The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2015! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad who will share their experiences tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s entry is from Maria, a Software Development Engineering Intern in Seattle.

Name: Maria
School: Harvard, ’17

At Groupon, Diversity is part of the Deal

When I walked in to orientation my first day, diversity was mentioned a lot during the welcoming presentation. However, it wasn’t until my internship started that I really experienced what was meant by “diversity is part of the deal.” Even though I spoke with Groupon employees at the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computer Science and knew they valued a diverse work environment, I didn’t realize how involved they were in actively promoting diversity.

Looking around the office, I saw that everyone decorated their laptops with stickers that promoted various diversity groups within Groupon. On one of my first days, I was handed a “Women at Groupon” tumbler cup from an Engineering director who wanted me to feel welcome in my new role. My floor at work has people from many different countries, so I often hear coworkers speaking other languages all around me. Throughout my time here, I’ve met nothing but open-minded individuals who really push for everyone’s input. I have never once felt that my opinions were not taken seriously due to my gender, the fact that I’m an intern, or anything of that nature. I love my coworkers and the work environment I have here at Groupon. Nothing is better than feeling a sense of belonging and acceptance no matter who you are.

Monumental Supreme Court Case decision, and how that affected my experience at the parade

On June 26th, just two days before the Seattle Pride Parade, I woke up to the news of the Supreme Court decision for the constitutional right for same-sex marriage. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness that this right was finally being granted to so many Americans for whom marriage was not an option. Though I had signed up to attend the parade before this ruling, I was all the more excited to be walking in it with my fellow coworkers and interns.

I have never been in an event like the parade, so I was so excited when we were told the Groupon Seattle office would be participating. The turnout was amazing! We had about 25 people attending for Groupon and the crowd was so welcoming and happy. We handed out fans, stickers, and of course banana bunkers! I volunteered to dress as a banana just for this occasion. Though I know this was mostly because I was dressed as a bright big yellow banana, I was given so many hugs from strangers and I was able to put smiles on kids’ faces. I will never forget this experience and how it made me feel to see our office come together to support the LGBTQ community.

My project and my internship experience at Groupon thus far

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first tech internship. On my first day, I was nervous and excited to learn about my project and finally put my skills from school to the test. Currently, I am working on the Getaways Search team to implement a new badging feature in order to make hotels stand out in the search results. I am still discovering what interests me the most, but my managers took this into account when defining my project so I will be working with both the front-end and back-end teams.

I love my team and especially Getaways! The people around me are always there to answer the millions of questions I have and they never get tired of explaining things to me.

I also have a great relationship with my manager; we schedule weekly meetings so I can get any questions answered. Additionally, all interns get assigned to a mentor outside of their team to learn more about Groupon and other teams within the organization. My mentor and I go out out to lunch or talk at least once a week. There has been a tremendous amount of support for me during my time at Groupon.  I’ve learned so much and I feel so welcomed! This has become a great opportunity to find out what I love most about computer science and gain some real-world experience while also having a ton of fun.

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!