I'll be sitting for my GCDA cert in August, most likely. Looking forward to doing work study again, too, I hope.
I'm not sure what the criteria is for acceptance. At SANS Orlando I would say that easily half, if not more, of the participants were new to the program. To grasp the scale at a national event like this, there were about 30 or so work study participants, one or more for each class. Some got their acceptance well in advance, others not until a few week prior to the event. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the process, but that probably because we're seeing it from the outside.I've done it three times, but been turned down once out of the four times I've applied, so being a veteran is no guarantee that you'll be chosen. That being said, there were people in this cohort who have done it 5-7 times or more.It's a fantastic opportunity, but a tremendous commitment as well. You start the day before the event to prepare everything for the attendees. A lot of physical labor and long days on the front and back end. For the most part you'll have no problem attending class and getting the full benefit of the training while you're there.I feel honored and privileged to be able to participate in the program. It gives you insight into SANS that you would not normally experience, and allows you to totally understand the commitment to excellence and the customer that SANS, its employees and the instructors have. I've never experienced an organization like it.What's sort of funny is how every time I've participated in Work Study I come home totally exhausted, saying that I'm done with it and I'm not doing it again. A few months later I see the notification for the next year's event and I just HAVE to sign up. Once you've been a part of it you can't help wanting to do it again...