EMPLOYER: Power Home Remodeling, Waltham
JOB: Regional vice president of marketing
Though this is a home improvement company, I am not a hammer and nails guy. I’m charged with finding potential customers as well as hiring and developing entry-level marketing representatives. Just recently, my team went up to a NASCAR race in Loudon, New Hampshire, to set up a booth and chat about our services. Many of us have no experience in home remodeling, but Power has an intensive training program, teaching about windows, roofing, and siding. I remember my very first sales appointment: I was super nervous — but now I view myself as an experienced, tech-empowered home advocate. When I first met the operations guys and direct-install crew, it was very compelling to see the difference we’re making, transforming homes into beautiful and comfortable places to live.
FUN FACT I’m from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and my dad was an ambassador there. Because of that, I met George Bush senior and Bill Clinton; I have pictures of my family with them hanging on my wall.
EMPLOYER: Corderman & Co., Boston
It’s not common that a young woman from Sweden ends up in the construction industry — that’s a curveball for many. But I’ve been here over 20 years. There’s a lot of moving parts in construction management: scheduling, budgeting, pricing, dealing with subcontractors, and much more. As an organizational fiend, I enjoy the minutiae; it matches my personality in a positive way. My primary focus is corporate interiors as well as some retail design showrooms, restaurants, and condo towers. I enjoy taking clients through a job site, including them in the construction process, and explaining how it all comes together. The graphic designer in me also loves seeing a used-and-abused space get revamped with a fresh beginning. I work long hours; my colleagues laugh when I say, “I have to go home now,” because they know I’m actually referring to my office.
FUN FACT I’m from a small Swedish coastal town of 8,000 people. I love the solitude and peacefulness of skiing, as it reminds me of my Nordic origins.
EMPLOYER: Systems and Technology Research, Woburn
JOB: Chief systems engineer
I’m a software engineer with an emphasis on problem solving with strong mathematical and algorithm constructs. I enjoy our mission, harnessing the power of technology to solve challenging national security problems. Right now, my team and I are working to extract information from different sensor data to enhance the capability of military and intelligence services. I collaborate with other specialists, whether vision researchers or deep-learning experts. We bring a diverse skill set, but we’re all pulling the rope in the same direction. Ultimately, this is a patriotic endeavor. I appreciate the efforts of those defending our country and I want to provide answers for their concerns.
FUN FACT I have six tattoos; two are math-related: a tribal tattoo in the shape of an infinity sign and the other the symbol for pi. Two are Bruins-related, as I’m a huge hockey fan. They won the Stanley Cup in 2011, so I’ve got that year tattooed in Roman numerals; the other is a bear. And the last two tattoos are random, of the Hawaiian islands and a Boston Strong ribbon.
EMPLOYER: C4 Therapeutics, Cambridge
JOB: Cell pharmacology research scientist
It’s a bit sci-fi here, as with most early-stage drug discovery companies. Protein degradation is an exciting space to be in, similar to when CRISPR technology was coming out. Just recently, researchers crowded around a computer, waiting for readouts to come out in the quest to develop new therapeutics. I engineer cell lines, a task that includes handling human cells in tissue culture, to applying robotics to dispense drugs for screening. Science keeps me engaged while knowing that at the same time I’m contributing to something meaningful. I even come into the lab on Sundays, my day off, because I really want to see the data emerge. Some visitors to the company do a double take when we’re in our lab coat, goggles, and bright purple gloves, but it’s standard uniform here. It looks just like in the movies.
FUN FACT I’ve fostered and placed about a dozen dogs, mostly mutts, into their forever homes. It’s very rewarding to see the transformation from skin and bones — on the brink of death — and nursing them back to complete health.
EMPLOYER: Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Watertown
JOB: Senior training specialist
I grew up gay in South Carolina, and keeping this a secret in a very conservative town haunted me for years. I kept looking for opportunities to feel like I belonged. When I arrived at Bright Horizons, I felt respected as a person and appreciated the focus on inclusion, as shown by diversity training that’s provided to all. I’m also part of an advisory group that provides an employee perspective on these important matters. Here, I can bring my whole self to work and have my individuality celebrated. This company is all about work-life solutions and supporting families who represent countless cultures. There’s an environment that promotes growth and an ongoing commitment to career development. We’re all growing and learning together, and that’s a beautiful thing.
FUN FACT I’m a knitter, and took up the craft after my grandmother passed away. It helped me work through the grieving process. I’ve made blankets, hats, and scarves. The repeating patterns are very cathartic.
EMPLOYER: TripAdvisor, Needham
JOB: Software engineer I use TripAdvisor to book travel, so it’s gratifying to work on a product that’s so familiar to me. I’ve been focused on developing new features for travelers using the site. We’re trying to create a hassle-free experience, adding new payment supports and making the page responsive for both mobile and desktop. I’m exploring new areas of code every day, and configuring the architectural design. I also represent the company at recruiting fairs, and it’s nice when people come and talk about how helpful TripAdvisor is. That’s the kick in what we do. It’s a fun place to work as well; each floor is branded as a continent, and the cafeteria features global food. My colleagues are from all around the world, whether it be Europe or Asia. It’s a trip.
FUN FACT I love to play throwball, a sport that is popular in India. Instead of hitting the ball, you catch, then throw with one hand. It’s a very fast game, and you need a lot of power to play well.
EMPLOYER: MITRE Corp., Bedford
JOB: Mechanical engineer
It’s not easy to juggle a demanding work schedule and completing my master’s degree, but I’m managing to get it done. There’s a synergy between my coursework and the research I’m doing, and both are strengthening my technical capabilities. Before this, I had the usual engineering stereotype: Go to work, do some drawing and design, work on a product. My role here is not so defined, but I’m constantly being challenged and exposed to new concepts. For example, I thought I knew all about 3-D printing, but I actually wasn’t familiar with additive manufacturing, using 3-D printers to replace traditional manufacturing processes. An exciting application is an antenna with integrated circuitry that could be built and deployed quickly in the field. We’re testing the antenna’s performance, including the thermodynamics. I’m hoping this antenna will have a real-world impact. And, probably best of all, my educational costs are reimbursed, so I don’t have that worry hanging over me.
FUN FACT My parents are Paraguayan, and I lived in Paraguay for a few years. I speak Spanish fluently and of course love Paraguayan food, like chipa guazu. It’s my favorite — it’s a type of corn casserole.
EMPLOYER: Vertex, Boston
JOB: Administrative associate
I support the head of Boston research and all the biologists and chemists who report to him. These scientists are brilliant and passionate. They have a heart and soul for curing diseases. They’re also so authentic and have a great sense of humor. I like to tease them; a complex molecular structure might be on their computer screen, I’ll walk by and say, “That’s wrong, and if I had more time, I’d show you how to fix it.” We work hard but also play hard, like our Boston Research Summer Olympics, during which participants marched out with flags based on our therapeutics, like the Republic of Kalydeco or Island of Orkambi (both cystic fibrosis drugs). Events like this are team-building and foster a culture of enthusiasm and authenticity. My job has so many dimensions, not just administrative support. I like to make the rounds and just see if anyone needs anything — I threaten that I’m coming to check their work.
FUN FACT I lived in Paris for three years, cooking at the Ritz and the Crillon. I was in the main kitchen and also a pastry chef. I still like to cook and pull out all the stops for guests when entertaining at home.
EMPLOYER: Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwich
JOB: Bell captain I worked in corporate America for 35 years and that was a pretty good run, but this is almost unreal. I was inspired to become a bellman years ago when I met a guy with this type of job at a hotel in Vermont. He was so helpful and accommodating that I turned and said to my wife, “When I retire, I’m going to do what he does.” Then, when my job was eliminated, I called the resort and asked, “Do you have anything I can do?” They responded with: “Would you like to be a bellman?” That was six seasons ago, and I’ve been here ever since. I enjoy finding ways to ensure our guests have a memorable visit to the Cape, whether it’s getting them a coffee, recommending a good beach, or driving a little kid around in my golf cart. Every day I have a spectacular view of Pleasant Bay, and going to work feels like I’m on vacation myself. I’m the resort’s ambassador. I’ll be the first person to greet you when you drive your car to the front door.
FUN FACT I’m close to being part of the Four Thousand Footer Club — I’ve hiked 45 of the New Hampshire mountains that are over 4,000 feet. I have three more to do, and I’m planning on bagging them by this winter.
EMPLOYER: Flexion Therapeutics, Burlington
JOB: Administrative associate
I started working with chemical manufacturing and now support the commercialization group. There are about 40 people in the department, and as we gear up for FDA approval, I set up multiple interviews across the country to help the process of getting the sales team onboarded. I’m also working on a big internal marketing project. When Zilretta got the go-ahead as a transformative medicine for osteoarthritis of the knee, we had a big party for the office. I coordinated the signage and other celebration details. This is right up my alley, as I’m a certified event planner and have a knack for organizing and planning. Flexion’s five main values are focus, tenacity, fun, ingenuity, and transparency, and those resonate with me. Especially the fun part, as it’s never boring here.
FUN FACT My family is from Puerto Rico, and this year I went back three times, the first time for a wedding and two other times for vacation. Luckily [my family] is safe there after the hurricane.