If you’re curious about why such a talented group of people choose to work at SAS, we’ll let them speak for themselves. All our employees believe in what we do – and understand that our innovation in analytics is only as important as what can be accomplished with it.
Sr. Manager, Advanced Analytics, R&D, SAS
What does it take to see the work we do at SAS as more than a source of income? It's about looking beyond the day-to-day tactical items of a to-do list, and connecting to the significant contributions SAS makes to the world.
Early in his career, Jared Peterson had a conversation that changed his perspective on work. "My mentor once explained that as soon as I realized the only thing I'm working for is a paycheck, it will be time to find somewhere else to work." But that isn't the only valuable advice Jared has received over the years.
"Other mentors have reminded me that as soon as I realize I'm the smartest person in the room, it's time to find a new room," said Jared. "But at SAS I'll never be the smartest person in the room. Everybody that works here is bright and could likely work somewhere else if they wanted, but we don’t, because we are solving problems that matter. We are in the middle of the artificial intelligence revolution. A revolution some compare to the likes of the technological revolution. As [employees of] a 40-year-old software company with a rich history, it's so cool that we get to be a part of it."
While some of the problems we’re solving are technical in nature, others aren't. Jared has experienced this firsthand through the medical professionals at the SAS Health Care Center, who occupy sainthood status in the Peterson household.
In 2017, Jared experienced a major health scare, which gave him a front-row seat to the power of medical image processing. SAS® software wasn't part of his specific diagnosis, but medical image processing is a SAS specialty. It was a powerful moment for Jared to recognize the magnitude of his colleagues’ work in his own life.
"We all have to keep our eyes open and remember that SAS is not a traditional or standard workplace," said Jared, who explained he'd previously worked in organizations where there was a constant uncertainty if the lights would be on or if paychecks would be received.
"This place is amazing, but it didn't happen by accident,” he added. “We have to remind ourselves that the work we do matters on a much deeper level, so that we can preserve it for the health of our families, our community, our customers and our society."
Principal Program Manager,
Corporate Social Innovation and Brand, SAS
How do you define your connection to SAS? Is it a collection of moments and experiences? Or is it the people? For I-Sah Hsieh that connection can be traced back to one moment in time and tied back to one person.
Ten years ago, at the height of the Great Recession, job layoffs were a standard news announcement. That trend had everyone across the United States, especially in the tech sector, nervous and fearful that their company and their role would be eliminated next. SAS CEO Jim Goodnight recognized that fear and made a companywide statement that would forever change I-Sah’s perception of work and his connection to SAS.
During the annual executive webcast, Goodnight made a commitment to all employees, promising that no layoffs would happen at SAS in 2009. In return, all he asked was that employees also make a commitment – to work hard and keep expenses low.
"I'd never seen that kind of loyalty and care from an employer, and that certainly changed how I looked at my employment here at SAS," said I-Sah. "It inspired me on a whole new level."
That moment challenged I-Sah to think differently about his own work and reconsider how he represented the company. At the time, he served as SAS' account executive for the United Nations, an organization dedicated to doing wonderful things for the world, but limited in its funding. By partnering with SAS, the U.N. can now use data and analytics to modernize disaster response, predict unemployment through social media and much more. Those achievements couldn't happen without analytics, but they also couldn't happen without an organization like SAS that cares deeply about doing good in the world.
"When you work for a company that cares so much, it creates this culture that keeps us from turning our backs on problems we know analytics can solve," said I-Sah. "I'm so grateful to work for a company that doesn't want to just tell great stories but wants to make it so that anyone can be part of the story and help create some new stories."
Today, I-Sah helps make more great stories possible through his work on the Corporate Social Innovation and Brand team. The team manages GatherIQ and identifies social innovation projects that tell the story of how data and analytics are helping to improve our world.
I-Sah's career path at SAS was marked by executive commitment and care to individual employees. That demonstration of true, genuine care for people has forever changed how I-Sah views his career, how he serves SAS customers and how he influences the world.
Program Manager, Work Life Center, SAS
A social worker at a software company. On the surface, the two don’t seem to go together. Why would a social worker work for a software company? But asking that question forces us to evaluate other roles at SAS.
Why would an artist choose to bring their creative talents to a corporate environment? Why would a doctor choose to work for a technology company rather than a hospital? Why would a Montessori teacher leave the classroom for corporate America? Why would a culinary chef choose a technology company’s cafeteria over a five-star restaurant?
Katie Pegoraro, a program manager in SAS’ Work Life Center, says it’s because SAS is a trailblazer in the model of workplace culture and support, serving employees through what Katie calls the person-in-environment perspective.
“A person-in-environment perspective allows us [as social workers] to look at all systems in a person’s life, and SAS really does that as well,” said Katie. “SAS looks at a person’s access to healthy and affordable foods, access to exercise, to nature, to networking and to skill building.“
When you combine the resources made available by SAS with the number of employees and employees’ family members, the reach of the Work Life Center is incalculable. Whether it’s helping children get a better night’s sleep, assisting individuals with their mental health needs or helping employees find a way to have difficult conversations about eldercare, the impact of Katie’s work can be seen on a micro and macro scale.
Those micro wins may be when an employee thanks Katie or her team for their assistance in some of life’s most challenging situations. But the macro wins – they can be seen every time SAS celebrates a significant win or achievement in the market.
While the Work Life Center isn’t helping to develop and ship our products, they are creating an environment where employees are supported and are better able to focus their energies, which inevitably creates better results for SAS.
“I never imagined I would have a job like this and that’s because, outside of SAS, there are no jobs like this,” said Katie. “When people ask me about the incredible benefits SAS offers its employees, I am proud to say that I am one of those benefits.”
Roles like Katie’s remind us that life doesn’t stop just because we come to work. Thankfully, SAS understands and believes that, too. Whether it’s our social workers, physicians, educators or our culinary chefs, SAS believes that investing in the whole employee experience is a workplace standard.
I have a passion for solving problems. Every day, I get to create something or make something better to help a customer.
Charles Shorb, Principal Software Developer, SAS
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