My name is Carlotta Pacifici, I’m 25 years old and I live in Rome. Last November, I started an internship at SAS while completing my degree course in statistics at the University of Rome La Sapienza.
How it began
I first got to know SAS in the first year of my postgraduate course. We used SAS software in some exams, so I became familiar with SAS Enterprise Miner and SAS Viya. In October 2018 and October 2019, I successfully obtained certifications in both. My university course introduced me to the complex world of machine learning and data mining through a course taught by Professor Agostino Di Ciaccio. The course lasted about three months, and we used SAS software for several case studies. Professor Di Ciaccio was constantly in contact with the SAS Academic Program department because he wanted us to know about and use new software releases like SAS Viya.
Thanks to SAS Academic Program Manager Cinzia Gianfiori, we were one of the first university classes in the world to use SAS Viya for Learners. When we started using this platform, Professor Di Ciaccio was also learning about the full potential of the software, working alongside us. As part of the final exam, we had to build a whole project entirely on SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning. We also had to write a brief dissertation on the path we followed. This included preparing the data set, analyzing the variables and implementing a machine learning algorithm.
SAS also has a very efficient e-learning platform that enables students to study for certifications. This is called the SCYP portal.
Workshops, conferences and outreach: More about SAS and students
SAS has a huge outreach program for students. This gave us the opportunity to attend a SAS Machine Learning workshop at the university. And it provided access to academically prestigious certifications.
The machine learning workshop included one lesson taught by Agostino Di Ciaccio and two others taught by Daniele Riboli from SAS Education. Cinzia Gianfiori organized the event. She is very enthusiastic about helping students to achieve and learn through SAS. Besides in-person teaching, SAS also has a very efficient e-learning platform that enables students to study for certifications. This is called the SCYP portal.
One of the best educational experiences of my student life came just after passing the exam certification in SAS Machine Learning Using SAS Viya 3.4. I attended SAS Analytics Experience 2019, a two-day conference in Milan. This event gathered some of the most influential people in the SAS world, including CEO Jim Goodnight. I was able to attend this conference because Cinzia Gianfiori reserved three free tickets for the students in my class who passed the SAS Viya exam with the highest score. Those two days really opened my eyes to the potential for the use of SAS. I spent the time talking to a lot of people, including SAS staff, other students and professors. And I learned a lot about the use of SAS software in the real world.
What is next for me? I graduated in January 2020, and at the beginning of April, SAS offered me a one-year full-time contract. I now work as an analytical consultant on a team that implements machine learning algorithms to predict, optimize and discover new insights into our clients’ business activities.
This is a big opportunity for me, and I am thrilled to be working at SAS.
You can read more about SAS Academic Programs here.