ALEX LEE

Senior Account Manager, Groupon Getaways
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Alex talks autonomy in his job, ramen, working with hotel properties across the country, ramen, his experience working as a temp at Groupon, ramen, his biggest professional accomplishment, and ramen. Oh, and ramen.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The group of lovely ghouls, goblins, and bloody nurses that came to visit and terrify our building the day before Halloween this year. I don’t know that everyone on my team was quite as big of a fan as I was of the experience, but I got some pretty incredible snaps out of it.

Tell us about your job! What do you love about it?

I am an Account Manager for Groupon Getaways focused on finding new businesses to feature on our platform. I work primarily with hotels and property management groups to bring them Groupon guests during their off-peak seasons. I love the people, the incredible system of support in place, and how much autonomy I have over my days to make the most of it.

So what does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is one that is always different, which I love. Some days I have a lot of administrative, operational, and creative tasks to take care of to ensure that the travel promotions I’ve put together get created and launched accurately and attractively. This involves a lot of calls back and forth with my partners, as well as keeping on top of correspondence with all of the internal Groupon teams that I work with. Other days, I am on the phone calling new business prospects to introduce myself and attempting to get some time on their calendar to explain why Getaways is such a flexible, beneficial, and common-sense tool for hotels. I have total autonomy on how I spend my day, which makes every day exciting and a challenge.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on so far?

I worked for nearly 9 months to close a master service agreement with a hotel management group that has close to 100 properties across the U.S. This involved getting to know and work with multiple executives and revenue managers, and a great deal of back and forth between legal teams to finally reach an agreement that was acceptable to both sides. It finally became signed and official in October!

What’s your favorite local business?

Ramen-San on Hubbard is what I dream about. I could eat there 5 days a week and still want more. It’s the best ramen in the city that I’ve found by far, and they also have a delightful playlist of music that I’ve guiltily Shazam’d on several occasions.

Where were you before joining here?

I worked in banking for two and a half years right after graduating from college, and actually started at Groupon as a temp for Goods, doing QA for the holiday season of 2015. After the position expired, I applied for several account manager jobs at Groupon and got a call from my recruiter about an opening in Getaways!

What was your first impression of Groupon when you started working here?

How well they treat their employees at every level. When I came in as a temp employee, my team lead and the head of our vertical devoted our entire first day to giving us an overview of the business and walking us through the specifics of our individual roles to get us comfortable. Throughout my time with them, they always included us and made us feel no different from the full-time employees.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I work every day to build and maintain a great supply of quality hotel partners whose properties we promote on Groupon in order to help sustain and grow our reputation as the market leader in the travel flash-sale space.

Tell us about your involvement with the Employee Volunteer Program.

I started volunteering with the Heartland Alliance’s youth mentoring program in 2015 as a way to get more involved in a volunteer initiative that was unique to Chicago, being a sanctuary city. I have mentored a middle schooler whose family was forced to flee from their home in Southeast Asia several years ago, and have had such a great time getting to know him. We’re both big fans of movies, soccer, music, and video games, and I’ve have had a great time exploring the city with him when I’m not at his house racking my brain to remember how to do geometry homework.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I got involved with improv three years ago and have taken classes and performed at both Second City and Improv Olympic (iO). I also play guitar and sing, and enjoy songwriting and doing open mics with my fiance, who also plays and sings. Additionally, I enjoy traveling and eating ramen.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would want to be Tom Cruise for a day in order to truly understand how things went so, so wrong, and brought us maybe the nuttiest movie-star of all time out of what once seemed to be the talent/songbird/silver-screen gift of a generation.

Tell us something that’d surprise us about you.

I grew up as a huge choir nerd (my mom is a choir teacher) and got to travel to five different countries in Europe with touring choirs in elementary through high school. A highlight was definitely getting to sing for the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City when I was in 6th grade.

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