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Aotearoa to America

Aotearoa to America

New Zealanders are being tapped to work on - and lead - some of the hottest, innovative business technology projects across the globe. We talk to two such Kiwis - Trevor Kearney and Michelle Wilkie - who are based at the SAS headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.

New Zealanders are being tapped to work on – and lead - some of the hottest, innovative business technology projects across the globe. But what kind of leadership skills should IT managers gather here, before heading overseas? CIO New Zealand talks to two Kiwis –Trevor Kearney and Michelle Wilkie – who are based at the SAS headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.

Trevor Kearney’s focus on operations research – plus his innate passion for maths – paved the way for working in one of the hottest fields in data science – high performance analytics.

Kearney is principal software developer, high performance analytics, at the SAS Advanced Computing Laboratory in Cary, North Carolina. The United States has been home to him since 1984.

Undertaking analytic tasks that were inconceivable years ago is one of the upsides of his job.

Today, Kearney describes himself as the “luckiest” staff in SAS, working in high performance analytics while also working on numerical studies that remain his prime interest.

In this video, he talks about his role – and why he remains a proud New Zealander.

'Think outside the box'

Michelle Wilkie is a software developer, On Demand Solutions at SAS, with a background in marine biology and statistics.

For young New Zealanders who are considering a career in information technology, she advises: “Make sure you have a broad range of skills. Be proactive, you want to be out there thinking of new ideas.”

“Thinking outside the box is probably the biggest thing,” she says in this video interview. “The job you ultimately land in may have nothing to do with what you have studied. But you learn lessons from there.”

“Just be open-minded,” she says. “Find something that you have a passion about. If I just stayed inside the box and not thought of opportunities outside science, I would have been more limited in my job choices.”

Divina Paredes travelled to Cary, North Carolina, as a guest of SAS.

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