Groupon Intern Blog: Designing Great Experiences with Paola

at July 18th, 2014

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2014. We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience first-hand tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s entry is from Paola in our San Francisco office. Paola is focused on designing great experiences for our customers, primarily focused on Breadcrumb. As you read, you’ll see that she’s designing some pretty great experiences for herself as well.

Paola-Groupon Intern

Tell us about yourself
My name is Paola, and I am a graduate student at Harvard University pursuing a Master of Engineering in Computer Science, with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction. My background has always been in technology, first approaching it from a business and marketing perspective before moving on to engineering and design (check out my blog here for more!). I am passionate about creating usable and beautiful products that people love, which is why I am enjoying my time at Groupon so much!

What is your role at Groupon?
I am a Product/UX Design intern at the San Francisco office working primarily on Breadcrumb PRO and Gnome. My focus as a designer is to provide our customers with the best product experience while furthering our business goals and priorities.

What have you been working on?
Besides building a UI kit for the design team and re-designing Breadcrumb’s icon set, I am working on a couple of other projects, including a new iPhone app for Breadcrumb.

“A highlight was learning a new design software on my second day to complete a demo presented by our CEO!”

Tell us about your participation on GeekOn*
GEEKon is our internal hackathon celebrating technology at Groupon by giving our teams the chance to innovate bottoms-up and unleash their creativity and passion for collaboration on new and useful solutions for the company.

GeekOn presented us with an extraordinary opportunity to innovate in a very short period of time (five days!). The prior week, my manager had discussed her process for choosing which Breadcrumb venue to visit for field research. As it turned out, there was no easy way of checking which venues might be around one’s location. Thus, when my manager and I decided to form a team with two engineers, the idea of an app that would display a map with all the Breadcrumb venues came to life with Breadcrumb Beat!

The goal of the iPhone app is to show not only which venues are nearby, but also their activity level.

So, if a venue is processing a lot of orders, you will see the venue “beating” more frequently (thus the name!). My role in this project consisted of collaborating on the overall flow of the app, ideating and delivering design assets, and working closely with our developers throughout the building process.

UPDATE: Paola’s Geekon team took home (out of 106 projects) a first place and second place prize during Geekon. Congrats!

Thanks for reading the Groupon Intern Blog–A blog about interns at Groupon. Learn more about our University Relations program here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Groupon Intern Blog: Ro Mines for Data and Comfy Chairs

at July 11th, 2014

The #GrouponU Blog, is back for 2014. We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience first-hand tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s entry is from Rohenne in our Chicago HQ. Ro talks about the joys and perils of mining for data and her favorite place to get away, right in the office.

Rohenne2-Groupon Intern
Name: Rohenne (“Ro”) Lee

School: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Originally from: Taipei, Taiwan

What team are you on at Groupon?
I am on the GrouponLive team.

What project(s) are you working on?
• Merchandising calendar to optimize the sales rep and operations process of deal inventory management
• Analyzing the supply (inventory) and demand (traffic channels, marketing channels) side of the the GLive business, and creating solutions to increase our top line
• Creating a business case for “Things to Do” to have its own real-time booking system

What has surprised you?
I’m amazed at the number of roles that people have switched from/into or created in my time here. There are always new ideas bubbling up from all teams.

“Everyone’s enthusiasm and passion about making Groupon an even better company is apparent and infectious.”

It was especially apparent during GeekOn (Groupon’s hack week) when people would submit ideas before GeekOn even began.

Rohenne-Groupon Intern

What has been the biggest challenge?
Data mining! There’s a misconception that Groupon is a mature company when it comes to data. We have thousands of employees but Groupon is still a toddler in this regard! It functions very much like a start-up and is still growing at a fast pace. There’s a lot of data that’s collected but hard to find in the data warehouse and finding the right metric to use to measure what you’re trying to analyze takes time. However, the bright side is, there’s no set way to analyze the data so you can figure out what works best.  

“Two weeks into my internship, I created a metric to fit what I needed!”

What is your favorite part/area of Groupon’s Chicago office?
I love the circular hanging chairs next to the cat spaceship. When I need a change of scenery, I just work in those chairs. Sooooo comfortable!

What do you do outside of Groupon?
I take latin dance classes, try a bunch of restaurants (using Groupons!) and lie out by the lake to enjoy the perfect summer Chicago weather.

Thanks for reading the Groupon Intern Blog–A blog about interns at Groupon. Learn more about our University Relations program here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Groupon Intern Blog: The Aptly Named Kaizen

at June 27th, 2014

The #GrouponU Blog, is back for 2014. We’ll regularly feature an intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience first-hand tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s entry is from Kaizen in our Chicago HQ. In business, Kaizen refers to the Japanese continuous improvement philosophy. In our case, it refers to one of our interns as well. Who is focusing on improving things. Kaizen doing Kaizen.

Kaizen-Groupon Intern

(In Schwarzenegger voice)

Who Is Your Intern & What Does He Do?

Hey all, my name is Kaizen Yang, and I am one of the fortunate interns working for Groupon this summer. I am an MBA candidate at the University of MN Carlson School of Business, and will return to school the first week of September.

I have the great pleasure to be working with the Gnome (pronounced gee-nome) team. Gnome is an iPad tablet, installed with Gnome software, which will enable seamless Groupon redemption for Merchants. For my internship, I will improve areas of bottlenecks (i.e. operational inefficiencies) to speed up the usage and adoption of our Gnome tablets.

How far can Groupon take Gnome? This far.

First Impressions?

With only two full weeks of Groupon experience, I can sincerely say that Groupon is an exciting company. The employees are fun, energetic, and sometimes nerdy (which is a good thing). More importantly, most everyone that I have reached out to is more than willing to spend time to chat with me.

The technology industry is meant to move fast, and Groupon is no exception.

It was overwhelming (and still kind of is) to attend so many meetings where decisions/action items had to be discussed and decided. While that may be uncomfortable for some people, it is refreshing to make decisions without layers of internal checks and regulations.

Points of Advice?

For anyone new to Groupon, I would highly suggest shadowing and talking to as many coworkers as possible. Groupon’s business runs off of “deals”. Understanding what pieces need to come together to make a “deal” go from the Merchant to the Groupon website will greatly help with understanding the bigger picture—regardless of your department. Also, ask a LOT of questions. The internship period is very short, so do not waste time thinking about something when it could be quickly solved by just asking questions.

Turn Ons/Turn Offs?

You will have to, personally, talk to me to know that answer. You cheeky bugger ;) .

Thanks for reading the Groupon Intern Blog–A blog about interns at Groupon. Learn more about our University Relations program here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Showing Their Pride: A Chat with Peter and Amy, Co-Chairs of Pride@Groupon

at June 26th, 2014

Pride@Groupon 1

Please describe your job at Groupon, your involvement in Pride@Groupon, and how long you have been a member.
Amy works on the Recruiting team and is responsible for hiring all of our marketing, communications and design folks for any non-technical roles at Groupon.

Peter works in sales operations and leads the team responsible for all lead management and staffing placements for the Groupon Local sales force. We are the 2014 co-chairs for Pride@Groupon and have both been involved with the group since it began almost 3 years ago.

What is the mission of Pride@Groupon?
Pride@Groupon organizes professional development sessions, hosts educational panels, social outings, spearheads Groupon’s Chicago Pride Parade presence every year, and advocates for all employees on a range of topics including LGBT issues. Pride@Groupon works with local and national organizations, such as HRC and Equality Illinois, and we won the 2014 Corporate Equality Award and received 100% on the Corporate Equality index as one of the best places for LGBT employees.

We aim to be a leader among LGBTQ groups by opening many of our events to other groups around Chicago and globally.

Looking back, what are Pride@Groupon’s biggest accomplishments?
Over the last several years, Groupon has been very vocal about our support for equality. We acheived 100% on the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) index as one of the best places to work for LGBT employees, gained recognition from the National HRC chapter, and were  recognized with the Chicago Corporate Equality Award. Groupon has also brought together Chicago’s LGBT tech community by sponsoring and hosting networking events, speakers and socials to encourage the professional and personal development of our community. We are thrilled to also be featuring an entire Pride Deals Collection that can be found at:


How is Pride@Groupon celebrating Pride month?
We have had a ton of activities this month including an exciting interview with Sam Yagan, the CEO of (in front of an audience of 80 people); an LGBT tech networking event including representatives from LinkedIn, Salesforce, Google, and Orbitz; and a fundraising event for StartOut – a non-profit opening up their Chicago chapter – where we raised close to $1,500. We also have a float in the Chicago Pride Parade this Sunday. However, the thing we are most excited about is our Global Pride photo (above) which shows all of Groupon in 48 countries coming together to celebrate Pride together.

Why is it important for a group like Pride@Groupon to exist in the workplace?
It is important for our employees to feel that they can take their entire self to work. We want our LGBTQ employees to know that this is a safe and supportive environment. We feel that people will do their best work if they put all of their energy into work instead of worry about if their co-workers or company will support them.

How have employees responded to Pride initiatives around the office?
People are so excited to be a part of the celebration. We have had record amounts of employee engagement for our 2014 Pride shirts and we are excited to have lots of employees already signed up to ride and walk with the Chicago Pride float. We’ve also drummed up excitement internally and externally through our @GrouponPride Twitter account surrounding Pride month events.

Parents@Groupon Celebrates One Year

at June 3rd, 2014


A first birthday party took place in Groupon’s Chicago office. And while plenty of parents were in attendance, there was not a smash cake or highchair to be found. Instead, parents toasted (with cocktails and cupcakes) the growth and success of Groupon’s employee resource group Parents@Groupon during its first year of existence.

“We’re so excited about what we’ve accomplished this first year,” said Ashley Wint, Founder and Co-Chair of Parents@Groupon.

“We’ve established regular programming that helps moms and dads find support and exchange best parenting practices here at work.

And we’ve also created ways to utilize our parents and their opinions to enhance what Groupon offers our customers, which means we can ultimately help impact our bottom line.”

Last year’s keynote event was “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” in August, which was wildly popular among parents and kids alike. It’ll take place again this year. Regular Lunch n’ Learns on hot topics, a baby shower for expecting parents and a new partnership with Groupon Goods (to host an internal focus group on children’s items) provided well-rounded opportunities for employees to get involved and connected to other moms and dads.


And just this spring, Parents partnered with Groupon’s Marketing team to highlight parents in a cool, new way — by showcasing moms and dads who work at Groupon in our Mother’s and Father’s Day campaigns.

“The campaigns are an excellent opportunity for Parents@Groupon to contribute real business value by speaking to our consumers and our merchants about today’s mom,” said Ashley. “We were thrilled to help showcase the unique, diverse, passionate women who are committed to making Groupon great — and to raising amazing children while pursuing their passions.”

During its second year, Parents@Groupon will focus on growing its membership to other Groupon offices, serving as a benefit and resource liaison for families and, of course, trying to top last year’s Bring Your Kids to Work Day.

“We have so many amazing opportunities ahead for parents who work at Groupon,” said Co-Chair Amy Alexander.

“Our goal is to build on the great energy and momentum we have right now and, overall, help enrich our work environment for parents — while enriching our business offerings with a parent’s perspective.”


Parents@Groupon Steering Committee:  Ashley, Todd, Amy, Adam, Jil and Freddie.

Thanks for reading the Groupon People Blog–A blog about people at Groupon. Our teams are hiring! You can see all of our current open jobs here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Groupon Launches Work From Home Program For Customer Support

at May 29th, 2014

Groupon’s Customer Support Department is spreading it’s wings. The once Chicago-based department is rolling out a work from home (WFH) program in select states over the next few months, hiring part-time customer support representatives to work from the comfort of their own home or castle.

“We are building out a national workforce for our growing subscriber base. This gives us a way to grow that is not limited by a physical location to keep up with the growth of the business,” says Christopher Purpura, Director of Customer Support.

Employees from recruiting and customer support are heading down to Hebron, Kentucky June 3-5 to interview potential WFH employees. In the newly created role, employees will be taking calls live from the US and Canada, helping our subscribers get through redemption issues, troubleshooting problems, and overall account management. We’re looking for people to work:

  • 20–30 hours/week
  • mornings
  • evenings
  • weekends

Prospective employees must be able to attend Groupon’s first work from home Job Fair June 3-5 at:

Cincinnati Airport Marriott
2395 Progress Drive
Hebron, KY 41048

Following shortly after, new employees will attend a three week training at Groupon’s Fulfillment Center in Hebron.

If you are interested in applying to this role, please click below:

Apply Today

Riding Along for a Cause: A Chat with Eric H., Groupon Restaurant Consultant and Volunteer

at May 29th, 2014

A few weeks ago, Eric H., National Restaurant Consultant in Sales, volunteered with Groupon partner City Harvest on a full-day, food delivery ride-along. Eric connected with City Harvest through Groupon Grassroots’ One Groupon, One Meal campaign, and spent his day delivering food to food banks and daycares in NYC. We chatted with him about his experience:

photo 5

1. What is your position at Groupon and how have you been involved with the One Groupon, One Meal campaign?
I am a National Restaurant consultant. I’ve been involved with City Harvest since the inception of Groupon’s partnership with them. Our sales team wanted to come up with an effective way to reach restaurants who hadn’t worked with Groupon before, so we tried the idea of partnering with a charity.

Now we have a great relationship with City Harvest. We organized a deal to raise money for disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy, and that has blossomed into Groupon Grassroots’ signature program, One Groupon One Meal. But we are still really at just the beginning. The partnership is going to continue to grow into something even bigger, better, and stronger.

2. What inspired you to volunteer to deliver food with City Harvest?
Every year City Harvest has a gala.  About 1,000 people attend, including many celebrities. For me, the event is a great chance to meet the donors, board members, and other staff at City Harvest. Right before the meal, the president talks about City Harvest and their accomplishments and plans for next year. They also usually play a video of drivers going out in trucks and delivering food – and they interview people that rely on the food from City Harvest, and it’s really moving.

The first year I was there it blew me away.

I learned staggering statistics, such as 1 out of 5 kids in NYC are food insecure.

photo 1-4

In 2013, Eddie, a driver, got up and spoke at the gala about his day-to-day activities and his routes. When he pulls up in the truck people are really nice to him, they hug him, they wave to him. It was really inspirational to see people that care so much about people in the world. Eddie mentioned a ride along, and I knew then I wanted to experience a day in a truck and meet the people City Harvest is serving.

3. What was the experience of delivering food like? Did it differ from what you expected and in what way?
I was surprised by how big City Harvest is. It was just this massive facility. I just thought the trucks went from restaurants to food banks. It turns out it’s a huge operation. City Harvest is really good about organization and coordination. It’s an exact science, not just a random distribution of food. It’s run like a business.

That day I rode with Sean (below), whose route was in the South Bronx – probably 25 drop-offs. On our first stop, we dropped 120 lbs of bread. I just thought it would be food shelters, but we donated to day care centers. I almost cried about 15 times. It was moving, but also heartwarming to see that these people are being looked after. We went to a halfway house for recovering addicts – the residents helped unload the truck because they were so grateful. I literally saw probably more than 2,000 people throughout the day. I didn’t expect to see lines that like. It’s 10 am and lines are wrapped around the building–200 or 300 people. It never occurred to me that we we would drop food off at daycares and that little kids were involved. That broke my heart.

4. How has this experience affected the way you feel about your work at Groupon?

It was a really good feeling to ride along and I felt really good about what we do here at Groupon.  

It makes me proud to work here.

I’m trying to get City Harvest more involved in restaurant deals. There are lots of details to work out, but I’m really trying to make this happen. The experience made me feel determined to do more because I know that we can and the City Harvest people are great to work with.

I’m from CT and I used to live in NY so the experience hit home for me. I want to get more Groupon people involved with City Harvest, and I want to do a ride along two or three times a year. Sean loves what he does. It was humbling. It just made me think–next time I complain about something, I’ll remember this experience.

Sean is a friend now. We text and he invited me to a cookout for Father’s Day even though I’m not a father. He even invited me to be a guest at his home. The whole experience just felt good—like I was making a difference.

Thanks for reading the Groupon People Blog–A blog about people at Groupon. Our teams are hiring! You can see all of our current open jobs here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Starting My Career the Right Way

at May 28th, 2014

The #GrouponU Blog, is back for 2014. We’ll regularly feature an intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience first-hand tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s entry is from Robert in our Chicago HQ. Robert graduated from Northwestern in December, has already released major products, and learned a new javascript language. Not a bad first few months.


Hi everyone, my name is Robert.

I graduated from Northwestern University as a Master’s student in Analytics in December 2013. This is my fourth month at Groupon as a software development engineer on the Automated Merchandising team. I feel very fortunate to have joined Groupon. For a non-CS major (and developer) coming straight out of college, the best thing that can happen is to join a professional and disciplined team at the start of one’s career. I’ve been even luckier than that – my teammates care about me as an individual, pay attention to my work-life balance, and are helping me develop my career here at Groupon. How lucky I am!

Focused, agile, and talented are the top three words that can describe my team best.


The most crucial thing needed for a team or company to succeed at an early stage is to stay focused. That applies to my team perfectly. If Groupon were a store, my team’s mission is to be the digital equivalent of the end caps and checkout aisles, facilitating data-driven merchandising to maximize long-term customer value. I learned this on my first day, and we strengthen this every day by asking a simple question to ourselves: Are we following our northern star? That’s the reason why we are able to deliver a unified platform powering all categorical shopping pages including the homepage in Groupon, regardless of web or mobile context or the country we are servicing, staying highly configurable and reliable at the same time. Even more impressive: our team did that in 10 months!


We have a very agile approach to development. Each week counts as an iteration; we set our goals on Monday and harvest them for the next week. We estimate the difficulty of tasks by points, and adjust our development plan according to the week’s total points and current team strength. By following this agile approach, we can keep our development efficient while enjoying the freedom to take a day off or to work at home to keep work-life balance. Brilliant!

I shipped my first project to production on my 10th day at work, learned Coffeescript in one week, have pushed 460 commits so far, and just released two major projects last week after three days off.

Sounds impressive, but these things are happening everywhere in Groupon.


It was hard for me to imagine why Groupon needed so many developers before I joined, and it actually baffled until I came in for an interview. After a visit to the Chicago office, I realized that Groupon is really ambitious towards connecting merchants and customers in a whole new way, closer, and in real-time! To top it off, guess what kind of people am I working with! A group of former high-frequency traders! To build the tool that capture and entice the hidden interests in our customers even before they realize it and to match the right bids and offers to improve the market’s efficiency frontier is the traders’ definition of Groupon’s task. My brilliant teammates have redefined the job we are working on.

Similar stories are happening in other teams all the time. Groupon is absorbing experiences from other industries and turning crazy ideas into amazing products. I’m proud to be a part of this talented team, to deliver what customers actually want and to elevate myself to the next level.


Thanks for reading the #GrouponU Blog–A blog about interns and recent grads at Groupon. Our teams are hiring! You can see all of our current open jobs here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Groupon Recruiting Saves the Bay

at May 19th, 2014

As part of Groupon’s Volunteer-a-thon goal of 10,000 volunteer hours by employees in 2014, our Palo Alto Recruiting team helped out with the Save the Bay movement. Lindsay, a technical campus recruiter on our #GrouponU team, tells us more:

Groupon Recruiting-PA
On Wednesday, May 14th, the Palo Alto Recruiting Team (above) embarked on a journey to Save The Bay! I *think* we were the first department in Palo Alto to contribute to Groupon’s Volunteer-a-thon to achieve 10,000 volunteer hours by the end of the year. This event not only helped our community, but it was educational, helped burn some calories, and provided a great opportunity to bond with colleagues in simmering heat.

Despite a record breaking heat wave of 95+ degrees, we were troopers and accomplished so much to help the San Francisco Bay. The organization told us we were the most successful and productive volunteer group they’ve seen in a very long time. After an educational history lesson about the Bay and the destruction it has seen over the past few decades, we, along with other volunteers, got to work. They had us:

  • weeding invasive species
  • planting healthy plants
  • transplanting 500+ plants for the nursery

After 3 hours helping our community, we had fun re-hydrating at a local brewery.

Thanks to all who helped and I hope we continue the relationship with Save The Bay!

Groupon Recruiter-PA2
Groupon Recruiting-PA3

Groupon Recruiting-PA4

Thanks for reading the Groupon People Blog–A blog about people at Groupon. Our teams are hiring! You can see all of our current open jobs here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Groupon Presents Speaker Series: Lunch with Ed Lee

at May 13th, 2014

Ed Lee

The Groupon Presents Speaker Series hosted a Lunch ‘n Learn with Ed Lee to discuss The Fight for the Future, his latest book about how the people defeated Hollywood and saved the Internet. His talk drew parallels between the midnight ride of Paul Revere in the American Revolution and when the Internet went black in protest of the controversial copyright laws, SOPA and PIPA.

Ultimately, in a show of solidarity and protest, Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist, Reddit, Tumblr, WordPress, and thousands of other sites went black, while millions of civilians protested online and several thousand protested in the streets. Just as there was nothing to stop Paul Revere’s word spreading “The Redcoats are coming” at the start of the American Revolution, the protestors’ message quickly spread through the Internet. The power of the people was able to shut down the legislation SOPA practically overnight. This grassroots movement involving millions of people won an unexpected, but historic first victory in the fight for a “free and open Internet.” One attendee said, “I found Lee’s comparison between the American revolution and the SOPA protests to be fascinating. I’d never heard that argument before.”
Ed Lee2
Ed Lee is a Professor of Law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and recently published The Fight for the Future detailing the events surrounded the protests of the proposed copyright laws SOPA/PIPA. The attendee added, “I appreciate that Groupon is bringing in diverse, varied speakers!” While Ed has given this presentation at Google, Pinterest, along with several schools including Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and Northwestern, his talk at Groupon served as the finale to his book tour, circling back to Chicago where he had started it.

The Groupon Presents Speaker Series aims to bring in a diverse group of professionals and industry leaders for employees to benefit from not only ‘on the job learning’, but through the experiences and research from others.

“Work does not have to be just about technical skills – Groupon can be a place where you come to develop professionally as well as a place to just become a better-rounded individual. While I won’t add this to my resume, I will add it to my understanding of what is going on in the world which is way more valuable.”

Previous speakers have included Brad Karsh of JB Training Solutions and Anita Elberse of the Harvard Business School, both referred by employees who were mentored by them and wanted others to learn from their expertise. The Groupon Presents Speaker Series is sponsored by Talent Development.

Thanks for reading the Groupon People Blog–A blog about people at Groupon. Our teams are hiring! You can see all of our current open jobs here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.