A community connecting leaders of SAS User Groups

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SAS Employee
Posts: 92
UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

Hi Users Groups Leaders! I am hoping to get your personal feedback on why you decided to be a leader for a users group. 

 

What personally drives you to volunteer for this position? For example, do you get personal satisfaction in helping someone learn something new? 

 

If you don't feel comfortable commenting on this thread, feel free to email me your responses. 

 

Thank you for all your time and effort to make users groups successful! 

Contributor
Posts: 71
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

I help with an in-house group.  While SAS conference proceedings and the Communities forums are helpful, there are questions / problems / concerns specific to how SAS is installed here at work, and how SAS is used here.  We have an Office 365 group with about 500 members.  It's amazing to see how quickly most questions posted to the group get answered.

SAS Employee
Posts: 92
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

That's awesome @SuzanneDorinski!

 

I'd like to know what motivates you to take the time and effort to help with the in-house group versus just being a member of the group and attending meetings. 

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

Yes, I get personal satisfaction in helping someone learn something new. In order to have a LUG someone has to help with the grunt work, so I'm glad to, sort of paying it forward.

 

Contributor
Posts: 71
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

Second that.  I've learned  a lot from conference papers, or from questions others have asked.  I'm willing to help out where I can.

Contributor BBO
Contributor
Posts: 30
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!
For our in-house user group, I participate because I feel SAS is a good solution for much that we do. With users spread throughout the country using various parts of SAS (about 1500 SAS users), we need to have coordination to share and network among ourselves. Additionally participating in the leadership is a good way to get to know other SAS users and their solutions that I might otherwise not be in contact with.
For the regional user group (SESUG), I participate on the Executive Council because I feel it is very important to have a meeting that promotes sharing of SAS users from various industries close to home in a smaller scale than international conference.
My participation in user groups at all levels has resulted in life-long friendships and a directory of persons-with-knowledge than be called upon to continually enhance my own SAS knowledge and application. Participating in leadership lets me share my experience with others.
SAS Employee
Posts: 92
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

Thank you for giving your prespectives on this. It's nice to hear and see the underline theme being about paying it forward! 

 

If anyone else would still like to give me their feedback, please feel free!! 

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!
Please call me for feedback - 917-375-2937
Contributor
Posts: 30
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

Hi Natasha,

 

I initially volunteered to serve as a section chair at PharmaSUG because it was the only way I could reliably guarantee that my then-employer would approve my trip to the conference.  They felt the business case was stronger if I were presenting or otherwise involved in organizing the conference than if I were simply attending.

 

As I got more involved, I found I actually got more out of the conferences.  In particular, the networking value skyrocketed.  I had previously found it difficult to make meaningful connections as an (introverted) attendee.  Working on the conference committee for PharmaSUG, MWSUG, and SAS Global Forum improved both the quantity and quality of the relationships being built.

 

When I began consulting independently about 5 years ago, having a strong and robust professional network became an absolute necessity.  In fact, I don't know that I could have made the jump to independence without the connections I made through my involvement in SAS user groups.  All of my work has come from word-of-mouth, but several of my best contracts (including my very first one) developed out of relationships forged while serving as a user group leader.

 

Josh Horstman

SAS Employee
Posts: 92
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

@jmhorstman that is amazing to hear! I'm so glad users groups has helped you grow personally and professionally.

Moderator
Posts: 246
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

@NatashaCollins,

 

Here are some of my reasons:

  • I like to connect with other users;
  • I like to help peel back issues & angst to understand (and sometimes help them understand) the actual issues - the causes, rather than the symptoms;
  • I like the "light bulb" moment when they realise a solution to a problem they've been stuck on;
  • I like the peer recognition - being recognised as someone to ask;
  • I'm looking for a way to differentiate myself.

I hope this helps.

 

 

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!
Please call me and I can provide feedback.

Steve Sloan
917-375-2937
SAS Employee
Posts: 92
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

@stephensloan I will send you a private message to coordinate a good time to connect over the phone. Thank you! 

SAS Employee
Posts: 92
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

Thank you @AndrewHowell for your feedback! 

PROC Star
Posts: 1,269
Re: UG Leaders - need your feedback please!

I agree with many of the motivations that others have mentioned.  But to be honest, I think the final motivation for me to join the BASUG Steering Committee was guilt. 

 

Early in my career, I benefited tremendously from UG meetings (in particular NESUG and SUGI).  I learned a ton about SAS, and the SAS community.  That networking led to a job offer at an employer who encouraged me to contribute to meetings, and I learned just as much from presenting as I did as an attendee.

 

When NESUG folded a few years ago, it was a wake-up call for me.  I realized I had been benefitting tremendously from the hard work of many many volunteers from the first "generation" of SAS programmers, many of whom were approaching retirement age. Other than participating iin online communities, I hadn't been giving much back to the SAS community.  Having lost NESUG, I didn't want to risk losing BASUG as well.  I benefited so much from UG meetings, thanks to those who came before me, I wanted to help those coming up now.