Top Places to Work

Employees speak

‘I love my job’

Renee Jackson-Benson is a surgical coordinator at Children's Hospital.
Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
Renee Jackson-Benson is a surgical coordinator at Children's Hospital.

Renee Jackson-Benson

Employer: Children’s Hospital

Job: Surgical coordinator, orthopedic surgery

“I schedule surgeries for three orthopedic doctors. I love interacting with kids and their families; everyone is so pleasant despite everything they’re dealing with, including the fact that a child is going to have a surgical procedure.


“Ages range from 2-year-old rambunctious toddlers to spontaneous 9-to-10-year-olds, with the most common injuries including falling off the bed, falling off monkey bars, or taking a spill on their bike or skateboards. If they’re crying, I’ll try to cheer them up with a pinwheel or some bubbles.

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“Some days have their sad moments. Kids can be really hurting, and my heart goes out to them. I have children of my own, and sometimes I just want to cry with them.”

Julie Farago

Employer: Google

Job: Product manager

“I have to be a bit of generalist, thinking about product strategy as well as managing people and helping them grow and develop. I have the ability to pick and choose how I spend my time, whether it’s strategy, design, or data analysis.


“I have a 20-month-old daughter and keep strict working hours, and this has never been a problem or detriment to my career. I love my job and could talk for hours about my job and often do, which makes my husband very bored.”

Richard Li

Employer: Rapid7

Job: Security software manager

“As one of the defenders of cybersecurity, I am very optimistic about what the future holds. Right now, I am working with researchers to figure out how malware gets introduced into systems.

“I’m like a traffic cop at an intersection, helping everyone get from Point A to Point B. Or, using a different analogy, my work is like putting together different pieces of a puzzle, but you can only fit so many things on the board.”

Sheila Hancock


Employer: Commonwealth Financial Network

Job: Senior Compliance advisor

“Whether it’s a newspaper ad, business card, seminar, or website, it has to be reviewed with regulatory rules in mind. I look at 40-50 ads a day, making sure we stay in the boundary of regulatory requirements. Usually a compliance department is known for saying ‘no,’ but I try to find a way to say ‘yes,’ whether it’s changing a few words or editing a phrase.

“I’ve been here over 20 years. It went by in a blink.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Sanjay Vakil is a technical manager of apps with TripAdvisor.

Sanjay Vakil

Employer: TripAdvisor

Job: Technical manager of apps

“This is my first ‘real’ job – until now I’ve been lucky enough to either start companies or join friends at startups. Boston is the number two start-up town after San Francisco. I’ve been in that scene, but I like the Yankee sensibility here in New England. You meet all sorts of tech icons at Hub meet-ups.

“What gets me up in the morning is a big, beefy problem to work on. I have a zillion different things to do at work, but I gravitate to writing code; that’s my happy place. It’s satisfying to make small changes and see big results.”

Becky Conary

Employer: Institution for Savings

Job: Administrator for retail operations

“I started as a teller 15 years ago, then worked my way up the ladder from branch manager to vice president of operations. I never imagined that I’d be where I’m at today.

“I work behind the scenes, taking all the calls that come into the banking system. I always try to be professional and friendly on the phone, because people can hear you smile.

“Just the other day, a woman asked about a hold on her account. I looked at how she was doing her payments, and told her that it would be better to have her withdrawals come directly out of her checking versus debit account. She was very grateful.”

Cynthia E. Matos

Employer: Keurig

Job: Brewer quality engineer

“Everyone I know drinks coffee, so it makes my job fun to be working with a beverage that is so beloved.

“I’m part of the last group to look at a brewer before it’s released to mass production. I have a set of criteria that the machine has to meet: Is it brewing at the right temperature? Dispensing at the right volume, and at the proper time?

“It feels great to see the finished product on the store shelves, or on TV commercials, and to know that I was a part of creating the new design.

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
Diane Hanf is a systems engineer with MITRE.

Diane Hanf

Employer: MITRE

Job: Systems engineer

“Engineers have a reputation of being all fuddy-duddy, but in my technical center, there is something going on all the time, and it’s not necessarily serious. I can look outside and see guys playing basketball or soccer and our hallway is always colorful and dressed up for the season.”

“I’m always interacting with lots of people, trying to translate needs into a material solution. I like the problem-solving and dealing with lots of smart people. You can find someone here who knows anything about any topic you can think about.”

Brian Ellman

Employer: Analysis Group

Job: Economic consultant

“I crunch the numbers and get behind the narrative to find out what’s really going on. I’m working on about 10 different cases right now, including assessing allegations of anti-competitive actions by a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

“I work alongside academic and industry leaders. The economic models and approaches I use even help shape the way that I think about everyday situations.

“My firm has an open-door policy. Instead of layers of bureaucracy, there is a real premium placed on sharing ideas and expertise instead of competing with each other.”

Nadja Chery

Employer: Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Job: Nurse practitioner

“I am very humbled by caring for the Boston homeless population. Here I am, providing care for men, women, and children, when I could have easily been in their shoes. I am originally from Haiti and grew up very poor, but was given the opportunity to come to America.

“I started as a per diem nurse, transitioned into a full-time nurse, then became a nurse supervisor, and finally now a nurse practitioner. I like the challenges I face every day.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Dan Abdinoor is an engineering manager with HubSpot.

“I rely on my co-workers as part of a team. We rely on each other and need each other’s skills.”

Dan Abdinoor

Employer: Hubspot

Job: Engineering manager

“With an unlimited vacation policy, company-wide transparency, and yes, free beer fridge, we are doing things differently.

“Everything is in the cloud, so I can work from home one day a week. I probably spend 9 to 10 hours at the computer, so I have huge monitors. My philosophy is, the more screen real estate you have, the more you can get done.

“I don’t want to be stuck in the ‘80s or ‘90s as far as computer science is concerned. Whether it’s a new product or company culture, I believe in questioning the way things are done. Instead of being stuck in a rut, I’m working on improving, making it better, faster, and delivering more value.”

Mamontsi Watchko

Employer: Bright Horizons

Job: Toddler teacher

“Circle time is my favorite part of the day. We sing ‘Hello’ songs, and talk about what we will learn today. Teaching [toddlers] is all about achieving those milestones often taken for granted, but that are leaps of achievement for children.

“Our curriculum right now is ‘All about me,’ and developing a sense of self, as well as recognizing friends in the classroom. Kids learn through play, whether at the sensory table, block area, or kitchen corner.

“My job keeps me young at heart and very fit. The only time I am sitting down is when kids are sleeping and I am doing paperwork.”

Andrea Aswad

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
Andrea Aswad is a marketing manager with Allen & Gerritsen.

Employer: Allen & Gerritsen

Job: Marketing manager

“I handle the day-to-day responsibilities on some key accounts. I like the fast-paced environment. You have to jump from one thing to the next. I love being surrounded by creative people.

“I recently put together a sales tool for a toy company. Their sales force needed help spinning their products to major retail chains. I worked with the creative team to put together a video; now they just need to click a button and show a streamlined presentation.”

John Mullaney

Employer: Acme Packet

Job: Director of global technical services

“I spend most of my days in meetings, whether it’s a strategic program or future view. I have responsibility for our support organization, with particular focus on account and customer management. If a problem has escalated to the point that I need to get involved, then it’s my job to calm them down and reassure them.

“It’s cool to walk down the hall and see a group of people at a whiteboard. They’re solving a problem, trying to hash it out, or could be creating a new product. It’s very collaborative.”