Title: Senior Financial Analyst, North America FP&A
Start Date: March 2015
You were at GE [in Australia!] prior to joining Groupon. Aside from wanting to move back to the States, what were some other factors in your job search?
Besides wanting to be closer to family, I really wanted a change of pace. The work I was doing at the time didn’t really align with my long-term vision for my career, and I didn’t work directly in corporate finance which was my preferred function. After being in two different leadership programs within GE for 2+ years, I knew I still wanted to be in a learning environment, which typically correlates with how long one is expected to stay in a role. The longest I had been in a role at GE was six months and the shortest was one month. In every role, I was expected to get up to speed extremely quickly and be able to contribute within the first few days. I knew I still wanted that level of learning in my next role. Lastly, while I appreciated the discipline and structure GE provided, I knew that my career would be better served—at least in the earlier stages—being in an environment where the wheel was not necessarily already built. When you are asked to do something that no one else in the firm has already done is when true learning can happen.
When did Groupon get on your radar and when did you know this is somewhere you wanted to work?
As luck would have it, Groupon found me! Around the time I was looking for my new role, Lauren reached out to me to describe some of the opportunities available in Groupon’s Finance organization. After meeting the Groupon crew, three things immediately stuck out to me:
- the flat finance organization
- increased responsibility at the junior level
- the collegial and collaborative culture
I remember thinking to myself at the time that this could be the place where I’d work on some really cool, impactful projects that are highly visible to the senior leaders and where I can actually be friends with my colleagues. After the in-person interview with the team, I was immediately drawn to the friendly culture and the challenges that the team was currently facing. At that point, I knew I wanted to work at Groupon.
How does working here challenge you?
In my eight months here, I have already done two roles, parts of a third role, worked on multiple projects, and have worked for multiple managers. The constant change is challenging, sure, but I think it really drives learning, especially given that I am used to switching roles no more than every six months. Specifically, I was recently involved with our restructuring efforts across the firm. I think the compressed timeline, the breadth of the project, and the wide audience (internal and external) really underscored the visibility as well as the intensity of the project. Nonetheless, I learned about different restructuring laws across the world and honed my modeling skills.
What has surprised you most about working here?
Even though the fast-paced culture was emphasized to me from the beginning, I was still surprised at how fast we move. Honestly, when I first started it was a bit frustrating when in the morning everyone seemingly agrees on one thing but by the end of the day, assumptions change and with it so must the deliverable. The culture I was accustomed to did not have constant changes on the fly. However, over time I learned that things at Groupon do really change that quickly; within a matter of hours you can find out if a recently instituted campaign is working with our customers, and depending on expectations, that could change the course of your deliverable or work. This took some getting used to, but I can firmly say that I am not surprised at whatever pivot we have to do because I know—more often than not at Groupon—it is due to better information.
What advice do you have for someone who is interested in joining Groupon Finance, or maybe hasn’t considered Groupon as an option?
Almost every firm says that they move fast, but rarely does that really ring true across the organization. At Groupon, change is constant as is the real world, which is why I think it is a great driver for learning. So, be open to change and even welcome it: you are doing yourself a disservice if there isn’t change, whether that be in your role, project, deliverable, etc. Information isn’t constant, so your role shouldn’t be either.
I am a huge Michigan sports fan (one of three so far to bleed maize and blue!) and have been to at least one home football game in Ann Arbor for seven years now. I expect that streak to continue at least until my kids graduate! Go Blue!
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