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Olivia meets Marne Levine
COO of Instagram

Olivia meets Marne Levine | Kidspiration

If you’ve ever shared your pictures on your phone or know someone who has, you probably know about Instagram, the social-network where members post pictures and videos. Marne Levine is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Instagram – that means she’s responsible for the company’s business operations, like marketing, development, communications, and recruiting.

She’s also worked for Facebook and was part of the Obama and Clinton administrations’ economic teams. And, of course, Marne is on Instagram and has some pretty amazing photos from her work and travels around the world – you can follow her @marnelevine!

In this Episode, Olivia interviews Marne Levine at Instagram headquarters in Menlo Park, California.



Olivia:
Hey. I’m Olivia and today I’m talking with Marne Levine. Marne is the COO of Instagram. Instagram is an online photo sharing, social network. I’m here at the Instagram headquarters in Menlo Park where I’m hoping to learn from Marne how to run a company and also how to take some good pictures. Alright, let’s go meet her.

Hi, Marne. I’m Olivia. Nice to meet you.

Marne:
I’m Marne. It’s nice to meet you. And welcome to Instagram.

Olivia:
Thank you so much for having me. Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Marne:
As I said, I’m Marne Levine. I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio but I spent most of my adult life in Washington DC, and about nine months ago I moved to the Bay area around San Francisco in California to come and be the chief operating officer of Instagram.

Olivia:
Wow. What is Instagram to you?

Marne:
Instagram is about people in our community, which has more than 400 million people globally in all different countries around the world, who fulfill our mission which is about capturing and sharing the world’s moments. And they might connect with people they know or don’t know, but they’re connecting around a shared passion or interest and they’re telling their story very visually.

Olivia:
So would you say you know anything about the trends that are actually going on right now?

Marne:
Oh. From looking at what people are doing on their accounts?

Olivia:
Are you up to date or anything?

Marne:
Yeah, I’d say I’m sort of up to date. But I’m mostly up to date because I have ten and seven-year-olds who know. So I know how to do the whip and the nae nae, for sure. I follow more than 1,000 accounts. So I really look at how people are using Instagram and how they’re telling their stories. And that could be big public figures, entertainers. But it could also just be my friends and family, people who I don’t get to see all the time because remember I said I lived in Washington DC and now I live in California. So this is a great way for me to keep in touch with my friends and see photos of their children or see what they’re doing and what they’re up to. I just love it.

This building is amazing. Do you know who the architect of this building is?

Olivia:
No.

Marne:
The architect of this building is a guy named Frank Gehry. He had a very specific idea in mind which was he wanted everybody to feel like, all the engineers, to feel like they were in one room. So I do not work in this building. I work across the way on what we call Classic Campus.

Olivia:
As long as I know I wanted to be an industrial engineer. I also want to have a program that supports young girls because I know they fall out of STEM-based like fields because maybe it’s masculine for them because oh, you have to be strong, you have to build stuff to be an engineer or stuff like that. What would you say to those girls out there to get them really involved or more involved? Because you are like a big figure in this industry. I mean, I know this has a lot to do with technology.

Marne:
Yeah. Lots of girls are really, really good at it. And we just need to keep reinforcing that they’re really, really good at that so they have the confidence to continue doing it. At tech companies there are STEM-related areas so there are engineers. There are product designers. But then there are people who do lots and lots of other jobs at technology companies, and it’s a really great place for women to have jobs. So there are lots and lots of different roles and responsibilities that somebody could have. Operating responsibility, business responsibility. So I think it’s important to give exposure to young women like you about the range of different kinds of jobs at a technology company and what a great career somebody could have.

Olivia:
What’s your best advice to kids?

Marne:
I have two pieces of advice. First, figure out what you’re passionate about and just spend a lot of time on what you’re passionate about. Really get to know, become the expert on the thing that you love. The second thing I would say, and particularly for young girls, is use your voice. Sometimes I think it’s hard for young girls to feel confident, to express what it is they want to say. And so I would just say try and get comfortable. If you have that voice going on inside your head that says maybe this is a stupid question, shake it out of your head and just ask the question.

Olivia:
Thank you. It’s been so nice meeting you. Thank you for inviting us here today.

Marne:
Well, thank you for coming and for your interest. I really appreciate it.

Olivia:
I really appreciate it. Hug?

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Marne today. She’s a profoundly nice person and she gave me great advice on how to become a women in power like her. I hope to visit Instagram one day in the future and also be able to see Marne again.

See you later!