General Manager, Data, Digital and Innovation
Allianz Australia Insurance
SAS Expands its Work Placement Program
Having run its Work Placement Program since 2005, SAS is now looking to expand and modernise the program by increasing the number of placements and the frequency with which it places students in customer sites throughout the year.
The SAS Work Placement Program is a partnership between SAS, educational institutions and SAS customers. The intent is to provide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students the opportunity to experience the workplace and gain valuable industry experience while contributing to their host employer with analytical skills and knowledge.
This is a unique opportunity for both us and the candidate. The graduates are energetic, enthusiastic, and have a fantastic attitude, and the program has helped us accelerate our data journey.
The demand for analytical talent is already outstripping supply. In the US alone the projection is three million unfilled big data jobs by 2018, and there are a lot of parallels in Australia.
By taking part in the SAS Work Placement Program, students are given a chance to be at the centre of driving the future of Australia’s economy. Through this program, STEM students are provided with the opportunity to join SAS customers and experience their world. This forms a critical part in helping prepare students for life after university.
Allianz Australia Insurance takes advantage of the skills on offer
A strong advocate of this program has been Allianz Australia Insurance.
According to Nagib Kassis, General Manager Data, Digital and Innovation, Allianz Australia Insurance, “Allianz has made use of the Work Placement program over the years, as the quality of the candidates has been fantastic.”
While some students go on to get permanent placements with a customer, SAS does not guarantee any permanent positions after the program. Full-time offers can eventuate however, and two recent permanent placements in the program with Allianz Australia are Kevin Wang and Sam Nguyen.
"During my SAS work placement with Allianz, I spent the first half with the Data Warehouse team, learning and understanding different types of databases and software within Allianz,” Wang says.
“I spent the second half with the Business Intelligence team working on projects to visualise data sets. The three months’ work experience was invaluable to me on a personal and professional level and I highly recommend anyone who wants to work in the data analytics or IT industry to take part in this initiative. At the end of my work placement, I was offered a permanent position with the Allianz Data Warehouse team.”
Nguyen found the experience of the program remarkable from beginning to end.
“I not only gained an extensive amount of SAS and business intelligence knowledge, I also learnt about various business processes and infrastructures at Allianz. Working in the business was an eye-opening experience. Allianz provided me with several projects to work on, where I applied my learning, skills and knowledge to deliver valuable results and solutions to the business.
“Everyone was welcoming and very supportive. Now I am more confident in my skill sets and I am looking to grow and pursue a career in business intelligence and data analytics,” Nguyen says.
Kassis concludes, “This is a unique opportunity for both us and the candidate. The graduates are energetic, enthusiastic, and have a fantastic attitude, and the program has helped us accelerate our data journey.”
Allianz were looking for SAS trained students and graduates in a highly competitive skills market.
Placements were such a good fit that Allianz offered students a permanent role.