“If I had a superpower, I would love to be able to time travel and go to different countries and places in different eras.”
Outside of work, Leonor loves to travel with her family and go camping outdoors with a camera at her side. She loves expressing her creativity whether it be through photography/videography, sewing, crafting, mosaics, and much more.
Leonor is a people person. “I love meeting new people and making people happy. Laughter is the greatest joy.”
1. Tell me about your background and why language/language learning is important to you? Both of my parents immigrated to the US from Colombia. My father had so much interest and potential in language that he was offered a scholarship to attend Harvard specifically to study language and become a linguist. While there, he learned five languages. When he and my mother had my sister and me, my father wanted to ensure we were bilingual. As a teenager, there was this speculation that if you knew another language or culture, you were different. At that age, being “weird” or “different” means a lot to you, and over time I lost the Spanish I learned as my first language. But as I grew up, I became proud of being bilingual and being of Colombian heritage, and I am happy to embrace that here at LLM.
2. What inspired you to join LLM? I have known Allison almost my entire life, she was my sister’s friend in 5th grade. My husband, Julian, and I helped Allison with creative projects for Syraj over the years. In November 2018, we got to talking about her vision for her new company, and Allison said my husband and I were part of her dream team and invited us to join the team as founders.
3. How have you grown or evolved since joining LLM? (professionally, personally, etc.) I have never felt like an entrepreneur and have little experience in starting a business. Finance has never been one of my talents as an artist. Since joining LLM, I have grown as an entrepreneur who understands the company. Creatively, I enjoy being able to develop a global brand. I have also grown in my leadership skills when I managed interns. It was an interesting challenge to help mold the students’ futures and careers, which was very different from managing teams in the corporate world. My favorite leadership expression is “Lead with Love” which is what sets me apart from most corporate managers, and describes how I led to inspiring the students at UT Arlington.
4. What makes LLM a great place to work? My favorite thing about working with this team is idea-sharing. In no other setting before have I ever been heard for my ideas, and respected as an innovative thinker as I am here. I love how everyone listens, how no idea is a bad idea and allows me to express my creativity.
5. What is a professional highlight of your career at LLM thus far? Branding the company has been a professional highlight of mine at LLM thus far. A lot goes into creating the entire look and feel of the company─ that’s how customers view you. I also enjoyed developing the alphabet posters, which were one of my biggest challenges as I had to learn to understand the alphabet in every language.
6. What is a goal you have for LLM? (personally, or company-wide) I want us to be more than a marketplace. I want us to be a company that promotes education-based artists and creators from all over the world─ there is a big difference between selling beautiful things and showcasing the creativity of art all across the globe. We can be a champion for creators and makers, globally.
7. What would you want prospective employees to know about building a career at LLM? We have a strong purpose to change the world; the heart of our company isn’t just selling educational resources, but to help people grow. We want to give people the opportunity to be successful, whether that’s learning a new language or helping entrepreneurs grow.