My Life, Lately, In Pictures

Hi friends (Romans, countrymen)!

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve updated all of you on what’s been happening in my life. I mean, you know all about my upcoming webinar on February 21st (if you’re a 90s child you know all about MTV and the requisite shameless plug), but you don’t know what’s ACTUALLY been happening. Huh? Huh? You following me?

One of my favorite bloggers, Liz Schneider, of Sequins and Stripes published a post shortly after ringing in 2014… about What’s Important. It’s something I’ve really been trying to focus on as well. Sometimes the stress of being a post-grad can really get to a girl. Everyone’s got problems, which isn’t to say that some problems aren’t more inconsequential than others (mine in fact, are quite small when taking in the big picture), but that doesn’t stop us from dwelling on them. Liz said it best… “It’s easy to get caught up in crap that makes you forget about what’s important. For example, the stress of a new year, new resolutions, and trying to fix things in your life that might not necessarily need fixing. The pressure of having a big career, the pressure to do more, the pressure to be happy – a new year ignites a lot of pressure to be something better than you were last year – which is annoying.” 

So here it is… my life, lately, in pictures. A montage I’m incredibly proud of. No shameless plugs in site, just an abundance of friends, family and food (hey, you can take the carbs out of the girl, but you can’t take the girl out of the carbs).

My New Year's Resolution? To Do More of This.

My New Year’s Resolution? To Do More of This.

From left to right:

  • In November, I spent a particularly windy weekend in the Windy City with my favorite group of people.
  • Later that month, Josh and I celebrated the nuptials of J&M at The Kentucky Derby Museum. It was an absolutely gorgeous wedding.
  • November also brought two of my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Fun fact: The two only overlap every 70,000 years. So the odds are zero that I’ll ever live to see that again. My family came to Cincinnati to join us for the festivities.
  • December shall be henceforth known as Snowmageddon. The weather was so bad, that the office closed mid-day one Friday. The Merk and I used it as an excuse to dine on this Banana & Nutella Waffle at Taste of Belgium.
  • I treated Josh to a trip to Louisville for Hanukkah and it turned out to be exactly what we needed. We went on the most comprehensive city tour: “Everything to See, Eat and Drink in Louisville,” stayed at the most gorgeous B&B (Ginny, the innkeeper was to die for), and dined at the 21C Museum Hotel Restaurant
  • Later that month, we packed up the car (and Markley) for a quick road-trip to Cleveland. We spent some quality time with friends and family and stayed until just after the new year.
  • Ringing in 2014 with the best of friends was definitely the highlight of the trip.
  • January is here and love is in the air! A few weeks ago, I celebrated the end of Chelsea’s bachelorette days by showering her with gifts and eating a few too many custom-made M&Ms (sorry the picture is a tad bit blurry).
  • The Polar Vortex has left me clinging to memories of warm summer weeks spent in Costa Rica and Israel. In lieu of my impending depression, I cooked an Israeli feast last night complete with chicken schnitzel, Israeli salad and Shakshuka (pictured above).


Here’s hoping 2014 brings you health, happiness and self-fulfillment.



Expanding Your Network: How Self-Branding Can Benefit Your Career

We hear it all the time: “The most important brand you will ever develop is the one you create for yourself.”

Last week was a series of bitter-sweet moments for me, as one of our Chief Officers said goodbye to itelligence after a 13-year tenure. Fostering meaningful relationships is a skill which cannot be easily learned nor taught, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. Prior to his departure, Mr. Chief Officer, left us post-grads with a valuable piece of advice: take ownership of your career because no one else will. In October, Forbes published an article entitled “6 Things That Could Be Hurting Your Personal Brand.” The number one self-branding mistake? “You haven’t clarified your purpose.” Both workforce veterans and young professionals alike often have difficulty articulating their M.O. (main objective). We’ve all been groomed from a very young age to be humble, to be respectful, to wait our turn in line; but if there’s anything I’ve learned from Mr. Chief Officer it’s that you don’t become Chief Officer in your mid-30s because you had a problem asserting yourself.

Networking is an integral part self-branding, thereby advancing your career and also contributing to overall “corporate brand” success. In this regard, networking is two-fold:

1. Specific steps consultants or industry professionals can make in order to self-promote and build a network within the SAP ecosystem.

  • Write articles and respond to articles to build your credibility as an industry expert
  • Ask questions and respond to questions on the SCN (SAP Community Network)
  • Apply to speak at industry and SAP Events

2. Cross-industry networking strategies that any post-grad will find valuable.

  • Create social media profiles that are purely a professional outlet (Twitter, Linked-In, etc.). Forbes comments on the “social-media sweet-spot”: A good mix of career accomplishments, personal interests, plus a dash of your personality without entering into the realm of TMI (too much information).
  • Brush up on your public speaking skills by discussing your career with college students and high-school classrooms
  • Be a “MOSTLY Yes Man.” Always be a volunteer or a champion for anyone who asks (with few, but necessary exceptions). Connect people with others in your network that could be of help too.
  • Don’t hide behind your computer. Go to industry events and parties. Be a spokes-model for your own career.
  • Always keep your business card handy (I’m guilty of not always abiding by this one… “I swear I have one somewhere in my purse!”)

Tanya Duncan, Senior FI/CO Consultant at Deloitte, and myself will be discussing this topic and more during our SAP Career Advancement Webinar. If you are interested in growing your career as an SAP professional, please join us on February 21st at 1:00pm EST. Highlights will include:

  • Best practices for SAP skills development
  • Dispel common SAP Career misconceptions
  • SAP career path tips

Registration for the web-event is now open and you can reserve your spot here:

See you in February (proverbially speaking), but talk to you soon!


SAP Career Advancement Webinar: Top Skills to Develop

Registration is now open for the SAP Career Advancement Webinar hosted by myself and Tanya Duncan. The webinar will be held on Friday, February 21st at 1pm EST.

Reserve Your Spot Here:

Attend to discuss:

  • Best practices for SAP skills development
  • Dispel common SAP Career misconceptions
  • SAP career path tips

Tanya Duncan is a SAP FI/CO Consultant with Deloitte Consulting and blogs She is the author of The Essential SAP Career Guide, a comprehensive guide for young SAP professionals.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tracy-Levine-Headshot.jpgTracy Levine is SAP Application Consultant at itelligence with expertise in SAP GRC. She is the author of the blog Diary of a Postgrad SAP Consultant ( and frequently writes articles issues of importance to developing SAP professionals.

Can’t wait to see you there!



GRC Conference 2014: “Everything to See, Hear and Do”

Recently, SAP Insider released the brochure for GRC 2014, the premier event for SAP governance, risk, audit and compliance, being held in Orlando, FL March 18th-21st. Fingers crossed (and toes!) I’ll be able to attend the conference this year, but regardless, I wanted to highlight “everything to see, hear and do,” my “it-list” so-to-speak for this year’s conference attendees.

SAP Insider also noted the “Top 6 Reasons to attend GRC 2014,” including: “Significantly lower compliance, audit, and reporting costs; Deploy, test and monitor controls faster and with greater ease; Prepare for and conduct more rigorous internal and external audits; Reduce and quickly remediate segregation of duties (SoD) violations; etc. If you ask me, those reasons are more of a comprehensive argument for deploying GRC  within your business. The number one reason to attend GRC 2014 is to be informed of the most cutting-edge technologies available for risk and compliance and to hear from experienced SAP professional and industry experts on how GRC can work best for your business and various implementation strategies and success stories.

The conference offers various tracks for individuals with varying interests (everyone has a different MO, which is why GRC works best when everyone participates).

What Not to Miss (as if your life depends on it!):

1. Track 1: Strategies, Trends and Updates in GRC: Panel Discussion: “How companies leverage SAP solutions for GRC to safeguard assets, prevent fraud, and comply with complex regulations.”; SAP Fraud Management Live Demo

2. Track 2: Security and Control Optimization: “Setting Up Security and Authorizations in SAP Process Control”; Case Study: “How Mars kick started its global SAP security governance program”

3. Track 3: Access Governance and Segregation of Duties: “Integrating SAP Access Control and identity management: Bets practices and lessons learned”; Live Demo: What’s new with SAP Access Control 10.1; “Practical tips for updating your rule set and mitigating the control library”

Track 4: Continuous Monitoring and Process Control: “Continuous control monitoring in SAP: Best practices for implementing automated monitoring in SAP Process Control”; Panel Discussion: “Customers share their successes and lessons learned from SAP Process Control and SAP Risk Management implementation projects”

Track 5: Risk Management: “Best practices for building a comprehensive risk management program”; “Take the next step in your GRC strategy: Building the business case for SAP Process Control and SAP Risk Management”

Track 6: Implementing, Upgrading and Integrating GRC Solutions: Check out the 3 case studies in this track (Nike, Sharp Electronics and Tyson Foods)

Track 7: GRC Reporting and Analysis: “An up-to-date guide to reporting and analytics options for SAP solutions for GRC”; “Configuring your system for optimal SoD analysis reporting, simulations and mitigation controls”

Track 8: Audits and Assurance: “How to keep your SAP audit approach up to date with the latest audit trends and global challenges”

Track 9: GRC for Finance Teams: “Enhance your financial processes with SAP solutions for GRC”; “Mitigate financial risks and automate the testing of financial controls using SAP Process Control”

Track 10: Legal and Regulatory Updates: “Critical tax implications to account for during your SAP implementation

Additionally, If you’re in Orlando, make sure to check out the hands-on-labs that will be set up throughout the conference. SAP experts and professionals will be providing real-time tutorials on the cutting edge technologies available with release 10.1. And don’t turn in early, you won’t want to miss the networking opportunities and evening receptions.

For more information on GRC 2014, you can visit:

Happy New Year! Wishing all my readers a year filled with only happy days (less advil and fewer GRC woes),