Thanos talks about transitioning from Facilities to Image Design as well as his passion for Photography. Our Image Designers are responsible for the imagery on our deals. By combining a knowledge of Photoshop with a keen understanding of our aesthetic, they select and edit photos to create delightful visual experiences for our customers.
What did you do before joining Groupon? Four years ago, I moved from Athens, Greece to Chicago with my wife. In Greece, I worked in the film industry as a Props Master and Production Manager for more than 7 years. I worked on many feature/full-length and short films, TV series, and documentaries…even one for the History Channel which was a lot of fun because I got to design and make all the ancient war armor! I have also worked as a Production Assistant for several political campaigns and music/concert events.
One of my favorite projects was when I was the Production Assistant for NBC on both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2014 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) and Information Technology because it gave me the opportunity to work and interact with many countries and cultures. Here in Chicago, my first job was at a robotics manufacturing company assembling machines. After an unfortunate shoulder injury and surgery, I started working temp jobs which led me to Groupon. I worked as a temp in Facilities for 5 months before transitioning into Image Design. My first year in Chicago was quite bumpy but ultimately my initial bad luck led me to Groupon and eventually to the best job I could wish for!
Can you tell us about your background in photography? I have always had a passion for photography and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to continue chasing my dream in Chicago. What excites me is capturing moments and storytelling through images. I also enjoy the manipulation of images in Photoshop to create a completely new, abstract image. In the past, I also have created a few video art short film that was screened at a major digital art festivals in Greece and even won a honorable award from one of them.
Currently, I study Photography at Triton University. I received an academic scholarship for my first year which I am very proud of because sometimes I feel like my English language skills are a challenge for me. I also was on the President’s Honor List for the last two semesters and am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Some of my photographs have been used in different blogs around the world as well as for an online tourist guide, articles for the Chicagoist, and one of my photographs is displayed in a Greek restaurant in Estonia—very cool! Here at Groupon, I have been working with the Internal Communications department, volunteering to take new hire photos, and have covered some internal events.
How did you go about moving from Facilities to Image Design? I liked my job in Facilities and had the pleasure to work with a very solid team. Since Image Design worked in a different office when I started, I was not aware that this department existed until they moved back to our headquarters and I “discovered” them. I knew that this was something I wanted to learn more about and my gut feeling was telling me to apply. I was a little scared because my English is not the strongest, but I followed the guidance of my professor at college who believed in me and said to speak through my work/images, believe in myself, and give it a shot. I decided to go for it and reached out to John, one of our recruiters, who pointed me in the right direction to speak with the recruiter for Editorial. So here we are! It is a decision that has changed my life for the best: I am working with a fantastic, supportive team and doing something that I truly like.
Any advice for people who might be looking to make a similar transition that you did? Groupon has a lot of opportunities for people who want to make a change. My advice is to believe in yourself, be sure that is something you really want to do, work hard, and go for it! The recruiting team is there to help; they gave me a lot of support and helped me throughout the process.
How do you say “Check Groupon First” in Greek? “Des Groupon prota!” This is something that I am saying all the time to my friends in Greece.