Veterans Day Q&A - Mac Marrone, Manager, Commerce Operations at Facebook
Tell us about your background. What branch of the military did you serve in, and what's your current role at Facebook?
I was born in New York City and spent my childhood in the city’s suburbs. After graduating, I decided to join the Navy for a few reasons. My family has a history of service, creating a natural interest in learning more. In fact, both of my grandfathers served in the Navy during WWII and my father served as a Marine in Vietnam. I spent a week at the US Naval Academy my junior year in high school learning about the program and left feeling inspired to serve my nation and be a part of something far greater than myself. As an added bonus, I also wanted to play collegiate rugby and Navy had one of the top programs in the nation.
I was accepted to the Naval Academy and graduated in 2006. I went on to spend 12 years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, deploying four times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). During that time, I was assigned to three different ships: USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), and Amphibious Squadron Eight embarked in USS Bataan (LHD 5). I also spent three years at Northwestern University as a Naval ROTC Assistant Professor teaching Navigation and Naval Operations. I started my Navy career in an Engineering division, but spent the majority of time in Operations. At Facebook, I currently support a team of program managers and analysts launching operational support for new commerce initiatives across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
How did the skillset you developed in the military translate to your current role at Facebook?
The Navy prepared me to be agile and calm in rapidly changing environments. I had the privilege of supporting teams and developing and learning what it means to be a leader. From my perspective, a leader must embody the best parts of empathy, humility, and a drive for results. I learned the value of building strong relationships with people, commands, services, and partner nations in order to achieve success during my time in the Navy. These attributes have all been essential for supporting a high-performing team at Facebook as we develop cutting-edge products used by an incredibly large and diverse global community.
Tell us about the launch Facebook NY's employee resource group for Veterans?
Facebook has an incredible Veteran network. During my post-Navy job search, I was interested in pursuing a career in tech and attended a Facebook Veterans panel at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, California. There I learned the company’s mission and culture from others who successfully transitioned after their careers in the military. This in-depth exposure provided me valuable counsel and insights into the Facebook team and provided the framework I used to seek out my current role. After landing my role with Facebook and arriving in New York City, I met a few fellow veterans, but noticed we didn’t have a local employee resource group that would address our specific needs. A few of us decided to “round up the troops” and launch a Veteran-focused group in NYC.
How are you working to build community and support Veterans who work for Facebook NY?
We’ve started small with a “grassroots” approach. Our initial focus is to build a community presence by inviting people to monthly meetings and crowdsourcing ideas on how to best support our group from a NYC perspective. Our goal is to provide veterans who work at Facebook NY with an opportunity to meet others with a similar background, access to resources for mentorship, and provide opportunities to lead and shape our resource group moving forward. In 2020 our goal will be to fully activate our community through quarterly events that will serve the needs of our local Facebook community and celebrate our diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
Does Facebook offer any support for Vets that are transitioning to roles in tech?
Veterans have the skills required to succeed in the tech sector, but sometimes they struggle translating their experience into work easily recognized by recruiters and hiring managers. We have partnered with Military.com in creating FB Military Skills Translator to help veterans navigate this challenge. We have an external recruiting home page (fb.careers/veterans) and an email alias that connects veterans with a recruiter dedicated to supporting veteran hiring (email@example.com). Finally, we have a Facebook group called Vetworking. Facebook Vetworking is a tech industry community focused on providing career opportunities for veterans and their families.