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University College London

Department of Management Science and Innovation

BSc/MSci Information Management for Business
SAS internships: summer 2010
During the summer of 2010, six IMB/ITMB students took part in the SAS
internship venture. The students were drawn from different parts of the
national ITMB initiative; and they included Daniel Holmes and Rebecca Gray
from the UCL IMB programme. This in their own words is their story.
Monday 24th May 2010 Assessment Day
Within days the Assessment day came about, it was the least stressful one I have attended - all the
employees seemed very organized and calm. The morning coffee and Danishes were great to get rid of
the initial nerves; especially after arriving at offices that I had never been to before and didnt know
It was followed by a group assessment which was a bizarre few minutes of working together with other
applicants and having to come to a final agreement. It was a study of prioritizing the importance of items if
lost a sea I only had my common sense seeing as I have never even attempted getting into a boat,
fishing or even camping!
Finally the morning came to an end with a rather informal, friendly interview. This allowed an in-depth
discussion of previous experiences and why I thought I would thrive within SAS... or even be fortunate
enough to get the placement.By Susannah Cunningham-Gamble
Only five weeks ago I received an email from E-Skills informing me of the highly sought after placements
available at SAS starting just a few weeks later.
Reading on about the six week placement didn't seem to have any disadvantages - I knew it would
definitely be my loss if I didn't at least try.
....Within just seven days of sending my application off I received an invite to their Assessment day which
seemed to come around so quickly and unluckily halfway through University exams!
In addition there were compulsory online assessments that had to be completed before hand - both
numerical and reasoning. These seemed so daunting; putting them off was definitely not going to make
them disappear!
Luckily the tests allowed practice questions which were just as difficult as the test, so lots of revision was
undertaken ... not as bad as some of the accounting modules I've had to do

By Susannah

The Start of the ITMB Summer Placements at SAS in

(By all of the ITMB placement students)
Wow it has been a week already!..
I have always been told that when you enjoy doing something the time passes very fast without you even
noticing it, well today I can say that it is completely true. It has been a week since we started our summer
adventure at SAS, and all I can say is that it has all been fantastic so far. In our fist day we had an
induction day in where we were given the agenda for the entire placement and our personal laptops.
This was followed by a two day course on SAS Enterprise Guide, where we learnt the basics of Querying
and Reporting. In our fourth day we were all excited but a bit nervous as we were going to be introduced
to the department that we were going to be working with. We were to be given a project that we were
expected to do for the majority of the placement. We were all separated and assigned in different
departments and different projects.
Here is a taste of what we have been assigned to...
Yashar Dadashnejad
I have been assigned to the Marketing department and my project is actually consisted in two little related
projects. On the first one I have to design and initiate recruitment campaign for membership on the SAS
Professionals social network, and on the second one I have to design and implement a campaign to
increase engagement on the network and measure this increase. It looks very promising and Im sure that
I will be working hard, like the rest of all of us, want to deliver the best results and take all the best out of
this placement.
Simon Yates
I have also been assigned to the marketing department. Similar to Yashar I have two interrelated projects
which both relate to the social networking site SAS Professionals. In the first one I have to take all the
member data and analyse it using the skills I have learnt in the Enterprise Guide course. My second
project consists of devising ways to interface this member data and the ORION database, producing a
presentation on my findings.
Daniel Holmes
I have been assigned to the MIS (Management Information Systems) department where I am to be
designing and implementing an automated sandwich ordering system via the SAS portal. This will mean
employees of the company will no longer have to ring up to order their sandwiches but simply open their
browser and do it from there. I hope to have the project completed by the time I leave the department and
in turn make it that bit easier for everyone to gain the infamous SAS stone that I have heard so much
about since arriving here.
Susannah Cunningham-Gamble
For the six week placement I have been assigned to the Education department working within a busy
office. I have been given the task to make their current system of Learning Needs Assessment electronic
and more efficient. For example instead of interviewing clients individually they will (hopefully if I make a
success of this project) be able to conduct it electronically, like in an interactive workshop.
So for the past two days I have been full steam ahead on this project as I know the days will fly by.
So best of luck to myself & the others!
...Also The SAS Stone myth is definitely true... so beware anyone joining! The food just keeps finding
Rebecca Gray
I am working with HR in the house and so far its been fantastic everyone in the team has been really
friendly and helpful and Ive been given a very interesting and challenging project. My project involves the
design and creation of an on boarding portal for future employees to log onto before starting work at
SAS. This will hopefully make them feel even more integrated to the SAS environment before starting

work here. Ill be asking many people around the office to fill in questionnaires and have short interviews
at the start of next week so I look forward to meeting everyone.
Jiten Patel
I have been assigned to the Education department working directly for Kathy Bean. My project is very
interesting as it involves working on the Expert Channel, which involves analyzing its content to reach my
fundamental objectives. My assignment can be sectioned into two different aspects:
Propose a potential price to charge for the Expert Channel subscription, once their current one finishes
in December 2010.
Once that has been accomplished, I will need to recommend an efficient and effective mechanism that
would take payment in a securely fashion.

I am extremely looking forward to getting deep into this assignment, and nurturing all the great experience
SAS has to offer.
And Finally.Weve all thoroughly enjoyed our first week at the company, integrating easily and learning
something new every day. Furthermore, we have enjoyed meeting all of the staff who have been very
friendly, helpful and hope to meet more over the coming weeks. This has already been a fantastic
experience for us and we look forward to bettering ourselves in the company over the next five weeks.

Understanding the Big Picture....Attending the SAS

Company Meeting
(By Susannah Cunningham-Gamble)
Thursday 8th July 2010
Much to our surprise we were invited to attend the annual company meeting, especially as we are only
here for six weeks. (Hopefully we will make a good impression & return after Graduation)
The Managing Director, Ian Manocha had centre stage and greeted everyone rather informally allowing
anyone to ask questions in order to get everyone idea a cross as he went along. He then went on to give
the updated information about the financial reports for each quarter; this enabled him to set targets for
each department in the upcoming months. Attending this meeting definitely put the UK site into context
and made each department more integral.
His tactic of setting future goals whilst praising current work seemed to please the audience. He went
through identifying the contribution of each department therefore making the work more meaningful to
individuals; this should then go on to push individuals to put more effect in for success.
In addition we had the opportunity to hear from the CEO of Memex (Intelligence & Information
Management solutions) - David Carrick who enlightened the audience with reasons for SAS acquiring
It was extremely informative (Not forgetting - a few giggles from both David & Ian throughout lightening
the mood) to hear in detail about exactly what their company has been working on.
To finish the evening it was announced that it was SAS UKs 30th Anniversary this year and presented
their long term serving employees with congratulations. On screen they displayed slide shows of the
employee letting the audience guess who, it was good to hear that people have enjoyed working for SAS

for so many years.

Favourite Quote from David Carrick "Memex applications are like Google on steroids!"

(Written by Jiten Patel)
To finish the tremendous first week at SAS, myself and a few other interns unequivocally decided to
attend the legendary Summer Party; known as the SASStonbury Festival.
I came along with my partner, as she was very eager to view the grounds, due to all my wonderful
compliments. We had an excellent evening, with the lovely food on the BBQ, ice cold drinks in the baking
sun, Ben and Jerrys ice cream and my personal favourite the chocolate fountain; it could not have been
This is when it suddenly dawned on me that the myth about the SAS Stone was true..haha...!!

Week 2 at SAS
This Week: Played cricket against Deloitte and were victorious by 6 wickets. We all had a wonderful time,
on and off the pitch. I managed to meet new people from different departments, which allowed me to gain
a brief insight into their daily operations. Then to top the evening off we had a BBQ with many different
types of nice foods.
My project is going well; made a significant amount of progress this week and I am now looking forward to
moving onto the next part.
By Jiten Patel
Well into the SAS life now and the first deliverable for my project is almost complete. I found out
yesterday that now my project has increased in size by one deliverable so plenty of work left to do! This
week has been really busy filled with lots of different things I even got to appear in the Reuters TV clip on
life at SAS! I am really enjoying the working life here at SAS as portrayed in the video, everything is so
nice, even if the rain has crept back in this week.
By Simon Yates
The first full week of the project meant interviewing and questioning the majority of people in the
department. I got a much greater response rate than I expected so would like to thank everybody that
helped. The portal is now fully designed and I'm now working on creating it - hopefully it will be finished in
the four days I have left! It's been great getting to know more people here and learning about people's
roles within SAS and everyone's opinions of the project.
By Rebecca Gray
Ive spent this week working more on my project and have managed to complete design and begin the
implementation. Moreover I have also begun to take part in activities offered outside of work within SAS,
namely playing football. This has been good fun and also allowed me to meet other people within SAS
from other departments.
By Daniel Holmes
This week I have finished planning and design for my project to increase the number of members on SAS
professionals. With this stage complete I am now beginning to execute it and develop a video along with
it. I have also joined football along with Dan although he thinks that he is better than me, I have shown
him how good the Spaniards are and how wrong he was. He is still young, therefore he can still practice
to become like me .
By Yashar Dadashnejad

To our delight we were invited to the SAS annual summer party which was themed to be 'SASTONBURY'
this year. Every department was discussing the event all week and definelty builded up the excitement.
Saturday: Arriving at Marlow I could hear the music and giggles from the car park - arriving in the gardens
was definelty a surprise. Everyone had attended and had brough their loved ones and children. It was a
great opportunity to mix socially with those within the company and meet their loved ones.
It was a fabulous day with the sunshine gleaming all day long, live tribute bands and to my delight lots of
Ben & Jerrys ice cream
SAStonbury was a great experience and introducing our loved ones to our work colleges made SAS
worklife so much more friendly.
Now lets get back to work! This week I have been absolutley thriving with work - a very productive week.
Completed lots of valuable reserach and had my first opportunity to do a live web confrence with an
external company - definelty an experience.
By Susannah Cunningham-Gamble

Half way through

Yashar Dadashnejad
Summer placement at SAS 2010
Marketing Department
It has been three weeks since we started this journey, wow! Three weeks! I can still remember the first
day as if it was yesterday when the six of us walked through the entrance doors into the reception area.
We were all very nervous with the butterflies in our stomachs, expectants of what was to happen.
Well, twenty one days have passed since then and I still feel the butterflies in my stomach every morning
when I wake up and I know that I am coming to SAS. This can only mean that either I have stomach
problems or Im really excited to come to SAS every morning.
The experience that I have had so far has been amazing. It has been so nice to work here that I have no
words to describe it. It is not about the place, not even the weather and nor the premises, although they
contribute, but it is the people that work here that makes it so special. I am really surprised on how
friendly and approachable people are here. They always have smiles on their faces. Everyone is willing to
help or answer if you have any problem or questions, and it seems that even though they are all busy with
their things, they always have time for you if you need them. How can I describe that?? Just amazing!
On the other hand the other five summer placement students are just incredible guys and Im so glad that
we all have connected so well from the beginning. We see each other at least once a day, eat together,
share our stories, discuss about our project, play football or even help each other with our projects, but
most importantly is that we have the best time ever together. They are definitely my little SAS family.
Now, talking about what we have been doing this week we have been on a five day SAS programming
course called Fast Track. The course is very intensive but very good at the same time. I wish all my
courses at university were like this. We have learnt in five days what we would have learnt in six month at
Uni. The course is designed to prepare us to take the SAS certification exam which by the way we will be
taking at the end of our journey at SAS. The course started with a very basic level of programming in SAS
and moved to a more advanced one gradually and smoothly, in a way that the student can understand
everything. As I said before the course is extraordinarily designed to learn how to program in SAS without
having any background in programming however I have to say that probably the best aspect of these
days were the fact that we had free food every day, and the worst aspect was that I was stung by a wasp
in one of the lectures.
These three weeks have passed so fast that we havent even had time to think about it, but Im sure that

when all this is finished and we have all gone back to our places, we are going to look back and are going
to miss all this very very much.

Week 3 SAS Certification for Base Programming (Fast

Week 3 was spent studying the phenomenal SAS Programming Language, here we covered many
different functions and started to develop our SAS acumen. As the days went, it became more and more
palpable how powerful this tool was, and how it could revolutionise and organisation simply from utilising
there data.
By Jiten Patel
This week we completed a week long crash course in SAS programming which will be followed by an
exam in three weeks time. The course was challenging yet once we got started our background in Java
and other languages helped a lot. I found it really interesting and enjoyable, with the exception of the
plague of wasps that, to my horror, seemed to be taking a crash course in dropping from the ceiling to all
around the desk where I was sitting!
By Rebecca Gray
We spent this week learning SAS basic. Although I had done various programming languages before,
SAS takes a different and more interesting approach to programming than what Im used to. It quickly
became apparent how powerful the language can be when a large amount of statistical processing can be
done in only a few lines. We will be taking the certification exam at the end of our 6 week stint here.
By Daniel Holmes
I have just finished like the others the five day basic SAS Programming course. We have just got to the
end of the 700ish page folder! Packed with theory and exercises! Now the fun part starts trying to
remember everything we have learnt in time for the exam on the last day of our placement! The course
was really good it backed up a lot of the things we had seen in Enterprise Guide while learning plenty of
new techniques also. We have covered so much in the space of the five days and now next week will be
time to start to consolidate all the new knowledge I have gained!
By Simon Yates
The third week has been very productive. We have learned how to program on SAS in 5 days, is like
learning a new language in 5 days, although it helped that some of us had some programming
background, but we almost had to learn the language from zero. I wish I had done this course before the
project that I had to do at University last year, because there are so many things that one can do with the
data in SAS that is incredible, but unfortunately most of it is not possible to do with Enterprise Guide
which is the version I have used at University. Im looking forward to next week as we have to work in
groups on a project and that is going to be a great fun!
By Yashar Dadashnejad
In order to utilize the few weeks that we have at SAS we have been put on the Fast Track Base
Programming course (Three week merged into one intense week). This enabled all the interns to learn
more about SAS software and in-depth about the programming side.
During this week we have had very informative and practical lessons which enabled us to apply the
knowledge. It has definitely been a lot to take in but the exercises definitely help with the learning. It was
also a great opportunity to experience the Education front end of SAS, we were in the course alongside
customers from GlaxoSmithKline and others.
As I am currently doing my project within the Education department it was great to see how they deliver
all their work to their customers. Must say thank you to Neil Constable who was our instructor for the
week, he explained everything well and enabled us to work independently on the exercises and let us use
our own initiative when troubleshooting. (This will be valuable as he wont always be by our sides!)

So now we are completing the course and have about two weeks until we take the SAS Certification
exam! We will definitely make time for revision and do our best as we know how valuable this will be for
our future. This internship is proving to be the investment it promised, and will go on to benefit us all.
By Susannah Cunningham-Gamble

Fourth Week at SAS

The full time working experience has definitively been eye opening. Up until joining SAS I had worked part
time for 2 years at Waitrose as well as various bits of work experience and internships. Initially after the
standard 2pm starts of university life, getting up at 0630 0700 was a bit of a shock to the system.
However after being reacquainted with Morning I have really got into the flow of things here at SAS.
As a group we have been very fortunate to have something different going on almost every week,
meaning weve had constantly different challenges. Being a keen sportsman, these challenges have
allowed me to focus my competitiveness (or stubbornness as the others kindly pointed out) on to
something productive. Subsequently I felt our team produced a top class presentation for the case study
earlier this week and hopefully I will be able to replicate this when I unveil my Online Sandwich Ordering
application in two weeks time. Furthermore the opportunities outside of work have also been fantastic.
Playing football with the lads on Tuesdays and Thursdays has allowed me to run off that energy build up
over the day. The guys are a good bunch and, in turn, I have been able to meet more people from around
the company and gain insights into other departments.
Although I still have 2 weeks left at the company I feel I have already learnt so much. Not only have I
learnt a lot through my projects and the SAS courses but also about myself and how I function in a
professional environment. I have learnt that my competitive trait in sport can also be very healthy in a
professional capacity if utilised correctly.
My 4 weeks at SAS so far have been fantastic and I look forward to thoroughly enjoying my final fortnight.
Im sure once I leave SAS I will look back very fondly on my time here and I intend to keep in touch as
much as possible.
By Daniel Holmes

Group Blog Week 4

The beginning of this week was spent working through a case study based on a fictional company. This
required us to analyze company data making use of SAS and enterprise guide in order to compile a
presentation and report to present to the board in three days. This definitely proved a great opportunity to
experience working in a team on a project in a professional capacity with a strict timeline. Furthermore it
was fantastic revision for the certification exam we will be taking in a fortnight.
By Daniel
Week 4: We were split into two groups of three, and were given a case study. The case study involved
many different challenges which me and my team enjoyed. At the end we presented our findings, where
we were given feedback on our performances. This was a great learning experience, which allowed us to
implement our SAS programming knowledge into a business scenario.
By Jiten
The case study this week allowed us to properly work as a team for the first time which was great fun.
Although we were split into two teams of three, the initial competitiveness soon wore off after it occurred
to us that the case study was a little bit more challenging than we first realised! The presentations at the
end went well and the feedback we received was really useful. However, after seeing the other groups
impressive animated presentation, our to the point attempt seemed slightly less inspiring! The end of the
week has allowed us to return to our initial projects after a week and a half break and it is now looking like
the portal is going to be finished in time J.

By Becky
This week we started with a case study which was designed for us to practise the skills we had learnt in
the previous week. The end result needed to be a presentation back to a board of directors (role- playing).
I felt the presentation our team came up with went really well and the feedback we received invaluable. I
hope that now with the feedback taken on board I can produce a good presentation for my final project
report at the end of the placement.
By Simon
This week we have been assigned three days to complete a group case study. Our task was to present to
a new Chief Executive of an organization and inform him of the current company situation in terms of
financial, products and customers. Some members of the groups found the programming part straight
forward with their technical fortes! Where as I did struggle with remembering the hundred and one pieces
of code we had learnt in the previous week But as a team we helped each other and pulled together
producing a successful presentation. Within the presentation we considered the business as a whole,
financially and possible further paths.
By Su
As my colleagues have said, this week started by doing group work based on a make-belief company.
The three days spent on the project allowed us to gain a better understanding of the SAS programming
language. I think that it was really good as a practice exercise. Another interesting thing to mention is that
this week we had a Themed lunch Mexican style, we had lovely Mexican food, and all the chefs were
wearing Mexican moustaches and sombreros, the food was awesome. All together the week was very
good and productive.
By Yash