10 Questions with Amagoia Langara (January 2021)
1. What do you do at The Marquee Group?
I work on the development and administration of Marquee’s online offering of modeling and Excel courses which is called Marqueepedia. I also create and manage internal databases for Marquee which I have been involved with since I joined Marquee.
2. How long have you been at Marquee?
I have been with Marquee for 13 years! I was the first person to join Ian after he started the firm in 2002.
3. You have seen the evolution of Marquee from a “one-man show” to a firm of over 20 professionals that operates worldwide. What has it been like to see Marquee change over that time?
The experience has been rewarding and didactic. I have been involved in all aspects of the firm and it’s been so exciting to see it grow. It has been so interesting to see us expand but remain a group of people who love working together and having fun. Marquee reminds me of the Spanish soccer team that won the 2010 World Cup. It’s not a star system – it’s all about the team and how everyone contributes and works together.
4. You used the word “didactic” when most of us would use “learning environment”. This points to your academic training and accomplishments.
If I had to describe myself, I would say I am the eternal student. My personal hero is Charles Darwin. He was a brilliant and compassionate person but he was also wealthy enough to spend his life studying and pursuing science. My training is in Biochemistry. Following my undergraduate degree in science in my hometown of Bilbao, Spain, I moved to England and did my Masters of Biotechnology at the University of Manchester. I then went to Cambridge to do my MPhil in Biochemistry which is a research masters. There I worked on research into recombinant vaccines using genetic engineering which was fascinating. In fact, one of my profile pictures is a picture of viruses that I took with an electron microscope.
It was then time for a change and I completed a Masters in Information Management at the University of North London. That led to one of my best jobs ever at the Natural History Museum in London.
5. You now run the Marqueepedia online learning system. What sort of experience are users having? What’s it been like to get that started?
The user experience is very positive and it is very gratifying to read the feedback we get from our subscribers. It was a hectic start to launching Marqueepedia because we did it during the first lockdown and everything was done remotely. We are very proud of what we have created.
6. If you weren’t at Marquee, what do you think you would be doing?
You can tell from my earlier answers, I would be a student of science/philosophy. While I was at the Natural History Museum, I got to see the actual finches that Darwin brought back from the Galapagos Islands. It was incredible and I would love to have the freedom to explore and research the world that way. I also teach yoga so I would do that as well.
7. Where did you work just before you joined Marquee?
Just before Marquee, I worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in the medical reference library and also worked with the Chief Pathologist on website development.
8. So your last job was in Toronto. What brought you to Canada?
Believe it or not, the weather. I don’t mind snow but I like sunshine and I found London too grey. And my husband and I have always liked Canada. It has been a great place to raise my two daughters.
9. What is your favourite snack to munch on while working?
Nothing. As a researcher in a lab we are never allowed to eat and I have kept up that habit. I will celebrate with a little chocolate afterwards, though.
10. L-shaped Enter key or straight Enter key?
I don’t care really as long as it works. Probably straight. What I really need is a working CTRL key since I am always hitting CTRL S to save my work!
Las Arenas, also in Bilbao