Jillian Rodriguez


Recent Posts

Campus-­wide collaboration: Students, faculty, and librarians unite for global marketability.

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Nov 4, 2014 1:40:51 PM

Step onto any campus in North America, and you’ll find college students with a marked vigor for culture and language learning with a breadth of experience, diverse backgrounds, and a thirst to learn. So, where do these future leaders turn for high-quality language and culture learning resources? The answer to this important question is slightly troubling. Understanding other cultures and languages has been a low priority in America for decades. There are over 7,000 languages in the world, yet we consistently face limited resources and language instruction in higher education around the country. Research has shown that upon graduation, less than 5% of American undergraduates are truly prepared for cross-cultural interactions with non-­European cultures. How can we properly educate future leaders, support global cooperation, and improve cultural sensitivities under these circumstances?

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Celebrate in German with Mango's Oktoberfest course.

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Sep 22, 2014 12:38:01 PM


Autumn is upon us, and our favorite things are popping up all over. The leaves are changing, sweater season is in full swing, and pumpkin spice is the active ingredient in every meal. Plus the color orange is basically everywhere, so we’re feeling very at home lately. But for language lovers (and beer enthusiasts), the true reason for the season is the 16-day historic cultural festival that we all know and love: Oktoberfest.

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Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day!

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Sep 10, 2014 12:18:18 AM

 

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We're Hiring!

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Sep 5, 2014 11:18:48 AM

The rumors are true: Mango Languages is hiring. We’ve got a number (8, specifically!) of diverse and interesting positions currently open, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand the Mango family tree. From an Incubator Intern to an Account Executive to a Bilingual Customers Relations Team Lead, we’re looking high and low for potential Mangos of all varieties. Do you love language, culture, innovation, and weekly Fiesta Fridays? We do, too.

First, let us introduce ourselves. Mango Languages creates lovable language-learning experiences for libraries, schools, corporations, government agencies, and individuals. Mango’s software teaches real conversations in over 60 languages and makes it fun; no snoozefests here. Users learn to speak new languages and meet new cultures through authentic experiences like overhearing a conversation between native speakers, watching a suspense-ridden action flick, or singing along with a romantic pop song.

What’s so special about working for Mango? We believe in enjoying the journey to greatness, and we pride ourselves on nurturing a fun-loving environment with exceptional, hardworking employees who work as hard as they play. When you work for us, everyday is an adventure. Whether you’re learning a new language, indulging in unique cultures, or repping one of our signature loud and proud t-shirts, you’re going to love your job and your job will love you right back.

Mangos are a special breed, and CEO Jason Teshuba distills exactly what makes the Mango team tick, “Whenever we hire, we are always looking for people with that creative spark and fire in their belly…our greatest innovation is that of management, leadership and business. At Mango, we take risks and work hard to bring a worthy vision to life. Every day brings with it new challenges and opportunities and we work together as a team to bring the worthy vision to life.”

Sounds pretty exciting, right? We love our work, and we know you will too. We’re a fun and passionate group that wants to change the world by enriching lives with language and culture. So, expect to learn new languages, participate in cultural potlucks, and meet people from around the world – every single day. Tough life, right?

Check out our Careers page and explore our current openings, then click Apply Now to send your resume and information. Interested in learning more about our company culture? We’re always updating our Facebook, Twitter, and blog with language-learning resources (and jokes!), product announcements, and shenanigans from the Grove. We even recently did a company-wide Ice Bucket Challenge – and yes, it’s embarrassing. But we had fun, and we enjoyed the journey to ice-cold water. It’s in our core values, so we kind of had no choice.

Speaking of core values, we run on six fundamental ideals. These values inspire us daily, motivate our work, and set us apart from any other company and team out there. You’ll embrace these ideas in your everyday work, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll apply them to the rest of your life, too. Who needs self-help books when your guiding principles are this awesome?

Core Values:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit- Take risks and work hard to bring a worthy vision to life
  • Innovation- Think creatively to change the world
  • Integrity- Act in alignment for the greater good
  • Fundipline- Enjoy the journey to greatness
  • Quality-Practice excellence and kaizen (改善)
  • Positive Attitude- Take personal responsibility to create a healthy environment

 

That’s the recipe to creating a lifelong Mango, and we’d love to have you join us on the journey to greatness. We promise that our application and interview process is painless, fun, and pretty exciting. Apply now – we can’t wait to meet you!

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8 Essential ESL Supports for School Success

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Sep 3, 2014 3:18:56 PM

Sharpen up those No. 2 pencils, school is back in session. The academic experience is different for every student, and for ESL (English as a Second Language) students, school becomes the focal point of their language and culture learning – for better or worse. We love our ELL (English Language Learners – you get two fancy names!) students, and we’ve consulted our in-house experts on the secrets to achieving ESL success in school. A brand new school year has just begun, and we’re here to help ESL/ELL students make it the best one ever.

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Mango's Guide to Digital Language

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Aug 12, 2014 4:53:23 PM

If there’s one thing we take pride in, it’s our knowledge of languages. Far and wide, popular and obscure; we keep up with all of them. The Digital Age is upon us, and we’re all for increasing our literacy in the language of the inter-webs.

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Scottish Gaelic for Outlander Fans: We've got you covered.

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Jul 25, 2014 3:11:54 PM

When it comes to our customers, there’s a lot to love. We love their feedback, their language-learning stories, and we love their pop culture recommendations. Language lovers tend to fall for the same media over and over again – if it’s packed with rich culture, evocative history, and just a touch of foreign language, we’re hooked. So when a customer calls and tells us her patrons are logging onto Mango®'s Scottish Gaelic course in droves, we know that something great must be in the works.

Some of you may call us late to the party, but the rest of you will call us tomorrow to swap Twitter handles for the big premiere. Language lovers, Scotland enthusiasts, temporarily-displaced Game of Thrones die-hards: Outlander is the next big thing. And for those of you who have already read the entire book series, no spoilers. We’ll be spending the next few weeks trying to catch up on all eight books before the show's premiere on August 9th, so if you need us, send a carrier pigeon or something. We're trying to keep things historically accurate while we binge-read our way through the series.

Here’s the basic rundown. Outlander is a fantastical journey through the highlands of Scotland, circa 1743. It's time travel, romance, adventure, and history all rolled into one epic story – and the first full episode will be available for free on Starz.com starting August 2nd. The book series is already an international best-seller with some 25 million fans worldwide, and those loyal readers know that if you aren't saying Je Suis Prest on the regular, you’re not doing it right. That’s where we come in.

Mango’s Scottish Gaelic course will walk you through the everyday conversations and phrases that you’re likely to read and hear throughout the Outlander series. Instead of just chalking up the Gaelic phrases to charming authenticity, learn their meaning and immerse yourself in Scotland’s rich culture and history. You can be that guy at the viewing party pointing out historical inaccuracies and providing context to dated phrases and language nuances. Even BuzzFeed is getting in on the Gaelic learning game (check out #8!). Linguistics make everything more fun.

So mark your calendars: we’re busy on August 2nd, and you should be, too. Until the big day, devote your summer reading list to catching up on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, join the Outlander fandom on their community page, and use Mango to practice your Scottish Gaelic at the beach, on your commute, or wherever your summer adventures take you. Let’s hope it’s to the highlands of Scotland, where you’ll encounter a time-traveling nurse named Claire. We hear she's your girl if you're trapped in another century with a really bad cold. Slàinte mhath!

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Meet Your Mangos: Eon Rodrigo

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Jul 23, 2014 2:55:04 PM

Listen, language and culture, it’s time to stop hogging the limelight. Sure, you’re endlessly fascinating and enriching, but so are the people who bring you to life with fun, effective language-learning resources. We’re talking about the awesome brainiacs (okay, mad scientists) that make up the Mango family tree. They’re bright, bold, and just the right amount of crazy, and it’s time to shine a spotlight on the Mangos in the Grove.

We’re kicking things off with the man behind the Mango. Eon Rodrigo is our brilliant In-house Designer; it’s been said he was born with a silver pencil in his hand, and he’s the reason Mango’s newly redesigned user portal makes you feel all warm, fuzzy, and motivated inside. We revoked his Photoshop privileges for the hour to pick his brain, talk shop, and try to get some dirt on him. Instead, we’re just crossing our fingers for an invite to Eon’s Friday night hang-outs; filled with good food, friends, and whiskey.

Tell us what you do at Mango.

I'm the In-house Designer at Mango Languages. I have my hands in many different aspects of the company, from design, marketing, and brand identity development all the way to UI/UX (translation: User Interface, User Experience). Working for Mango is the first time I'm working as a design professional. I've been with the company for almost 3 years and I have learned so much from marketing to branding and now, product design.

Mango’s new user portal is awesome, and you designed it. Talk about that process.

At first, I was only assigned to create the language icons on the Mango Connect user portal, but looking at the project as a whole, it inspired me to work on everything from the menu all the way down to the course cards. I wanted the language icons to give you this feeling that you’re looking out of an airplane window towards your destination, and you can see a landmark in the distance. I feel that if we try to evoke this feeling of adventure and exploration out of the interface, it adds to the motivation of our users to really engage in learning a new language.

It's also now more user-friendly because we've reduced the steps it takes to get in and get started. Before, as a user, it would take seven clicks just to get to a course. Now, it only takes three. It's also easier to log in or create an account from within Mango Connect. It was exciting for me to take on the challenge of weaving our marketing into the product so that we as a company can better communicate with our users.

Now let’s talk about you. Tell us about your interests, background, and – of course – your language and culture.

I was born in the town of Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines which has now grown into a bustling city. I moved to the U.S. when I was 12 years old. I speak Tagalog (national language of the Philippines), Ilocano (another language of the Philippines), and English.

Growing up, I used to go to an internet cafe with friends to play video games. One day, the owner of the cafe was working on something on the computer and out of curiosity, I asked what it was. This is when I was introduced to Photoshop. It was intriguing for me to see how you can create art on the computer. As a kid, I grew up drawing and sketching. So much so that I would get teased and people would say I came out of my mom's womb holding a pencil. Just the idea of creating something from nothing is almost freeing in a way, it’s therapeutic.

Outside of Mango, I enjoy doing art, drinking good whiskey, eating good food, and traveling. I have this belief that food is what really brings people together from all over the world. I think food is a great reflection of the different cultures that the world has to offer. In my down time, when I'm not stuffing my face and getting culturally intimate with food, I cut hair, which is something I find peace in when nothing else works. I'm also into sneakers, cars, and the art of rhyming. Anything that involves some kind of creativity, I find fascinating.

Final question: why Mango?

I love working at Mango because of the company culture and the people that work here. I wake up every day eager to learn something new. I get excited knowing that I have room for growth personally and professionally within the company. It's a great feeling when parts of my ideas end up inside the product. I love when we have Cultural Potlucks and everyone brings in food from their own culture. Without fail, I always get seconds and I end up loving and hating myself at the same time for over eating.

Sometimes, it’s a bit surreal for me that I design for a living. It's like a mixture of delight, disbelief, and amazement. It's like having a pile of puzzle pieces and the one you happen to grab fits perfectly with what you've put together so far.

That’s how we feel about you, Eon – you were Mango's missing puzzle piece (awww!). Stay tuned for more Meet Your Mangos, coming soon!

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Five scientifically proven ways to keep you motivated when learning a new language.

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Jul 9, 2014 9:47:48 AM


Science makes the world go round, and language learning is no exception. We’re always looking to pull back the curtain and explore the magic behind successful, effective language-learning. A recent article published by The Guardian explains why motivation is key when learning a new language, and why wanting to learn is so important. If you’re in a summer slump or simply looking to up the ante on your language-learning ambitions, we've gathered up five scientifically proven methods to increase motivation and enjoy more language-learning success. On your mark, get set, go: here’s your formula for achieving language-learning success.

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Happy Independence Day, From Us to You.

By Jillian Rodriguez |   Jul 4, 2014 11:11:40 AM

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue. Today is July 4th, 2014, and on this day in history, the United States of America declared independence from Britain and put our country on the path to freedom. But you already knew that, judging from that star-spangled t-shirt and American flag temporary tattoo plastered across your face. We’re right there with you.

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