What is a fun fact about yourself that people might not know?
In the Philippines, where I was born, it’s common to name a child using an amalgamation of their parents’ first names. My mom’s name is Maria, and my dad’s Nicasio – they were set on naming me Marnie. Fortunately, when they went to the city hall to register my birth, the secretary misheard and put my name as Marlene instead of Marnie, and I guess my parents liked it and stuck with it! I still sometimes thank my lucky stars for this, as I love my name!
What is your favourite thing about working at fusionSpan?
There are a lot of things I love about fusionSpan, but the one that really stands out to me is the company’s dedication to diversity and inclusion. A lot of companies will tell you that they are dedicated to diversity and inclusion, but you will rarely find it reflected in their leadership, their employee base, or their practices. With fusionSpan, I found all of these things. Take a peek at fusionSpan’s About page, and you will see what I’m talking about!
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I love weightlifting, yoga, video games, reading, and fashion. For video games, I love playing co-op games with my husband – some of our favourites are Elden Ring, Portal, DOS2, and Borderlands. For books, I am a big fan of George R.R. Martin and nonfiction (mostly memoirs and psychology books). Lately, I’ve been into sewing. I got this vintage Husqvarna Viking sewing machine from the 1960s that I love so much.
What are some of your favourite things about your job?
I love that my job affords me to be creative and collaborative. fusionSpan operates in 8+ countries across the globe, thus allowing me to have plenty of conversations and collaborations with people who bring with them such a rich diversity of experiences and perspectives. I truly feel lucky to be working with such an amazing group of people!
What has been your favourite project to complete since joining the team?
We recently overhauled our internal LMS, and it has been such a blast flexing my creative muscles for this project. The Training Team collaborated heavily with IT to get the technical setup completed and with Delivery to get the courses and programs created. Happy to report that we successfully launched the LMS on January 17!
Since joining fusionSpan, how have you grown professionally?
Absolutely! fusionSpan is my first experience not just in the technology space but also in the non-profit and association space. This afforded me a lot of opportunities to learn and see in action agile methodologies and business-to-business (B2B) processes. The professional relationships I’ve made at work have already made me a better educator and designer.
What are some hopes for your future at fusionSpan?
I hope to see fusionSpan grow even bigger in the coming years! I would like to see us continue to build on our identity and our core values and really lean on them as our northern star as we navigate around the many pitfalls and noise we will surely encounter as we continue to grow.
What do you think are 3 words to describe fusionSpan?
Fun, Collaborative, Global
Favorite Animal and why?
Cats! I have two cats – a Siberian named Winston and my domestic shorthair named Lexi. Cats are very much like people, and I find that very fascinating. From my two cats, I’m constantly reminded to respect boundaries and be more present and empathetic; otherwise, I will miss the clear signals that they give me that communicate what they feel. For instance, when I pet Winston, once he moves his head away from me, that means he’s had enough pets. If I’m not attentive to this cue, I for sure will get a well-deserved nibble on my hand.
Is there a quote or motto that you live by/ has stuck with you?
I recently read Michele Obama’s The Light We Bring, and in one chapter, she talks about how she strived for success despite feeling like an outsider in certain spaces. This excerpt really resonated with me and sums up why I strive for a high bar in everything that I do:
Whatever the signals in those spaces were–whether people saw me as different, or unentitled to be there, or problematic in some way, even if what I was sensing was unconscious or unintended–I didn’t need to let those signals in. I had a choice about it. I could let my own life, my own actions, represent my truth. I could keep showing up and keep doing the work. That poison wasn’t mine.
What is your favourite movie?
One of my favourite movies is Amélie (2001), a quirky French comedy about a young, painfully shy woman who takes care of the people around her in her own eccentric and loveable way but is also haunted by the loneliness that she sometimes feels. This film’s cinematography, musical score, writing, and acting are all so beautiful. I have watched this movie at least five times, and it hits me in the feels every single time!