GSEC 401 Work Study

abnmiabnmi Member Posts: 66 ■■■□□□□□□□
So i applied and was chosen to help as a facilitator in an upcoming SANS Community event for SEC 401. I would really love to attend. What can you all tell me about it.


  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Regarding Work Study, SEC401 has by far the most rigorous requirements, because the labs after class can last so long. You'll be looking at 12 - 14 hour days in class, not counting the time you may spend in the hotel room going over material. You may also find yourself missing lunches depending on the setup. I had a much easier time Facilitating for SEC501 than I did Dr. Cole's 401 course because there was less lab work involved.

    That being said, I really liked the class and enjoyed the experience. If Eric Cole is instructing, his presentation/instruction alone is worth the $900. As far as time in class goes, I didn't miss even one minute and Dr. Cole treated me like just another Student. I missed zero in-class time and got the full SANS experience, and then some.

    Additionally, that first Work Study with SEC401 really got me an "in" with SANS. Since then I have never been turned down for a Work Study, and will soon be participating in my third SANS course in the last 14 months. ~$15,000 of training in for less than a third of that is a great thing!
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    I recently did a workstudy as well. I'll have to post my full review, but in short, it was a breeze. I am located very close to where it was held.

    I was asked to show up on Sunday to assist Tim G. with unboxing the books and setting up bags and tables. Took about 45 minutes total with the both of us moving quickly.
    On Monday, some light admin duties. Checking people in (mostly FBI folks) and giving them their badges. Some people complained to me about breakfast running out too quickly so not everyone had a chance to enjoy, so I made sure the staff brought extras for the next five days. A few also huffed about having to show their identification to get their badge. I gave them that "you're in a infosec class and you supposedly work for the DoD, and you are giving me a hard time about authentication that I ultimately have very little control over as a facilitator?" look, but in a nice way. I also handed out evaluations and practice tests.
    Rinse repeat for the next 5 days (showing up about 30 minutes early).

    The only snag was that I typically locked the room during the 1 hour lunch breaks, however the hotel's staff was extremely busy and couldn't send someone up to lock it, so I ended up missing lunch to staff the room. The hotel staff in their infinite generosity brought a small lunch up to the room and offered to hangout if I still wanted to leave.

    Great experience all around. Low time committment, meet new people, and discustingly discounted wares. I'm currently waiting for my voucher and ondemand materials to show up so I can begin studying for the test (GISP)
  • abnmiabnmi Member Posts: 66 ■■■□□□□□□□
    No i knew it was for the SEC 401. I was curious to see what a work study did during the event.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    Maybe he's asking about the Work/Study experience itself?

    I've done SEC 505 and 504 in Chicago, a smaller event. My experience was great. I just realized I never posted a review but in a nutshell this is how it goes. It is more or less the same for all courses.

    - Sunday: unpack books, shirts, bags, etc. Divide by course and prepare bags to b given to students the next day. You may be asked to assist with random things that need to be done. Nothing major though. This is a great chance to get to meet the other facilitators.
    - Monday: It's a bit hectic because you ave to there really early to get ready for registration. Facilitators will be in charge of registering participants and providing the bags with the books, shirt, etc.
    - Daily duties: provide daily notes to your instructor, make sure he turns in his lunch request, assist relaying info to the event manager (temperature issues, lights, AV, etc.). Instructor may occasionally ask for sutff. I provided mine with tea. In two occasions he was running behind and asked if we didn't mind working through lunch. He generously paid lunch for everyone and I was tasked with ordering and picking up at hotel lobby. Pass out eval forms and at the end of the day take them to the on-site SANS HQ and tally them. Instructor may want to see them.
    - Last day: assist packing up

    The longest day is the first one as you have to be there really early to assist with participant registration. After that all days are fairly smooth. You will also be asked to facilitate one or more night sessions (7:30-9pm I think) so be ready for that.

    The biggest takeaway is the opportunity to network with the SANS instructors, fellow facilitators, as well as other participants. The conversations that take place both inside the classroom and outside are absolutely priceless. To me, this by itself is worth the price of admission. I made it my mission to chat with as many instructors as I could. Another thing to keep in mind is that you'll get access to the OnDemand version of the class, MP3 recording, as well as an attempt at the cert. What a bargain!

    Overall an awesome experience. My duties did not interfere at all with my learning experience. I've done it the last two years and hope to do it again this Fall.

    Also see this review:
  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    abnmi wrote: »
    No i knew it was for the SEC 401. I was curious to see what a work study did during the event.

    I just realized this a bit ago, and updated my post to be helpful - Apologies
  • abnmiabnmi Member Posts: 66 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the input all. The event is a small one only the 401 class is being taught.
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Member Posts: 366
    That sounds awesome. My job is paying for my 2014 SANS training in San Diego (GSEC), but next year I want to go for GCIH and if my job doesn't foot the bill I'm going to look into work studying for it.
  • abnmiabnmi Member Posts: 66 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Trust me guys i realize this is a golden opportunity. I recently completed my CISSP and wanted more in depth learning. Currently i work for the Army and am trying to get them to count the event as work so i do not have to take leave for it and with budgetary constraints it has been exceptionally hard to get any training.
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