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Beneperson of the Month: A Q&A With Software Engineer Emilio Villagran

Get to know Emilio and learn more about his work at Benepass in our Q&A below.

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At Benepass, our cultural values define who we are, how we work, and how we decide. Beneperson of the Month is a peer-nominated recognition program that highlights exceptional individuals who especially exhibited our values during a given month. 

Our Beneperson of the Month for July is Emilio Villagran, Software Engineer on the front-end Engineering team! Our Engineering team is responsible for writing and maintaining code to deliver on our product roadmap and for continuously improving the software behind our mobile and web applications to power Benepass’s financial technology. Learn more about Emilio and his work at Benepass in our interview below.

What made you want to work at Benepass? 

The team behind the product. When I first heard about Benepass, I saw the team behind the company and I was able to meet some members. The energy they had was incredible! Everyone sounded so passionate about the product and like they were having fun while working at Benepass.

What aspect of your role as Software Engineer do you enjoy most?

I would say that project ownership and pace are the aspects that I enjoy the most. Being able to own projects is one of my favorite parts of being a Software Engineer at Benepass. It is exciting to work on long-term projects that involve solving complex problems and seeing the impact of shipping code to production in real time. We move fast but at the same time, we are able to plan ahead, separate projects, and iterate.

Walk us through a typical work day.

Once a week, we have a team meeting where we define the priorities and tasks we’re going to work on that week. We use that time to sync on projects, plan the week ahead, and check if there are any interdependencies. After that meeting, I start my day by preparing a cup of coffee while checking and replying to people on Slack and Github. After that, I use a pen and paper to plan the day and create a high-level to-do list. I separate every day into two parts, where I assign each one a list of goals and tasks I'll be working on. Since we’re a geographically dispersed team, I try to assign tasks to each part, according to the time zones of the people I'll work with. Then I continue writing code and working on the tasks that are assigned to me.

What is your favorite thing about about working at Benepass?

My favorite parts about working at Benepass are having a fully remote team and the level of autonomy we all have to get our jobs done. These things allow me to plan my work day in the most efficient way and have an incredible work-life balance. If I’m not feeling productive, I can sync with my team and go for a walk or take some time away from the computer to prepare some coffee. Once I sit down, I can start being productive again.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your role?

I’ve learned how important it is to have big and ambitious goals but at the same time keep things moving. Having high-level tasks and breaking down them into smaller, more actionable ones. Most of the time we know the end goal of our tasks, but in order to get there, it's so important to have smaller tasks that get us to that end goal. 

What Benepass value means most to you?

It's difficult to decide between “Seek Joy” and “Empathy,” but I would say that being empathetic means the most to me because I think everyone at Benepass supports each other. It’s common to see someone sharing some personal or professional news and the team reacting and showing support. 

How would you describe Benepass in three words?

  • Inclusive
  • Empathetic
  • Unique

What do you like to do outside of work?

I really enjoy watching movies and TV series. I love the feeling of pressing “play” on a new show or movie and not knowing what’s going to happen next. That’s why I prefer to watch something and not like it instead of reading comments and reviews before playing it. I also like eating out and trying new food.

Want to know more about our values and open positions? Check them out here

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Lauren Ortiz

Talent Acquisition Manager

Lauren is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Benepass and has been scaling organizations of all sizes for the last six years. She is responsible for overseeing and building out Benepass's recruiting function. Lauren joined Benepass because she believes that benefits aren't a one-size-fits-all solution and employers deserve to have the flexibility to take care of their people. Lauren is passionate about creating a positive candidate experience and is motivated by innovation. Outside of work, she loves hanging out with her black lab Sophie, wine tasting, and playing basketball!

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