A day in the life of a SAS Consultant

We recently caught up with a SAS Consultant, Phil Holland, who CK Clinical helped place within a new role as a contractor. We found out a little bit more about what his role involves, what the most enjoyable aspects are and what it takes to succeed in this career.

1. What is your background?

I have worked in SAS programming since leaving university in 1981. I initially worked within permanent roles, but became a contractor after being made redundant in 1992. Since then, I have worked in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in a variety of sectors including pharmaceutical, finance, HR, IT and manufacturing. My experience is very diverse!

2. What does your job involve?

My job mainly involves SAS programming. I work on the development of SAS code that creates analysis datasets, tables, figures, listings and electronic submission packages to be included in Clinical Summary Reports. I train other members of staff and ensure quality assurance with all of my projects.

3. What is a typical day like in your role?

My days are quite varied, but they usually involve advising other team members on how to solve data-related issues.

4. How did you get into your current role?

I was already well known within the company because I have in the past presented at PhUSE and SAS UK conferences. My agent and I contacted my current company to ask if they were interested in taking me on as a contractor – which they did.

5. How did CK help you get to where you are now in your career?

CK Clinical have been involved with three of my contract positions over the last seven years, providing support throughout to help me get to the roles I have wanted.

6. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy problem solving, and there is a lot of that involved in this role.

7. What is the hardest part of your job?

Avoiding office politics!

8. Why did you decide to pursue this career?

Originally, I began contracting while I looked for a permanent position after being made redundant, but then decided that contracting was better for me.

9. What type of job can this particular position lead on to?

This role can lead on to other jobs with greater responsibility, training more staff and developing more analysis.

10. What advice would you give to somebody considering this role as a career?

You need to be able to answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions:

  • Are you able to work independently?
  • Can you record everything you earn and spend in connection with every contract?
  • Do you like self-teaching?
  • Are you confident in your programming abilities?

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