Career Corner Blog Posts
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TammyPowlas
Active Contributor

In the 8th grade I checked out a book at the library and one of the careers listed was "systems analyst".  It was a picture of a person analyzing green and white paper computer printouts.  I thought that would be an interesting career for me.

In college, I wasn't sure if I wanted to major in engineering or accounting.   10 hours of engineering calculus made me think accounting was for me.  So I majored in Accounting.  The good news is that 10 hours of engineering calculus gave me confidence to do anything.

I was very fortunate in my junior year to land an internship in internal auditing at the Federal Reserve.  Everyone was wonderful and it was a great experience. 

After college, I worked in various positions in auditing but landed in "Microcomputer Support" in IT.  Little known fact, I was one of the first people to install what was then called a microcomputer in the Jackson County Sports Authority (home of the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals).

I was fortunate to also work in the FDIC in various positions such as budget analyst, programmer analyst and finally "systems accountant" marrying both my interests.  The FDIC supported my dream of obtaining a masters degree in IT at George Washington University.  To this day I always remember the first words of my professor there "before you call a meeting, create a cost benefit analysis of that meeting, and see if you still want to meet". 

As a capstone project, we put together a systems design for the DC Planning and Zoning Commission.  We created a prototype using VB Basic and created ER diagrams using an Oracle product at the time.

I moved on to property/fixed asset reporting at telecom company, using SAS on the mainframe.  In the midst of that job, I was asked to write scripts for an ERP solution, specifically for fixed assets and project accounting.  Of the 30 people on the selection committee, it was 100% for SAP.  I've been working with SAP ever since.

I enjoyed implementing SAP projects and fixed assets, learning to write functional specs, and even back then we used LSMW's to load and fix data.

I did consulting for a few years and then it was back to being a SAP customer in the defense industry.  I remember the big challenges of moving to "EnjoySAP", the enterprise portal and even upgrading to NetWeaver.

In my current job as a business analyst I have worked on migrations, several upgrades (including S/4HANA).  Thanks to the SAP Community, I was able to visit both Australia and South Africa for conferences.  It's great to pay it forward and always learn more. 

Some favorite SAP products:

1. BW - I found this easy to use, easy to learn and I enjoyed the work

2. Data Services  - it saved me so much from complicated data migrations

3. SAP Analysis Office - easy to use/learn/consume

Some opportunities for improvement:

1. always be learning 

2. look for certifications outside of SAP - for example, I am a CPA and PMP.  

3. get engaged in SAP user groups

4. engage in other professional volunteer opportunities - for me, this includes volunteering for PMI and at one point my local library

5. share the knowledge  - the more you give, the more you learn.  Pay it forward

6. formal training in your area is good to have; I believe in formal education (hence my master's degree)

7. "step outside your comfort zone" - for example, in the past few years I participated in SAP Devtoberfest, even though I am not a developer.  So when another developer says to you "I tested this using Postman" - you know what they mean

picture from a previous ASUG conferencepicture from a previous ASUG conference

 

2 Comments
StephanieMarley
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

@TammyPowlas I'll share too.

Some of my favorite SAP products

1. SAP BW is where I started my career with SAP in earnest. I am analytical by nature, and it opened up my mind to ERP which helped me bring together my training as a supply chain manager with SAP's unique market proposition.

2. SAP Concur is a product I use successfully before, during and after I travel. 

3. SAP Analytics Cloud is how I am able to see metrics and data to help analyze how to achieve better outcomes.

Areas to improve is continuous learning and to always stay on the latest with learning.sap.com

#careerjourney #networkandlearntogether

 

JuanCGarciaG
Discoverer

Tammy

You do not know me, I saw you once in my life in a conference in Las Vegas, and at the end of the day, who cares who I am. 

However, I need to say that in life we get to know silent warriors that may not ended up having a statue to honor their achievements, in particular after they are no longer with us.  

You are a professional live well lived. What an example of selfishness, willingness to always assist, and to share your expertise at every professional corner of your life.

I have read and served from some of your blogs, as my area of expertise is way limited compared to all the areas that you have covered for many years.

I hope the reward you receive becomes immense in due time.   Many thanks from this unknown reader,  and I dare to capture the same gratitude from the ones who have taken advantage at every letter you have placed on the web and more. 

Juan