Adventures with AnnaLiza

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv34946-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4823756347nu0mrjOnce upon a time lived a family of three, Papa Antoine, Maman Layla, and daughter Delarai. They lived in a small but gorgeous house. God had blessed them with many things including good health, lovely neighbors, and loving friends. There was only one thing that was missing. All members of the family, especially the daughter, wished every night upon a star, that they could have a new addition to their family. A nice little sister for Delarai.

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On March 3rd, a beautiful baby girl was born in a magical little city called San Francisco. She was 5 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches tall.

She was ready for a new home. Maman Layla, Papa Antoine, and daughter Delarai rushed to the hospital to meet the gorgeous little princess. During the drive to the hospital, Delarai chose a name for her little sister, “Annaliza”, which meant a gift from God. As soon as the family entered the hospital room, AnnaLiza turned around & gave a gorgeous smile to her new family. It was love at first sight.

In the first weeks, AnnaLiza loved to sleep. Delarai would stay next to her crib and sing lovely songs for her in French, Farsi

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and English.

She was called Annalisa by her sister, Poussine (French nickname) by Papa Antoine, and “Gomboloo” (Farsi nickname) by Maman Layla. AnnaLiza had lots of FANS. From that day on, Annaliza was called in many loving ways. Annaliza was sure special. So many people loved her.

AnnaLiza was sure a personality of her own. She was naughty, kind, and gentle. She sure knew what she wanted, and she was not afraid to ask for it.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-357-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;-57347nu0mrjAnnaliza had a lot of style. She looked good in any color and any outfits her sister would choose for her. She had a real sense for fashion, and she insisted on wearing the same outfits as her big sister. Annalisa sure loved to eat; she could not wait till the day she could start on solids.

On March 21st, AnnaLiza celebrated her first important holiday. That was the Iranian New Year. The family celebrated by cleaning the house, making a Hafsin, dressing in new clothes, and visiting special friends and family.

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Annaliza became really chatty when she turned two month old. She would talk for hours, her mother and the neighbors heard her say “Hi” at an early age.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-2-8-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;9-6347nu0mrjAnnalisa and Delarai shared a very strong sisterly bond unmatched by anyone except maybe Elsa and Anna.

She also had a real sense for adventure, mountains, forests, and the park, nothing scared her at all.

When Annalisa turned three months, Mammy and Pappy came all the way from France to meet her. They brought her beautiful toys and clothes. She specially appreciated French Fashion, and had a great bond with Mammy who promised she would take her on many trips.232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-4-8-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;-6;347nu0mrj

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At 4 months old, Delarai and Annaliza began planning a secret trip to the kingdom of Tonga, the land of Annaliza’s ancestors. Delarai suspects Annaliza could even the future Queen of Tonga. Located in Oceania, Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, directly south of Western Samoa and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. AnnaLiza began learning how to swim as soon as she heard the kingdom has 177 islands, so she can be prepared for their first trip. Luckily they had a pool with pleasant warm water where AnnaLiza could swim as much as she likes. She also likes to sunbath with her sister Delarai. Oh the beauties of a California summer!232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37353-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4857292347nu0mrj

On the day Tupou VI and Nanasipau were crowned the new King and Queen of Tonga; Annaliza celebrated being an American at her first 4th of July neighborhood parade!

Annaliza began eating solids as soon as her Doctor said she could. (Just a few days short of her 5th month birthday). She was a real gourmand, and absolutely loved everything given to her. Her favorite dishes were: Rice cereal, celery juice and mashed carrots.  She also loved to help cook!

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37267-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4993-59347nu0mrjAnnaliza even taught us some recipes from Tonga, like this watermelon drink Otai, and Kale Moa which is a chicken vegetable dish. She also loves pineapple.

Over all, Annaliza had a lovely first few months. Her family is looking forward to her six- month birthday, and her sister Delarai is planning many surprises for her to come. Annaliza has many aspirations for the near future. She hopes to try at least one new food each day, learn how to say hello in four different languages, and get a passport so she can go on an exciting adventurous holiday. She is currently deciding between the Kingdom of Tonga, Canada and France.

 

Where do you think she’ll end up next?

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4 TRUTHS ABOUT WHAT MILLENNIALS WANT TO SEE IMPROVED in their ideal workplace

Last week I started an exciting new venture at SAP, a fellowship for the Talent Marketing team under my mentor, Carmen O’Shea’s leadership, focused on attracting, engaging and retaining talented employees.

A fellowship is one of SAP’s greatest benefits and one of the perks that got me excited about working at SAP in the first place. It is sort of like an exchange student program, where you can work in a different team, on initiatives that could be completely unrelated to your current job. I am really excited to apply my marketing and communications expertise to better engage and develop our employees during the next six months and what more exciting way to kick things off with a heart to heart session with the North America SAP Graduate Academy.

This 10 month, cross-functional rotational training program is a combination of Undergraduates, Masters and MBAs who aim to create a DNA Shift in our organization with positive top and bottom line results by bringing in new skills and competencies to drive innovation. Since its inception in 2011, The Graduate Academy has hired nearly 100 early talents into the business and maintains a 96% retention rate. The program is comprised of four individually-tailored job rotations within Sales Support, Operations, Services, and other professional organizations. Interspersed within the job rotations are classroom-based and online learning as well as strategic projects. From week one, Associates are paired with seasoned mentors, former Associates, and coaches to support their ongoing professional development.

It is no secret that Millennials will comprise the majority of our workforce in 10 years, so recruiting and retaining Generation Y employees is key to our success.

We brought Associates from 5 major North America SAP offices: Atlanta, Chicago, Newtown Square, Palo Alto, and Boston together in a creative session where we applied design thinking methodology in discovering their pain points and generated ideas for making SAP the ideal work place.

I have summarized our key leanings from our session in four key segments and invite you to watch the video to learn what the graduates had to say about each. I feel that these insights apply to any company and not just SAP.

Recruiting

Millennials expect new innovative ways of engaging with potential employers and recruiters. They expect companies to dedicate appropriate Marketing dollars to showcase the novelty behind their products and services. Many expressed that an essential part of recruitment should be focused on showcasing why the specific roles would be appreciated, what kind of opportunities the candidates would have to give back to the community, and how they can be leveraged in SAP’s efforts make the world a better place.

Seamless onboarding

The Millennial value relationships, they want to know their recruiter will care to follow up with them and ensure they have a positive experience once hired and all the way throughout their career. Many of the Graduates expressed the current process at SAP leaves much to be desired for: often there is a disconnect between the recruiting team and onboarding teams, the communication flow to the candidates is not fluid and lacks consistency.

Engagement

Many of our graduates expressed the need to see more interaction from Sr. Management. They feel that SAP would benefit from regular networking opportunities in a more casual setting, and many asked for these opportunities to include alcohol and snacks.

Career Development

The Graduates put much focus on their desire to receive mentorship, growth opportunities, and transparency in receiving feedback from their managers and peers. Many expressed how they would put global citizenship above professional recognition, but everyone expressed how they would want to work on impactful projects, and would like SAP to provide them a clear path for their career growth.

By the way, here is a fun quiz you can take to let you know how millennial you are, check it out and let us know your score in the comments!

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Journaling my way to Entrepreneurship

During a leadership seminar last week, I learned about the importance of journaling in all aspects of life, including leadership and entrepreneurship. Growing up I was a journal junky but put the practice aside as I began blogging about various work related topics.  After the seminar, I realized journaling and blogging are still two different things; the main difference for me is that when blogging, I still have to keep my audience in mind, and write in a style that the audience can follow. When journaling, the main customer is myself. When I begin writing, I wont’ worry about grammar, spelling and structure, I will just get the words out as fast as I can and put my thoughts together.

During the seminar they gave us this outline for everyday journaling:

When I feel understood,  I…….

When I’m not at my best, I…..

What I really care about is…..

I suppose I can follow the above template or come up with my own.  So far my biggest challenge in wanting to launch ‘Chef Koochooloo’ is the fact that my thoughts are all over the place, and I have so many ideas and so many things that need to be done in order to get a product launched, that I simply just don’t find enough time to do everything. And I feel overwhelmed with even the number of emails I have to answer.

Perhaps one way I can get started is by coming up with my main goal/objective for Chef Koochooloo, and figuring out what my mission would be, then every day on my journal write about.  After that, I can prioritize on the list of things I need to do and how I will go about it.  I think it would also be helpful to write about one thing that made me happy that day, and one thing that brought me down (kind of like the exercise I do with my daughter at night).

So let me get started with the positioning of Chef Koochooloo:

 

Chef Koochooloo

 An international educational platform that empowers families to engage in fun interactive cooking games while learning about math, science and social responsibility.

With Chef Koochoolooo:

  • Kids discover new countries through recipes and fun kid-relevant factoids
  • Parents are guided to safely involve kids in preparing a healthy meal
  • Parents and kids can learn about world concerning issues and contribute towards social change

And I will end each journal with highlights and disappointments of the day.

Today, I was surprised by how unsupportive some friend can be, they make excuses for something as little as providing input.  On the other hand I am so surprised to see mere acquaintances that I met an event or a business meeting, are willing to go out of their way and provide support!