I’m so very glad that my first post back from maternity leave is a Behind the Scenes with Krysten Gentile, community manager and a teammate I immediately bonded with when she joined our team.

She is a professional with an infectious “can do” attitude, collaborative and adventurous who always seems to have a smile on her face. Please read our interview to learn more about our very own ‘rock star’, Krysten. Krysten & Bradley.jpg

Krysten; please share a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and still live here, conveniently near SAP Americas Headquarters. I live with my husband John, our son Bradley and our Yorkshire Terrier, Bella.

My hobbies have changed slightly since Bradley joined us. I am now a dinosaur enthusiast and very skilled with remote toy cars, trucks- anything with wheels.

Did you know that the largest tooth of any dinosaur found is from a T-Rex? It is estimated to have been around 30cm (12in) long!

When I do have some free time, I enjoy going to the gym, reading, binging on TV series like Game of Thrones & Scandal*. I also really love to travel, but winter is coming…..

Gali: Note to self, watch Scandal…

Pictured: Bradley and Krysten in their beach town which is between Atlantic City and Cape May, New Jersey

Tell us about your group and role: I started at SAP back in 2007, and was actually hired by our Digital Experience Vice President, Malin Liden. I supported Malin on the SAP Services, Sales Enablement team.

I joined the Community team under Jeanne Carboni in 2012 as a Community Manager. My current focus is on: Community surveys, communications and change management for 1DX as well as Community enablement. I love being a part of this team and having the opportunity to meet so many SAP professionals worldwide- virtually and at events. I’ve also learned so much about communities, reputation programs and social media in general.

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Pictured: Marilyn Pratt Caroleigh Deneen Jeanne Carboni Oxana Noa Zubarev with Krysten at SAP Americas Headquarters

Can you share an interesting project you’ve worked on? I’d have to say that my most interesting project to date was SCN’s 10 year anniversary celebration. (The Rock Star Blog campaign is a close second).

The 10 year anniversary project was an amazing experience. I had the pleasure of planning the events and activities leading up to TechEd 2013. In order to celebrate this huge milestone, I planned for almost an entire year. To commemorate we launched the Real Founder of SCN poll, an SCN and Me Blog Competition, an interactive history wall, sticker badges and a gamification mission. It was by far the most fun and rewarding project of my SCN career to date!

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Gali: Pictured here: SCN is 10 celebration at TechEd in Las Vegas which many attendees claimed was the best SAP TechEd ever!

Please help us grow from your personal experience; share one tip/ resource/ guide/ experience that you recommend after finding it helpful: Tip: never let your fear decide your fate.

After I graduated from college, I found myself working for a Fortune 500 company that looked really good on paper, but I loathed going to everyday. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) was in a similar predicament. We always talked about dropping everything to travel the world. Unfortunately, as Americans, we only average about 2 weeks’ vacation per year. So we both resigned from our positions and traveled to 13 countries in Europe for a month. Our friends, family and co-workers thought we were crazy! But it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I feared that I would not be able to find a job when I returned, but doing so actually landed me at SAP a few years later. With more than 2 weeks of vacation time. 😉

Since then, we’ve caught a serious travel bug and have been to Australia, New Zealand, back to Europe, Bora Bora, Mexico, Antigua, the Bahamas, numerous US states and Hawaii- which feels like a another country since it’s a 13 hour plane ride from New York. Next up? Africa, Asia, South America

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Pictured: John at Château de Chambord, Loire Valley, France

I asked Krysten her personal philosophy and have to admit I completely connect to it: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel- Maya Angelou

The next four questions are taken from the Actor Studio interview questions:

  • What is your favorite word: stegosaurus, kidding! I’d say it’s a tie: smile or laugh.
  • Least favorite word: terrorism
  • What sound do you love: Bradley’s laughter. He manages to stop people with his laugh everywhere we go.
  • What profession other than yours would you love to attempt: Novelist, Pediatrician, United Nations Ambassador, Winery Proprietor

What do you do to relax? Exercise- spinning, lifting weights, boxing, cardio dance.

Or wine. Red or white, I don’t discriminate. Although lately I’ve really been into Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region.

What would the community be surprised to learn about you? I struggle with this one and fear that I am not all that interesting 😉 I’d say that I was part of my high school’s rowing team. I competed in 1500 and 3000 meter regattas and have a few medals to prove it. Majority of our races were on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. As a freshman team, we were invited to participate in a Regatta on the Potomac River in Washington D.C. Our usual coxswain could not join us, so we used a substitute who didn’t have much experience. Unfortunately, she guided us onto the rocky river bank, where we were forced to abandon ship and push our boat back on course. Super embarrassing for a bunch of 15 year olds in our nation’s capital. 😆 Krystenandboat-house-row.1.jpg

Pictured: Boathouse Row in Philadelphia

Is there something that you wish you could stop doing? I wish that I could stop indulging my sweet tooth. I really do love sugar, particularly chocolate. Between the chocolate and the wine, it’s a good thing that I enjoy exercising!

What is your favorite book, or share the last book you read? I haven’t had the chance to read much lately. So the last book I read was a bunch of short stories in Dr. Seuss’s Big Orange Book collection.

Gali: Hmmm is it strange that I’m reading Dr. Seuss now too 😉

I’ve seen you active in the Coffee Corner Space, do you have a favorite post or experience there you’d like to share? I can’t say that I have a favorite post to share, but rather my experience in the Coffee Corner has been enlightening. It’s a space where there are very few rules. Any member can talk about anything. You are guaranteed to find a joke of the day on Fridays or witness a very spirited conversation or rant. It’s almost like going to a Happy Hour during the work day.

I believe Krysten’s warm, optimistic personality and collaborative nature comes through in her responses. It certainly comes across in the team quotes below:

  • “Krysten is the consummate team player, always ready to jump in and help, especially when it benefits the community. Her drive to bring quality improvements to blogs on SCN led to the Rock Star video and mission, a successful drive for improvement by any standard!”
  • “Krysten is a great team player. Always keen to help in a professional and supportive manner”
  • “Krysten is one of the most collaborative people I’ve ever worked with. No matter how much she has on her plate, she always offers to help out. And she always delivers against her commitments. I don’t know how she does it! Her work is creative and professionally delivered – from SCN is 10 to Rock Star Blogger. Great contributions!”
  • “On top of being tons of fun to work with and the sunshine in any meeting, Krysten is creative, energetic and versatile. She remains optimistic in the face of challenges and has a can-do attitude that makes her a pleasure to collaborate with.”

Follow Krysten’s tweets @KrystenGentile

Be sure to go ‘Behind the Scenes’ with additional SCN Team members.

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10 Comments

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  1. Florian Henninger

    Wow, nice one. T-Rex knowledge.. this is a kind of double knowledge, just kidding 😛

    After that I suggested this is your favorite book, but Dr. Seuss’s Big Orange Book collection is also just cool 🙂

    http://agentpalmer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Jurassic-Park-book-cover.jpg

    ~Florian

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  2. Matt Fraser

    Krysten, so great to learn a little more about you! We share some interests, apparently. I have a few Marlborough sauvignon blancs (and other varietals) on my wine rack at home right now that I brought back from a trip last February, including a Wither Hills, a Rock Ferry, a Bladen…. already drank the others!

    But beyond the wine, I’m totally with you on the travel and exploration. Too few Americans take the opportunity — we’re too afraid of the impact on our careers — but it’s one of the most rewarding and enlightening activities anyone can partake of. No doubt you’ve seen the Mark Twain quote/meme (currently making the rounds on social media): “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” Africa and South America are at the top of my list for next destinations, and of course returns to Europe, Asia, South Pacific, Caribbean…

    I love the rowing story. 🙂

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    1. Krysten Gentile

      Love to hear that we have common interests, Matt! I am making a note of all the wineries you mentioned above! Hoping I can get them here in Pennsylvania. As of now, my favorites are Cottesbrooke, Villa Maria and Fire Road. But I am always looking to expand my repertoire! I may just have to travel back to New Zealand for them 😆

      So true about Americans traveling. And I love the Mark Twain quote you referenced. I wish I’d thought of it for the article!

      We’ll have to have a virtual wine tasting and talk travel. Unless you are in NSQ anytime soon?

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      1. Matt Fraser

        That would be so much fun to meet at Nuussuaq in Greenland (seriously, more travel destinations) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuussuaq_Heliport)! Oh, wait, by “NSQ” you didn’t mean the heliport there, did you? 😉

        Alas, I don’t have any current travel plans to Newtown Square, though we are working out a team training plan for the coming year, so who knows? But I’m always up for talking wine and travel! Lately I’ve been getting into the Corbières and Minervois table wines from southwest France, which are starting to make an appearance in shops in the US and are usually very reasonably priced.

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    2. Jelena Perfiljeva

      Matt Fraser wrote:

      we’re too afraid of the impact on our careers

      Careers?! After watching a season of “Strike Back” (available on Amazon Prime Video) I’d be afraid for my life! Much rather have just some wine sent to me from other countries. 🙂

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      1. Matt Fraser

        “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

        — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (in the voice of Bilbo Baggins)

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