ARIA SRINIVASAN

Product Manager, Groupon+
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 2015

Jumping from Finance to Product Management is not the most typical career move, but Groupon is full of nontraditional journeys. Meet Aria, who took ownership of her career and forged her own path.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

1. Going to Grace Hopper my first year and being incredibly inspired by all the baller things women in the world are doing!

2. All the happy hours and feeling so #blessed to be working with such awesome people

3. Realizing my coworkers have not just turned into friends but truly family!

Tell us more about your experience at Grace Hopper! 

Grace Hopper is an amazing conference celebrating the accomplishments of women in computing and sharing innovative ideas as a group. One of my favorite memories was listening to a panel of four engineering leaders for the Hillary for America campaign. It was fascinating to hear how they all took breaks from their ‘normal’ gigs to do something for the country, the technical challenges they ran into, and the moral and emotional feelings they had after the election.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I recently came across an old Facebook post from 2011 where I said “I wish I worked in tech so I can just wear jeans to work.” My first impression was how chill the culture was, and here I am still LOVING the culture and wearing whatever I want to work!

 

What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are now?

When I first joined Groupon, I started as a financial analyst for the Engineering teams. During GEEKon last year, I reached out to my friend who was leading a project working on a Facebook messenger bot to see if I could be her minion doing some Product Management work with her team. I loved working on it, and the VP of Product at the time reached out and asked when I was going to finally move over to product full time. Here I am!

That’s quite a jump going from Finance to Product…what was that transition like?

After graduation I started working in invest banking. After a few years, I was itching to move to Silicon Valley where I grew up and started applying for companies whose products I actually used. I ended up in a super cool Finance role where I could do all the traditional finance things I had a background in, and learned a ton about large-scale engineering projects that Groupon was undergoing like cloud migration. I wanted to do something more consumer-facing, and my managers recognized that and made it happen.

Since transitioning to Product a few months ago, I am still able to leverage my data analysis skills that I developed in finance, but looking more at customer data like clicks and new customer acquisition, rather than financial data. Being a PM requires me to be really creative and have some daring ideas – something that’s new to me but still really exciting! The coolest part about the messenger bot is that it’s still causing a buzz around Groupon! Just a few days ago I was meeting with our customer service and AI team in Poland to talk about what we did.

 

What’s unique about Product at Groupon?

The Groupon+ team that I work on is definitely the most driven, passionate, and collaborative team I’ve ever worked on. Everyone genuinely loves working on the product and with each other.

What’s Groupon+ all about?

Groupon+ is our card-linked offers deal program and our newest (and in my opinion, coolest!) product at Groupon. I’m focused on enrolling new customers and making their experience of claiming cash back deals as seamless as possible. Because we are a new(er) team, we operate like a startup within the company and really work hard to make Groupon+ as awesome as it can be. We have A LOT of fun while we’re at it!

What sort of business impact does it have? 

Because Groupon+ is Groupon’s newest product, it feels like almost working at a startup which is really exciting. We have our fare share of challenges trying to penetrate the market and educate users on who we are, but it’s also incredibly fun to brainstorm and push the boundaries with my team.

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

I help customers save money in the easiest way possible — just link your credit cards and enroll in Groupon+ for free to start getting cash back at your favorite restaurants!!

We see you were a board member for Women@Groupon, and now you’re a member.  Why did you join?  

I was the Palo Alto chair for Women@Groupon. It helped me meet a ton of women at Groupon globally who I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It was great to hear everyone’s stories and understand what impact they have at Groupon.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

It’s my dream to be a rapper.

Where can we find you outside work? 

I am either traveling (#wanderlust) or dancing!

What do your parents think you do?

My parents work in tech so have a good understanding of what I do. My Instagram followers on the other hand think I just mess around at work all day.