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SANS Work-Study experience #SANSRiyadh

I was recently selected as a facilitator for a SANS Riyadh conference through their Work-Study program . I was chosen as a facilitator for SEC504: Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling with @Steve Armstrong.

Steve is is a great SANS Instructor with more than 17 years of Cyber Security and Incident Response. I really wish that I can attend a class with him again. I didn’t have the opportunity to have a picture with him but definitely will not miss the chance again. Don’t miss any class with Steve! Thank you so much Steve.

The Work Study Program is popular and competitive method of SANS training which allows a selected applicant the opportunity to attend a live training event as a facilitator.

A facilitator is a SANS ambassador who assists conference staff and instructors with the following tasks:

  • Conference set-up and break-down
  • Registration
  • Audio visual
  • Signage
  • Marketing
  • Evaluation Processing
  • Courseware preparation and distribution
  • Classroom monitoring
  • Evening session monitoring and evaluation

Day 0: All facilitators have to report at 4pm, the day before the conference starts and assist with setting up the venue. This was a pretty busy day, we unpacked boxes, prepared course materials, brochures, and handouts (LOADS of paper), set up signage and classrooms, and so on. The day was filled with a million of small tasks, but the work was amazing :D.

Day 1. The longest day 😀 My workshift started at 6am and finished around 9pm. The day started with welcoming and registering attendees, then moving into classrooms and helping people settle in, answering questions, attending to the instructors’ needs, and so on. The tasks was:

  • Relaying messages between instructor/students on one side and SANS/hotel staff on the other.
  • Handing out miscellaneous paperwork to students.
  • Responding to arising needs.

Days 2-5. Much quieter than Day 1, but essentially the same duties as above. Starting the day around 8am, finishing anywhere between 6pm.

Day 6 😀

Challenge time! The class was divided in five groups of 3-4 people each. Now, the idea was to hack the four laptops and got the four flags in the desktop! and WE DID IT!

All in all it was awesome. Great instructors (all very knowledgeable, passionate presenters and excellent speakers), high-quality course content, outstanding experience, tons of networking with like-minded people!

Thank you @SANS, Thanks Mr. Ned, Mr. Steve, Mr. Philip, Mr. Hidayath Ullah Khan, Mr. Erik, Sarah, Shahad, Mothna, and Yehya 🙂