I was recently selected as a facilitator for a SANS conference through their Work-Study program. I was chosen as a room facilitator for SEC401 (GSEC), it will be my first SANS event, and this thread is intended to document my experience.
Work-Study program page provides a decent overview. In a nutshell, it is a program that allows individuals attend a SANS conference and a specific course at a discounted rate (~20%, $850 as of now) in exchange for their assistance during the event. Other perks include complimentary OnDemand for the course, access to other talks at the conference, and complimentary GIAC exam attempt (conditions apply).
The application process is easy, one needs to fill out a form on the SANS web site, choose a specific event and list classes in the order of personal preference. I applied 5 times, received no feedback for 2 of the applications, 2 rejection letters, and finally 1 acceptance letter. In the cases where I did receive feedback, it was 4-8 weeks before the event start date.
I was chosen for SEC401 (GSEC). This course was not my first choice, and I did hesitate for some time, but decided to take it, mainly to solidify chances of getting accepted to a 500-level course in the future. Besides, from what I gather, it is a very solid and broad course that will compliment my CISSP studies.
Again, a straightforward process. SANS sends a contract to sign, and requires the person to return it by a certain date. At this point I solicited my employer's approval and financial support to attend the conference, and once the training reimbursement paperwork has gone through the internal process, sent signed contract back to SANS and paid the fees. Once payment was processed, I received access to OnDemand materials as well as a detailed brochure on what to expect and plan for in this role. As I understand, GIAC attempt will be provided after the conference.
Reviews that helped me a lot in deciding whether I want to do it:
GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN)
SANS Workstudy, a day by day breakdown =)
SANS Canberra 2009 Wrap up