Women at Liftoff: Marlene Arroyo, VP of People Operations
This March, we are celebrating Women’s History Month across all the Liftoff offices around the world and highlighting some of the amazing women that work here in a series of blog interviews. In this interview, please get to know our VP of People Operations, Marlene Arroyo.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by the different stages of life. I am thrilled about learning and growing from simple things like driving a stick shift, gardening, or more involved jobs like balancing a fulfilling career and motherhood. When new challenges present themselves, I am so excited to figure out how to achieve them. I believe learning is what life is all about!
What woman inspires you, and why?
All mothers, particularly my mother, inspire me most. The amount of decisions that mothers have to make in a day is incredible. Whether a mother is running the boardroom or her household, the triaging she has already done before walking through the door is superhuman. In addition, I admire a working mother’s ability to be both nurturing and decisive, all in one. We need to give mothers more credit for this.
For instance, my mother raised six children, worked full time, instilled faith, and taught us independence, all while cooking fabulous meals. Most importantly, she encouraged her children to achieve great things while not sacrificing integrity.
If you could meet any woman, alive or deceased, who would you meet and why?
I would love to have dinner with Michelle Obama because she’s smart, classy, and leads by example. As our first lady, she wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeve when things needed to get done. Her “Let’s Move” initiative was inspiring to me because I, too, believe that our children are the future, and child obesity is preventable. Children respond well to education, attention, and fun. And in my opinion, Michelle mastered all three of these things with confidence and grace.
Fun fact about you that few people know?
I love the theater. There is something therapeutic and exciting about stories coming to life through movement. The movement of sound, body, and spirit come together right before your eyes!
If you weren’t in the mobile industry, what would you be doing?
I love working on all things people operations in the tech industry. Outside of that, I would be a performer in a symphony orchestra. My weapon of choice would be the clarinet. During my formative years, I played in a marching band and orchestra but stopped playing when life got in the way. In 2018, I serendipitously reconnected with this passion via our company’s talent show “Liftoff’s Got Talent.” I now play regularly and look forward to continuing this passion with my son.
What is one thing you wish you knew ten years ago?
Don’t overthink or second guess yourself. The present moment is the one thing you can count on. Traveling, investing, trying something new, or moving to a new place, are all excellent ideas to act on without overthinking.
Can you share some self-care habits that help you be the best version of yourself?
Massages. I am a massive supporter of quiet, undisturbed time while caring for my health. After my monthly massage, I instantly feel energized, creative, and rejuvenated. I tend to reflect and think of big ideas during and after this time alone.
What is the #1 resource you recommend to women?
Listening to podcasts is a great and easy tool I use to learn and be inspired. Mainly, NPR’s How I Built This, which interviews founders of some of the world’s best-known companies, is one of my favorites. It highlights so many inspiring entrepreneurs who overcame doubt and persevered to give birth to products and services that we can’t live without today. I am inspired by the amount of grit these entrepreneurs push through. When I want to get fired up, this is my go-to podcast.
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