to continue reading to learn more about my training experience at SAS so far and to discover the wonderful support system that SAS provides for interns.
To learn more about SAS’ internships and fellowships, visit the SAS Career Webpage for students and recent graduates.
Training I’ve received
As part of my orientation, I participated in a number of training sessions, designed to show me how consultants successfully multitask while exceeding customer expectations. Through individualized training sessions, I became acquainted with our fellow team members and started to become familiar with the SAS products. During training in the Technical Support Department, all new hires sit in on phone duty with consultants who they might work with later. For our support queue, OnDemand/Education, one of the first steps was to shadow with members of the Windows team, so we listened in on customer calls with one of our seasoned consultants, Kara Ross. After listening in with Kara, and other consultants, I became more comfortable on the phone, and actually held my first phone duty within three weeks! This achievement occurred after listening to and performing switchboard duties to help prepare us for customer interaction.
In early June, we attended many Technical Support training classes. From classes such as SAS Culture and SAS®Visual Analytics to SAS Note Writing Best Practices and the Technical Support Hot-Fix Process, we learned about a variety of products and internal processes. Training is a crucial part of learning how to be a successful consultant. With the training that I received, I felt well prepared to excel at my job.
Shortly after orientation, my manager, Randy Mullis, immediately helped me start exploring SAS® products such as SAS® University Edition and SAS® OnDemand for Academics. These amazing free resources are used by more than a million people world-wide, and I would be helping to maximize customer engagement with these products.
Through general-topic classes such as Technical Support Values and skill-based classes such as Sirius Tracking System, I also started to become familiar with methods that our consultants use to perform their duties effectively. I have been at SAS for about two months now, and yet I still manage to learn something new every day (as Randy often encourages me to do). Although not one person knows everything at SAS, many people know a lot about specialized areas, and it is a privilege to be able to learn from them and build my own knowledge base.
People that I've met
My family relocated to Cary, NC after my dad accepted a job at SAS, so I have been a part of the SAS community for quite a few years. However, you definitely see a more complex side of the company once you become an employee.
Both of my parents currently work at SAS, but luckily, the campus is big enough so that I do not run into them that often! However, I know that they are only a Skype message away if I want to say hello. They have wonderful relationships with their manager and fellow team members, so I could easily imagine myself working with such nice people as well.
One day while I was grabbing lunch in the cafeteria, I ran into one of the nurses from the Health Care Center that I have seen since I was in middle school, and I was able to catch up a bit with her. That encounter reminded me that SAS is not just a software company but also a company that takes great care of the people who work for it and their families. I know that Jeanne will always be there to help me when I am sick.
Everyone here at SAS works together to create a very productive yet supportive environment. As a result, it is very easy to build connections with people. That fact is true whether we are in a work environment or in some extracurricular activity. For example, I volunteered at the Food Bank with a group of SAS employees and had a wonderful time contributing to such a deserving cause. Everyone had a specific role to do (for example, sorting goods or packing boxes). Once we all got into a rhythm, the entire production line flowed extremely well. While we were there, I met some employees that I would not have had the chance to meet otherwise, and I even connected with a UNC alumnus. At the end of the shift, we had worked through almost 11,000 pounds of food and other goods, and I was amazed at what the group had managed to accomplish.
Throughout my entire intern experience, it has become clear to me why SAS is one of the top companies to work for, and the amazing people here definitely contribute to the positive experience I’ve had at SAS. In my office, I proudly display a foam finger touting SAS as #1 because I am now both a fan and a team member.
The SAS Intern homepage declares that “SAS’ internship program provides a unique summer experience in our Cary, NC headquarters.” I think “unique” is an understatement. To us interns, our internships at SAS have been life changing in many ways! A typical summer internship runs about 60 days in length. If we truly learned something new each day, that means that we are going back to our respective universities this fall with 60 new pieces of information—and that’s only a conservative estimate! In addition to that knowledge, we have engaged with countless influential people, many of whom have helped to change our overall mindset and how we approach situations. The team I worked with also helped me to see the differences in the talents and strengths of our team members and how to use those differences to the team’s advantage. This internship has provided practical experience in a professional environment, showing me how to handle the real demands, stresses, and joys of a full-time job. With that knowledge and experience, I can go forward confidently as I continue preparing for my future career!
Thanks for a great summer adventure, SAS!