This is a part of a series of posts where we interview employees around the company to explore career journeys at SAS. We're excited to show you what career development, growth, and opportunity looks like within our company. You can read all the posts here.
Keisha Simpson's 17-year journey with us began when she started as a grad school intern and moved into a full-time role at SAS as she continued her studies at NC State University. She was hired as an R&D Tester and after completing grad school, she was promoted to an R&D Developer. But she didn’t stop there. After two years, she transitioned into a Consulting role and is now a Senior Manager of Information Technology, a member of our Black Initiatives Group (BIG), and a CEO Award of Excellence winner. Talk about ambitious! Hear from Keisha about how she managed such meaningful career journey.
Q: You’ve had an incredible career! Were there any steps you took when you knew it was time to pursue a new challenge?
Keisha: All the roles I transitioned into seemed like a natural progression. When I was testing software, it set the groundwork to become a developer. My managers really challenged me to open up and experience new opportunities for my development, and that’s really made a difference in my career.
Q: You must have been pretty nervous to transition into new roles. Do you have any advice for someone asking themselves, "What's next?"
Get out there and try something new! If you don’t like it, that’s a lesson to learn from and you can move onto the next learning opportunity. If you stay in your comfort zone, you can’t grow. It doesn’t hurt to take a risk and learn something new! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be confident in yourself. If you have the right management, they’ll give you the confidence you need as well. Even if you don’t feel qualified, go for it!
Q: You started as an intern and eventually progressed to be a Senior Manager of Information Technology. What skills or tools were important as you moved into your new role?
Keisha: Being able to problem solve and challenge yourself is always key. I constantly had encouragement from my managers to transition into new roles and I wouldn’t be here without the support of my managers. All the managers I’ve had genuinely cared and never just told me what I wanted to hear. They really focused on building my career and helping me grow as an individual.
Q: It sounds like you’ve really enjoyed your role and the community here at SAS. What do you love about working here and what brings you back every day?
Keisha: I have been blessed with great managers! The community of people here is amazing, and people are connected all across SAS. My kids were in the daycare here and the parents became friends outside of work, often getting lunch together with our kids. You’re able to build relationships here that you wouldn’t otherwise get at another company.
Thanks, Keisha, for sharing your story with us – we’re proud of you and the way you live the #SASLife!