POB - Melanie Lopez 2470xNA

Melanie Lopez Assistant Brand Manager

I first started playing chess in college and fell in love with the lessons it taught me. I’ve always been a deep thinker, a big dreamer, and an avid problem solver— I believe there is a solution to everything once you give yourself time to think through your options.

“I learned the hard way that success is never a straight line. Halfway through my time attending the University of Oregon, I chose to follow a dream that scared me the most. I put my college education on hold and traveled around the world on my own for the first time.”

I first started playing chess in college and fell in love with the lessons it taught me. I’ve always been a deep thinker, a big dreamer, and an avid problem solver— I believe there is a solution to everything once you give yourself time to think through your options. Chess is more than just 32 pieces on a board: it’s a dance of strategy, insight, and possibility. Similar to life, chess challenges me to think through my options, analyze my current position, and take chances on an approach I’ve never done before. The fact that there are infinite variations in chess perfectly aligns with my life motto: “there is more than one way to find success in life”.  

I learned the hard way that success is never a straight line. Halfway through my time attending the University of Oregon, I chose to follow a dream that scared me the most. I put my college education on hold and traveled around the world on my own for the first time. It was during this time that I learned the value of traveling and opening yourself up to new experiences (especially challenging ones). I learned more about myself and the world in 6 months than I ever had in a classroom. My sense of adventure, courage, and confidence did not stop there— it was nearly the catalyst.

Since then, my adventures have led me to work on remote olive farms in the mountains of Spain; go piranha fishing in the middle of the Amazon rainforest; volunteer at an adult care home in the U.K.; and backpack through some of the most beautiful national parks. Traveling made me aware of the impact I want to have on this world before I leave it. The lessons I’ve learned along the way have helped me cultivate a career and life path that brings me joy, but there is still so much I want to accomplish. Some days I feel small in comparison to my dreams, but I know I can make an impact if I follow my heart, work diligently, and show kindness to everyone along the way.

Q+A with Melanie Lopez

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What is one thing you can’t live without?

I can’t live without planet earth (literally and figuratively). Life is a gift, and every day I’m grateful for the beautiful views and adventures I experience because of it. The sad truth is that our planet is dying, but I hope more companies, communities, politicians, and world leaders can work together to help our planet and future generations before it’s too late.

What is one thing about you that most people at work don’t know?

I love to watch and play sports. I played water polo for eight years and even played in the 2015 Junior Olympics. I also swam for five years and was on the rowing team for my last year at the University of Oregon. I grew up watching sports on TV, but nothing beats attending a sporting event in person!

What's an unpopular opinion you feel strongly about?

I think cupcakes are better than cake. It’s as if a muffin and cake had a baby!

Life without social media or life without music? 

Easy... life without social media. Music runs in my Latin blood! Music can transcend cultures and generations. Plus the therapeutic qualities of music definitely outway the benefits of social media.

Why Barkley?

I chose Barkley for many reasons! I first discovered Barkley when I was a part of the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program. I had known of Barkley prior, but I was even more inspired after hearing the beautiful things recruiters and employees had to say about the agency. Barkley being a B-Corp spoke volumes about the agency’s priorities for sustainability and bettering the planet. Barkley also felt like an agency that puts its partners first (a feeling I can now confirm to be true). And lastly, the work Barkley produces is industry-changing. Behind all great work is an even better team, and I knew I wanted to join the team and participate in the change Barkley will continue to bring to the industry.

Is there something we forgot to ask you?

A fun note about my Instagram handle (in case you were wondering it's @felony_melanie06). I was given the nickname “Felony Melanie” from the movie Sweet Home Alabama! 

For more on the People of Barkley, check us out on Instagram: @barkleyus.