ISRAEL PEDERSON

Senior Analyst – Sales Operations, Reporting & Anaytics
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

Another Groupon veteran with a super unique career path, Israel takes us back to 2010 when Groupon launched its first national deal then brings us up to speed on his journey from customer service to analytics.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I really love to see the way that teams celebrate birthdays. We had a team member who got this helium balloon and it stayed afloat for an impressive amount of time…I’m talking like 5 or 6 months. We had a seriously vested interest in the longevity of that helium Power Ranger balloon.

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

I’m on the analytics team in Local Sales Operations. I’ve gotten to do so many amazing jobs at Groupon, and this one I really get to combine my understanding of the business with a lot of the hard skills I’ve picked up along the way to solve interesting problems and drive improvement and change in the local business.

What’s the most challenging thing you worked on here?

My first opportunity to manage a team came during a time of immense change at the company; we were merging two Merchant Services teams focused on different parts of the merchant lifecycle into one, and it required rebuilding many of the underlying operational processes, intense training, and a lot of change management. While it was extremely challenging, the way the teams handled everything is what makes this company so great.

What inspires you?

I’m continually inspired by learning new things and being around people who embrace continued learning.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I joined as a Customer Service Rep right around Groupon’s launch of the GAP deal (a seminal moment in Groupon’s history). It was so crazy, but what I really remember was how everyone really looked out for each other. There was such a sense of being in it together.

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

Our sales team is what drives such a unique mix of amazing merchants. We’re working together to continually empower them to bring the best that cities have to offer.

What are you most proud of in your time here?

I’m extremely lucky to have been a part of so many amazing teams at Groupon. My career started in Customer Support. I’ve managed teams, created and operationally managed large-scale processes, and had the opportunity to see a lot of the world as a Global Operations Manager. I’ve had mentors who have inspired me to continue learning more technical skills, which opened opportunities in analytics that have been extremely fulfilling. I’m proud of the fact that, even in a startup company with so much change, I’ve been able to carve out my own career path and continue learning through each step of the process.

“I’m proud of the fact that, even in a startup company with so much change, I’ve been able to carve out my own career path and continue learning through each step of the process.”

So what were you doing before joining Groupon and how did you end up here?

I, like many young Chicago imports, came to explore the world of improv comedy. Although it definitely feels like a past life, I got the opportunity to perform and teach with a ton of amazing people. One of those awesome people had gotten a job at a startup called Groupon, and said he could get me an interview. I am forever grateful for that conversation!

You probably have a life outside of Groupon, what keeps you busy outside of work?

My wife and I have a 5- and 2-year-old at home. We enjoy but are not limited to trips to the zoo, bounce houses, the aquarium, crafts, and Daniel Tiger.

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

I would love to be on Groupon’s Social Media team for a day. Some of the stuff that has come out of there is absolutely hilarious.

What’s your favorite local business?

Geja’s; my wife and I have celebrated many occasions there.

What’s your favorite view from the office?

You’re a member of Parents@Groupon; what do you enjoy about being involved?

It’s so encouraging to see the way Groupon supports parents, from the maternity/paternity policy to the way you hear our CEO Rich Williams talk about what his family means to him. There is absolutely a culture of keeping family a priority. ‘Bring Your Kids to Work Day’ is truly a sight to behold. The team does such a great job creating engaging activities for the kids, and it’s really fun to bring them to the office!

Your role may exist at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you here?

We’re solving really interesting problems in an environment that we’re constantly tweaking. While we are a big company, the ability to make quick changes and always be evolving is something that I really appreciate and embrace.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Catchy portmanteau – internet caught by surprise – building the future

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

At Purdue, I got the opportunity to perform with the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, doing over 500 shows across the US and the world. Purdue does not have a school of music, yet Purdue Musical Organizations unlocks a truly professional performance opportunity for collegiate students while getting their education in everything but music. Many of my weekends in college were spent traveling across the country in a bus!

Photos from international Groupon visits:

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