(The Cleaners will return next week)
My teammates at SAS and I submitted three models to a text analytics competition. Then I started my fellowship at SAS. Then we got first, second, and third place, comfortably beating the fourth place entry. It was pretty fun, winning a competition after only one day on the job, that day being the orientation. To be fair, it was a great orientation.
The SAS orientation had to be the best I’d ever seen, not that I’d seen many corporate orientations. A lot of it involved describing to us the various benefits available. A representative of the recreation center came and had us do a little workout. She joked about having us stand on one hand, and I asked her if she could stand on one hand, so she walked across the room on her hands for us.
We were a lot of people. Apparently this summer there will be around 150 interns and fellows at SAS. We were only half that group, which was coming in in shifts, but we still filled an auditorium. We learned that SAS is the largest privately owned company in the world. In fact, the food intern next to me, coincidentally named “Salmon,” had looked SAS up and said that it had recently become the second largest privately owned company in the world, edged out by Google.
Speaking of Google, the day before my SAS fellowship started, Google tried to recruit me, but it turned out that being “recruited” involved taking a battery of “technical interviews” that sound more like exams in that I actually was told I would need to study for them. Until I passed all these exams, I wouldn’t even be allowed to know what projects I could work on. It was difficult to get excited about a job at Google under these circumstances. The recruiter said he’d check in again at the end of the summer.
Another thing to know about SAS is that its England and Belgium offices are literal castles. Pictured above is the Luxembourg office. For whatever reason, the company deliberately buys ridiculous real-estate when it opens a new branch. In addition to office branches, SAS has some of the most picturesque powerpoint presentations I’ve ever seen. A professional artist designed the new employee tips slides. They looked like they could have been oil paintings of corporate ethics. The payroll instructions were chiseled into marble slabs for us to keep at our desks for quick reference. Ok, that one isn’t true. Also, the food intern next to me’s name was spelled “Samen,” but it was pronounced like the fish.
The rest is all true, really.