To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Glassdoor will highlight several influential employees within the Latinx community across the marketing, engineering, product, and workplace experience verticals throughout September and October. These leaders are diverse, passionate, and driven, and are incredible examples of how the Latinx community isn’t monolithic.
Meet Glassdoor’s Senior Product Manager of Traffic & Growth, Alberto Aroeste. He’s a leader of the growth product strategy at Glassdoor, focused on bringing in more job seekers to experience the site and become active community members. Recently he led our D&I product launch, curating D&I products features to foster greater transparency into the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion within companies. Aroeste is also the business lead of LaFamilia ERG, helping to guide our Latinx employees to share their cultural narratives within the workplace and beyond. We sat down for a Q&A with Aroeste, to learn more about him and how he plans to celebrate NHHM.
Q: Share your career journey. What led you down the path of your current profession?
A: Before my career in Product Management began, I had always felt that the strong work ethic that my parents had instilled in me – being the son of immigrants from Mexico who came to the United States hoping to find the land of opportunity – was one of my most cherished qualities. While in high school growing up in San Diego, California, I took a job over two summers to work at Marion’s Fish Market in Seaport Village. It was there where I learned about hard work: taking full-day work shifts and sometimes overseeing the cash register, the deep fryer, and shelf-stocking duties on my own. It was also there where the kitchen manager Estela taught me how to be meticulous about mopping and cleaning dishes before being able to lock up and head out for the day. (Did I mention I learned how to make a delicious fish taco there, too?).
After high school, it was at Stanford University. I really found my passion for Business and Engineering and took classes in my major in Management Science & Engineering and the Product Design school. I’d also always had a love for live music, and was grateful for the opportunity to have been able to join and ultimately lead the Stanford Concert Network, where my team and I coordinated large-scale events with bands like Modest Mouse, Kendrick Lamar, MGMT, Big Sean, A-Trak, Broken Social Scene and more. My strong work ethic helped me manage through it all.
One day when I was at the Stanford Engineering Career Fair during my Sophomore year, I, like many other students, attended with dozens of copies of my resume hoping to land a coveted tech internship for the summer. I think I talked to almost every booth, whether I knew what the company did or not, and after multiple grueling days of pitching myself, I went back to my dorm feeling exhausted. It wasn’t until a few days later when George Bolaños, a fellow Latino and Stanford Alumni who was on the leadership team of Sony Ericsson’s R&D department in Redwood City, reached out to me saying that while he hadn’t spoken to me directly at the career fair, he had heard me pitching enough times while walking around that he decided to pick up my resume from a stack of other resumes on someone else’s booth (likely a company that wasn’t ever going to call me back). George gave me my first big opportunity to be a Product Management Intern at Sony Ericsson, and it was there where my career in Product began. And while I worked in Marketing (SEO) and a stint in Product Design after my internships in Product Management and after graduating college, I found my way back to Product Management, where I have continued to make my career.
Q: Speak a bit about your cultural background. How has your heritage shaped your professional and personal journey?
A: I’m gonna take you for a spin here. My identity? I’m a Mexican-American Jew. Makes for a fun icebreaker at a party. The truth is my family left Spain due to the persecution of Jewish people in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition and made it to what is now Greece/Macedonia. Then my family left their home again in 1914 to avoid being recruited to fight in WW1 by the Ottoman Turks, this time immigrating to México via a Transatlantic crossing to Veracruz. They still spoke Spanish from several hundred years before they lived in Spain, so they preferred speaking Spanish in México instead of living in the United States. My family was in Mexico City for 3 generations until my mom and dad moved to the United States to attend UCLA together, and shortly after, I was born in Los Angeles.
Throughout my academic and professional journey, I can honestly say it has been my family that has kept me motivated and inspired through it all. My parents, my connection to my ancestry, and my extended family in Mexico City have given me the greatest perspective I could have asked for, which has helped me forge the work ethic.
Q: Do you feel that Glassdoor has celebrated and supported your Hispanic identity and surrounding community, and if so, how has it successfully done that? If not, how could it do so better?
A: I feel very strongly connected to my roots, and I recognize how lucky and humbling it is to know in such great detail where I come from. But while I identify as Mexican-American, I’ve often felt like I can’t be “Mexican” or “Latino” at previous jobs. I’ve usually gone by “Berto” with my American friends instead of “Alberto,” and in high school, my nickname was “Sunshine.” Something that has really delighted me at Glassdoor has been the chance to connect with more Latinx and Hispanic descent people, like me, in the La Familia ERG. It’s with them that I have been able to feel like I can bring my full self to work, make jokes that other Latinos understand, and use my true name – “Alberto” (Spanish accent and all).
Q: What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you, and how are you planning to celebrate this year?
A: This National Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m bringing more of my “Latino” identity to work by leaning into what makes me, me. For starters, I’m using my name “Alberto” (Spanish accent) more frequently in meetings and casual conversations with friends and family. I’m also prioritizing my Latino love for family by checking in more frequently with my loved ones in Mexico City on Zoom with weekly Friday Zoom dinners. My dad has been helping organize. While COVID-19 has kept us apart physically, I’m using this time to connect with my abuelitos and primos on Zoom.
Q: How do you feel about being the Business Lead of Glassdoor’s LaFamilia ERG? What impact are you striving to make at Glassdoor with the ERG?
A: I’m very grateful for the opportunity to channel my sense of activism and love for my Latino identity into helping the La Familia community. Since joining the La Familia ERG only recently, I’ve just started to identify goals and define my role. As a Business Lead, one of the things I’m hoping to do is work with our Community Lead to get to know every person in the La Familia ERG and ask, “what is it like being you?” I’d like to compile these experiences to help elucidate the biggest impact initiatives for our ERG’s roadmap. I’m also hoping to work cross-functionally with other ERGs, Product, Marketing, Recruiting, and others to bring my community’s experiences to the table at Business meetings to help voice and champion my Latinx community.
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I love to research and I’m very organized. I’ve worked in retail which is enjoyed. I wish I could find a job that allowed me to have more time with my son.