Our Storytellers: Tom La

6

At SAS, where you start doesn’t have to be where you end, and opportunity for internal mobility abounds. Perhaps no one can attest to this more than Tom La!

Tom La
Tom La, Sr. Manager, Pre-Sales Support

Meet Tom

Tom has reinvented his career time and time again, touching nearly every part of the customer and product lifecycle over his 20 years at SAS:  “I started at SAS as an intern, and after graduation I began my career as a Systems Engineer in Sales,” he shares. “After that, I moved into delivery, implementing our software at customer sites. Then I moved into Support because I enjoyed problem solving, working with customers, and wanted to expand my knowledge of SAS architecture. It was here that I also moved into my first leadership role. After that, I jumped back into R&D to join Product Management to help shape the vision, strategy and roadmap for our products and solutions."

And today, Tom is just a few months into yet another exciting new role as Sr. Manager, Pre-Sales Support in our Cloud and Information Services (CIS) division, leading a team of presales architects to support customer advisors with technical questions about SAS Cloud. He’s passionate about spending his time on work that makes a difference. “We’re all here for a finite amount of time. We spend so much of that time at work – so let’s make sure that what we’re spending our time on is making a difference. At SAS, I know my work is making a meaningful impact.”

“It’s a great time to be at SAS,” Tom explains. “We’re approaching an IPO in 2024, and SAS Cloud/Viya 4 is the future of our company. I’m excited to support our customers in their journey to Viya 4!”

“We’re all here for a finite amount of time. We spend so much of that time at work – so let’s make sure that what we’re spending our time on is making a difference. At SAS, I know my work is making a meaningful impact.”

Internal Mobility

Throughout Tom’s career at SAS, he’s taken advantage of the plethora of career mobility resources available, including meeting with our internal career coach. “Internal mobility at SAS has been very flexible,” explains Tom. “My leadership has always been supportive and has encouraged me to pursue different opportunities within the company.”

Tom’s advice for making a move? Start by identifying your “why.” “Think about your “why” – why are you working? What are you in it for? And then design a journey to help you get there. It won’t be done in a year or two – it’s a long road – but if you have short and long-term goals and trusted mentors, you’ll get there,” Tom says. “Once you know your “why,” you can find folks to help, folks who are in in the role you’re interested in.”

Tom has also benefitted greatly from mentorship: “I’ve served as a mentor to others and have mentors myself,” he shares. “Everyone at SAS is so friendly and approachable; but it’s up to you to reach out, come prepared and let them know how they can help. At the end of the day, you have to take ownership of your career.”

Living the #saslife

What first attracted Tom to SAS is also what has kept him here after all these years: “SAS values family and work/life integration, and there’s a strong focus on well-being,” he shares. “The people here are the best part about working at SAS. I’ve built up a lot of amazing relationships.”

"SAS has grown with me thought the different phases of life," Tom reflects. "My colleagues have really been my family - it was my home for the post-college transitional years, and SAS has been with me through graduation, marriage and kids. I'm invested in the people here, and I know others are invested in me."

Outside the Office

The La's family pup, Gus Gus!

The La family

Outside the office, you’ll find Tom and his wife keeping up with their three busy boys – ages 8, 4 and 1 – and tackling home improvement projects. The La family also enjoys spending time outdoors at Raleigh’s beautiful parks and hitting the trails at Umstead with their terrier mix, Gus Gus (a pandemic pup!).

 

 

Share

About Author

Alyssa Grube

Sr. Associate Communications Specialist

Alyssa Grube is a Sr. Associate Communications Specialist focused on employee programs, culture, and employer branding. She’s passionate about the intersection of people + brand, and loves sharing the SAS story with the world. Seriously, ask her about why she loves SAS – just grab a coffee first.

6 Comments

  1. Sharon Stanners on

    Wow Tom!! I've always enjoyed working with you but had no idea you'd been involved in so many different areas at SAS. I was happy to be able to "catch up with you" via this article!

  2. Tom has always been a great Career Mentor to others and was a part of the pilot Career Circles program. He is a fantastic leader with a passion for growth and career development for himself and others!

  3. Great story Tom! I've always enjoyed when our paths have crossed, and I'm not surprised at all to see you've had such a great career journey!

Leave A Reply

Back to Top