CTO Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Groupon Bangalore Dev Centre

CTO Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Groupon Bangalore Dev Centre

CTO Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Bangalore Dev Centre
ENGINEERING
CTO Colin Bodell’s first visit to Groupon Bangalore Dev Centre

Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Groupon’s Bangalore Dev centre instilled great confidence in the talented engineers working far across the globe toward Groupon’s long- and short-term strategies. On the first day of his visit, he addressed all of the engineering teams present in Bangalore: Platform and Data, Goods, Marketing, Customer Support Engineering, and Data Science. As part of his presentation, he introduced himself, his vision, strategy, and philosophy.

The key takeaways were:

  • People and relationships: his investment in people and building relationships in order to build a great team
  • Execution through ownership: his belief in getting cutting-edge execution done through ownership
  • Diversity: why and how he has been a leading proponent of diversity through forums such as Grace Hopper
  • Engineering links back to Groupon’s strategy: seeing how Bangalore engineers’ daily work can tie back to Groupon’s multi-year strategy
  • Communication as a key to success: he talked about his communication tenets

Over the next few days, he spent time diving deep into the major programs run out of Bangalore and meeting one on one with engineers. He listened intently and asked questions to the engineering teams and individuals in order to understand their achievements, aspirations, motivations, and explain his strategy in return. Engineers were super motivated by Colin’s energy and by having the accessibility to an SVP-level leader for the first time in Groupon Bangalore. 

It was not all work though. He also attended a potluck along with the engineering teams, met with all the diversity engineers of WiTB, and offered to extend any sponsorship/support to the group. On the last evening, we had a chance to see more of his fun side during an evening poolside dinner where he shared anecdotes from his past experiences, his journey, etc.

Groupon for Latinos Celebrates a Successful Mole de Mayo in Chicago

Groupon for Latinos Celebrates a Successful Mole de Mayo in Chicago

GROUPON FOR LATINOS

30 May 2018

Groupon for Latinos Celebrates a Successful Mole de Mayo in Chicago

Groupon for Latinos & Allies and the Groupon Social Responsibility teams had a blast this past weekend at the Mole de Mayo Festival in Pilsen! The teams were able to connect with thousands of loyal Groupon fans and build interest amongst new users that downloaded the Groupon app at the event.

Attendees of the event received special offers including:

  • 25% off promo codes
  • Fun swag and giveaways
  • Hotzone Push Notifications for the area that showcased our Pilsen offers

Coming this June, Groupon is partnering with the Eighteenth Street Development Corporation to launch ¡Bienvenidos a Pilsen! which will celebrate the culture and merchants of the Pilsen neighborhood. In the Discover Downtown program that is led by Groupon’s Social Social Responsibility team, we collaborate with local business organizations to highlight a curated selection of the best things to eat, see, and do in distinct neighborhoods. For each campaign, Groupon offers a bundle of services that help drive customers into featured businesses and revenue into the community.

We’re excited to highlight Pilsen as our 6th Discover Downtown campaign. Previous campaigns highlighted Beverly, Uptown, Bronzeville, Lincoln Park, and Edgewater. Special thanks to all of our Groupon for Latinos chairs, members, and volunteers for helping us stay staffed over two full days (15 hours!) and for the hours spent planning every detail of the event. Together, the team made our Mole de Mayo debut an amazing success!

Written by Giselle Gonzalez: Communications Chair | Groupon for Latinos

Jordan Eselevsky – Manager, Merchandising Strategy & Planning

Jordan Eselevsky – Manager, Merchandising Strategy & Planning

JORDAN ESELEVSKY

Manager, Merchandising Strategy & Planning
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

Groupon is full of a lot of passionate, hardworking, quirky individuals and Jordan is no exception. He talks about how he connects users with pertinent deals on our site as well as his desire to take home the gold in his department’s Quarterly “Dip Off.”

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

I am in charge of merchandising strategy for the Things to Do vertical. In a nutshell, once the sales and corporate partnerships teams close deals to sell on our site, it is up to my team to take the deals to our users. This involves strategizing who we should show these deals to, when we should target these users, and what platform makes the most sense (email, push notification, etc.). We know that our users’ time is valuable. Based on what we know about our users’ engagement with Groupon, we use data to serve the most pertinent deals for them at the most relevant occasion. The better we do our job, the more users will continue engaging with our platform, being inspired by our great content, and discovering new and exciting local businesses.

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

It has been a work in progress for Groupon to make the transition in customers’ minds from a daily deal site to a marketplace. This is something that all teams are working on in their own way. For example, in the Things to Do business, we have a growing number of live events (sports and concerts) that are not discounted. Inventory like this allows our platform to become more all-encompassing when a user is looking for things to do in their city and they can use Groupon as a one-stop shop for all of their options. However, we must continue to work to clearly distinguish market rate pricing from discounted in order to maintain user trust throughout this transition.

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment—which is a never-ending process—is continuously improving the efficiency of our Things to Do targeted merchandising. We only get to engage with most of our customers for a few seconds a day. Because of this, we have to do a great job curating and personalizing the inventory we show them to get them hooked and hopefully engaged enough to click through and come to our site to browse more. Part of this effort has been creating campaigns that effectively read signals that users give us with their Groupon behavior. This allows us to serve both relevant deals that the customer may know about and inspire our customers with new content and occasions to use Groupon.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Deals on deals on deals —

Inspiring our customers —

Save money all day

Tell us about your involvement with Groupon Volunteers!

I have participated in two volunteer events so far at Groupon, but am definitely looking to do more this year. It always feels good to give back and help those in need. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you devote some of your time and resources to volunteering; just the other day we packed 7,000 lbs of sweet potatoes in just 2.5 hours! In addition, it’s always a fun team-building activity and allows us to create bonds outside of work.

Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique? 

In my career so far, I have always worked in the retail/consumer sector. I love getting products to market, showcasing and curating assortments for different user segments, and using customer data to fuel decisions. Groupon has been my first step into eCommerce, which opens up an entirely new world of merchandising. Groupon is able to hyper-target customers and create different user experiences, which I was excited to learn about. Also, I like that Groupon was, and continues to be, an innovator in their field and a true leader in the experiences/local marketplace. As a millennial, I value experiences and community, and Groupon is really in the business of getting these types of things out to the world.

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

My work is very closely tied to Groupon’s mission. Some of our team’s key goals are user engagement and purchase frequency. Inherently, through our merchandising, we are hoping that we show users the best content that Groupon has to offer for them. With this, even if they don’t make a purchase that day, they have a greater awareness of the types of businesses that Groupon works with and the money they can save by shopping on Groupon. As a result, they will hopefully get into the habit of “checking Groupon first.”

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Before working at Groupon, I had the impression of 2008 Groupon: a daily email with great random deals from your neighborhood. Boy, was I wrong. I quickly learned that Groupon has evolved so much from the early days. We truly offer our users a unique combination of value and convenience by providing a marketplace with offerings ranging from your local pizza joint to tickets to the Cubs game to a guided tour of Greece.

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. For college, I went out to the west coast and earned my business degree from USC. After college, I was looking to come back to the Midwest to be closer to friends and family. I started my career at Target HQ in Minneapolis and worked there for four years. I had a few different roles, ranging from inventory/vendor management for the candles department (Pumpkin Cheesecake is my favorite), to winding down the supply chain for Target Pharmacy after it was acquired by CVS. I moved into a role at Tyson Foods for six months, calling on Target as a Category Manager for lunchmeat and protein snacking. Finally, my wife and I decided to pack our bags and move back to Chicago.

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work?

My favorite way to spend my free time is traveling. I have been to 35 countries, including a 10-week trip to Australia/Southeast Asia/Japan right before starting at Groupon. I have found that there is nothing like experiencing different cultures, history, and (most importantly) food scenes. In addition to travel, I like playing, watching, and doing anything at all related to sports. I like to ride my bike by Lake Michigan in the summer. Finally, I am a huge lover of any and all sauces/condiments. I don’t discriminate, but if I had to pick favorites it would definitely be chipotle ranch and hummus.

Who or what inspires you?

What keeps me inspired by the work that I do is that the projects that I work on and decisions our teams make actually impact our communities and people that I know every day. Almost everyone has had their own Groupon experience and there is a real love for the brand. I love talking with friends and family and hearing about the latest Groupons that they have bought, how it got them out of their comfort zone, got them to try a new business, or just saved them a ton of money. These types of conversations remind me that I can see real-time results for the work that I am doing.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I think it has to be the Quarterly “Dip Offs” that we have in our department. To start, I am very passionate about dips, sauces, and condiments. So, nothing could be better than stuffing our faces once a quarter with a variety of 20+ dips and ultimately voting on a champion. I’m coming for the crown at our next one.

Editor’s note: Check out Neville Horton’s story if you can’t get enough of condiments.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would be a hot dog vendor at Wrigley Field. I’d get to work outside—at baseball’s mecca—selling an all-American classic.

What’s your favorite local business?

They’ve expanded more and more in recent years, but in my heart, it has to be Lou Malnati’s. The deep dish just hits the spot any day and is a true Chicago classic.

What do your parents think you do?

Mom direct quote via text: “I think you analyze the activities and experiences that Groupon sells to see what is popular or not. You try to explore and cultivate new and trendy experiences. You seek to broaden the appeal of the experiences Groupon offers by analyzing demographics and price point.” (OK, so sounds pretty accurate!)

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

While living in Minneapolis, I ran in the Minnesota Twins mascot race as Louie the Loon on two separate occasions. The first time, I lost…by a beak. The second time I came out victorious!

Kathryn Winiecki – Tax Manager

Kathryn Winiecki – Tax Manager

KATHRYN WINIECKI

Tax Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

What’s your favorite conference room?

The immense exposure that Kathryn’s role as a Tax Manager brings her is part of what keeps her excited to come to Groupon every day, but the #1 thing? The people! (OK and maybe team outings like Sears Tower yoga and Beyonce spin class don’t hurt, either.)

Tell us about your job as a Tax Manager!

I manage global tax compliance and reporting, which means I assist with the coordination and review of tax filings in the US and all over the world. What I love most about my job is that I get to interact with so many different people on a daily basis, whether that be here at HQ or in another country. I’ve even gotten the opportunity to practice my German (I studied it in high school and college). I am responsible for managing our global tax filings and audits, which gives me the opportunity to work with accounting, legal, and procurement teams. I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve been able to build at Groupon and the talented people I have the chance to work with daily. Tax laws are constantly changing, and Groupon is always evolving, so I’m never bored here!

Tax exists at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

Groupon is constantly changing as a business and facing new tax challenges. I enjoy the daily challenges and problem-solving that my job involves. My boss is also pretty great and truly cares about the team and our development. One of the best things about the Groupon tax team is definitely its people. We work extremely hard, but we also make sure to take the time to do fun activities together outside the office. This past year, these included (but were not limited to) yoga at the top of Sears Tower, a Beyonce-themed spin class, WhirlyBall, flag football, and a Chicago brewery bar crawl. On most Fridays after work, you can find at least a couple tax team members playing ring toss at Jerk down the street.

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

In tax, it is a little more difficult to impact this habit directly. However, what the tax team does every day helps leaders plan and make the best decisions for the company. I’m also always shamelessly plugging Groupon deals to all my friends and family…

What’s your biggest accomplishment at Groupon?

My team’s biggest accomplishment last year was bringing Groupon’s US tax compliance in-house and preparing the tax returns ourselves, something that had never been done before. I know that might not sound glamorous, but I was so proud of the way the team really came together to get this done despite the challenges we faced along the way.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I crunch numbers in Excel all day without speaking to anyone.

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

Before Groupon, I worked as a Tax Manager at a public accounting firm. After speaking with a Groupon recruiter and meeting the tax team, I knew I wanted to work here.  In just one year, I’ve been exposed to so many different tax projects and types of work. The wide range of experience is something that you can’t find at every company, and I feel it has really helped further my career in tax. The culture at Groupon also drew me in; it’s a fast-paced environment, but the people here are always willing to help each learn and grow. The people at Groupon really make it a great place to work, and I’m extremely grateful for the friendships I’ve made here.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

“Is that a cat in a spaceship?”

Tell us about your involvement with Groupon Volunteers.

I joined Groupon Volunteers in order to give back to the community and meet people from other teams at Groupon. Groupon makes it SO easy to volunteer: just sign up and show up for whatever events you’re passionate about!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

When I’m not at work, I’m probably planning my next trip, doing yoga, playing rec volleyball, cooking, or obsessing over Instagram pug puppies that I don’t own (yet).

What’s your favorite local business?

Music Box Theater: great spot for independent and classic movies.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

When I was five years old, I jumped off of a swing set and broke both of my arms at the same time.

Who or what inspires you?

My grandma inspires me because even as a woman in her eighties, she is still traveling the world. Last year, she went to Russia by herself! My wanderlust likely comes from her, and I hope to always have that sense of adventure. My next trip is to Southeast Asia in July, and I can’t wait.

Laura Hamilton – Group Product Manager

Laura Hamilton – Group Product Manager

LAURA HAMILTON

Preferred pronouns: She/Her
Group Product Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2014

Laura and Groupon seem to be a perfect match. She brought 10+ years of strong product management experience to Groupon. In turn, Groupon provided an opportunity to get scrappy, make an impact, and walk by a cat spaceship every day. (What else do you really need?)

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

I started off as product manager for the checkout page, and I gradually took on more responsibility. I took on Consumer Web in Q1 2016, LivingSocial in Q4 2016, and International in Q1 2017. Today, I head up product for Consumer Web, International, and LivingSocial.

Where were you before joining Groupon? How did you get here?

I have worked in product management for 10+ years, at a wide range of company sizes from founder to seed-stage startup to hypergrowth phase to a public company. I started my product management career at Enova 10+ years ago, where I led the product team focused on new initiatives. We launched several new businesses and product lines during my tenure, including the installment product in the US and the Pounds to Pocket brand in the UK. After Enova, I worked at a couple of early-stage tech startups. Then I joined Groupon in 2014 — Groupon still has the scrappiness, innovation, and bias for action typical of startups, while also having massive global scale.

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

I always try to tie my product strategy and roadmap to Groupon’s mission of being the daily habit in local commerce. Whether it’s adding more structured data to the cards on the browse feed, making our pricing clearer and more transparent, launching new products such as Groupon+ and BeautyNow, it’s all in support of our mission to connect customers with local businesses.

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

In 2016, when I took over consumer web product, our mobile website was very outdated and lacked many key features that the mobile app had. Over the course of 2016, I led a major effort to redesign the mobile website, and we overhauled almost every page in the site. It was a big undertaking that involved a dozen different teams, but after several months and a few dozen A/B tests, we had a much more organized and modern website.

Take us back to 2014. What was your first impression of Groupon?

I think I was going to the Geekfest meetup for the first time, and the instructions said to look for the “cat spaceship.” I was very confused about what a cat spaceship was, and why it would be in an office. I was somewhat nervous that I would miss this landmark; however, upon seeing the cat spaceship, I realized that my fears were unfounded.

What’s something that has surprised you while working at Groupon?

Groupon’s Optimize team, which owns the experimentation framework and methodology, has a novel (patent-pending) process for the analysis of A/B experiments. It uses a technique called group sequential analysis, which originated with heart valve studies in the 1970s. It’s essentially a statistically rigorous way to “peek” at experiment data while limiting false positives. It has allowed us to experiment much faster, which in turn has led to faster improvements in the customer experience.

So what’s unique about Groupon’s Product culture?

Groupon is unique in that Product Managers can take on a ton of responsibility—whole product lines, or product suites—while still operating at massive, global scale. At startups, you can have broad responsibility but not at scale; at most publicly traded companies, you can have global scale but you only own a small piece. At Groupon, product managers can have broad responsibility as well as massive impact at scale.

“Groupon is unique in that Product Managers can take on a ton of responsibility — whole product lines, or product suites — while still operating at massive, global scale.”

What’s your favorite part about your team’s Software Development process?

Software development at Groupon is very solution-oriented. If there’s a bug or production issue, the discussion is immediately around how to solve the issue and how to prevent it in the future. We don’t have unproductive fingerpointing conversations. When there is a production outage, the discussion is around “how do we improve tools and processes to prevent this from happening in the future,” rather than “so and so made a mistake.”

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

After six months of work across dozens of engineering teams, we successfully migrated the LivingSocial website and mobile apps to the Groupon tech stack and celebrated with a cutover cake and champagne at 3 am.

Name your favorite programming language.

I think it depends on the problem domain, but in general, I am partial to python. The syntax is natural. I don’t need to define variable types or worry about semicolons. Also, python has a very thorough set of supporting libraries, including a lot of machine learning and analytics related libraries.

Tabs or spaces?

Spaces

Vim or emacs?

Vim

What do your parents think you do?

I asked my parents what they thought I did, and their answers were actually pretty close. Both my parents have PhDs in economics. My mother said, “I think you handle the website. I would love to know.” My father said, “Management/analysis.”

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love checking out new local restaurants and fitness studios. I live right by Restaurant Row, and there are so many fantastic local businesses in my area. There are new ones popping up all the time — it’s hard for me to keep track!

Speaking of local restaurants, what’s your favorite local business?

It’s so hard to pick just one. I love Big & Little’s; their gourmet fast food is so delicious.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I have done two startups – neither of them successful.

Alicia Babich – Sales Training Manager, Onboarding

Alicia Babich – Sales Training Manager, Onboarding

ALICIA BABICH

Sales Training Manager, Onboarding
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

Having recently celebrated her 3-year Grouponiversary, Alicia reflects on her whirlwind journey at Groupon, provides super sound career advice, and shares some love for Beyoncé.

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

I manage half the Sales Training & Development team: the Sales Trainers you’ll meet as a new hire to Business Development, Merchant Development, Merchant Support, Groupon+, BeautyNow, and Inbound sales. My team is also single-handedly responsible for coaching for those in Groupon Sales University: your first year or two in tenure as a salesperson here at Groupon. The people in the Sales Training & Development family are caring, creative, considerate, and an absolute gift to us all. I couldn’t be luckier.

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I came straight from a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I had volunteered for a crisis hotline for two years there by the time I graduated early and wasn’t unconvinced yet that my next step wouldn’t be medical school for psychiatry. Feeling burnt out, I wanted to do something fun, and came to Groupon as a Business Development Representative, then Sales Trainer, Senior Sales Trainer, to the role I have now just past my 3-year anniversary. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Tell us about the evolution of Sales training at Groupon. 

In January 2017, Groupon Sales University didn’t exist. We took a once-a-week 3-month program designed to ramp up current salespeople and expanded it to a 12-month curriculum designed to teach soft and hard sales skills from day 1 at our company, no matter how much or what kind of professional experience you bring to the table coming here. In January 2018, we launched our first full cycle as it stands today with our Business Development class: the best sales onboarding program in the country.

You’re a member of Women@Groupon. What do you get out of it?

Ladies helping ladies‘ is something I would wear on a t-shirt every single day and I already shout at almost everyone I know. Women’s issues abroad, domestically, and specifically empowering women to rise in the workplace are all very representative of who and why I am. I signed up for Women@Groupon during my first week and became a mentor through their program two years later, where I met one of my closest friends at Groupon now. She and I still meet and talk about skills, resumes, movies, tea, and travel, and this is one small testament to the community these groups cultivate and the incredible experiences being part of them that can really sneak up on you.

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

Sales Training & Development’s insanely talented taskforce of sales slayers is the first impression salespeople have at the company and we hold the privilege and responsibility of instilling strong, strategic, and moral sales skills to our salesforce here: how to get in touch with merchants, how to have effective conversations, how to get the right deals on the site for all parties involved and how to cultivate the right relationships so that the merchants are compelled to work with us and us with them, the right way, forever.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

The scope of your role does not define you. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Operations Project Analyst Israel Pederson when I told my boss I wanted to learn SQL as a general, professional interest. I had no coding skill. Nearly 100 1:1s, one online course, and one year later, our team can track in real-time the effects of the training we do for the first time ever, allowing us to begin to make directional decisions about how we train and to whom, thanks to SQL and teradata. My new goal is to start and get intermediate with Python by the end of this year.

“In January 2018, we launched our first full cycle as it stands today with our Business Development class: the best sales onboarding program in the country.”

Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique? 

The chance to rise at Groupon is unparalleled. Work harder and longer, ask more questions, be humbler, admit defeat more, follow the rules more, defer to those who came before more, and do more than you were asked to and more than every single person around you, every single day. That recipe wins every single time inside these walls. And if you think you do them all, ask a candid teammate if that’s true. Then do them more.

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

I volunteer for an organization called Rape Victim Advocates as a Rape Crisis Counselor: advocates are on-call for X hours each month and get dispatched to one of our partnered hospital emergency rooms any time a survivor of sexual assault is admitted, to accompany them during their entire intake and defend their legal and medical rights and fair treatment, and generally provide support face-to-face. I also love, love, love PS4, running, singing, dancing, drawing, and my MoviePass.

Who or what inspires you?

My desk is littered with quotes, lyrics, and photos from and of Beyoncé. I’m convinced my first full year with this team, my profound love for that woman is the singular thing anyone knew about my interests, which isn’t even wrong. May all of us women be strong, powerful, graceful, fearless, and supportive of other women in the professional sphere and otherwise, always.

Data-Driven Product Management at Groupon

Data-Driven Product Management at Groupon

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

May 2018

Data-Driven Product Management at Groupon

Laura Hamilton

Group Product Manager

Laura heads up product for consumer web, international, and LivingSocial at Groupon. She has a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master’s in computer science with specialization in machine learning from Georgia Tech. She has more than 10 years of experience in ecommerce product management at four Chicago tech companies, from early stage startups to publicly traded global companies. She is passionate about using analytics and machine learning to create a delightful customer experience.

At Groupon, we have a very data-driven philosophy of product management. In this blog post, I’ll talk through how we approach product ownership in a data-driven way, from financial forecasting to roadmapping to feature development to experimentation.

Financial Forecasting and Roadmap Creation

For every candidate feature, we calculate the projected financial upside according to the following formula:

feature_revenue_forecast = expected_lift x platform_factor x success_probability x platform_revenue

Where:

  • feature_revenue_forecast is what we are trying to calculate (the expected revenue from the feature)
  • expected_lift is the increase in conversions we expect from users in the treatment group vs. users in the control group. The vast majority of experiments fall between -1.0% and +1.0% lift.
  • platform_factor is what percent of all users of the platform (whether iOS, android, mobile web, or desktop web) are part of the experiment. For example, for a test on the checkout page on mobile web, the platform factor will be 100%—100% of users who place an order on mobile web visit the checkout page during their journey. For a test on the getaways deal page, the platform factor will be much smaller, so the overall financial impact of the test will be smaller.
  • success_probability is a haircut we apply to take into account that not all experiments will succeed. In fact, only about 30% of our experiments are successful. The success_probability for a given feature could be greater than or lower than 30%, depending on how confident we are that the experiment will succeed. For some experiments that are primarily for strategic reasons, such as maps improvements, we will use a success_probability of 90% or 100%.
  • platform_revenue is the total revenue generated by the platform. For example, the platform_revenue for iOS is the total revenue from orders placed via the iOS app.

With this formula, we have a consistent and data-driven way to estimate the upside from each proposed initiative. Then, once each experiment concludes, we compare our estimates to the actual results, and over time we refine our estimations.

We use these estimated upside figures to create product roadmaps. In order to prioritize initiatives and determine the cutlist, we need to introduce another data point—the engineering effort required. Then, we use the following formula to calculate the ROI of each feature:

ROI = feature_revenue_forecast / level_of_effort

We then stack rank features according to their ROI.

ROI is an input into the creation of the product roadmap and the determination of the cutlist, but it is not the only input. I always like to ensure that there is a healthy amount of time spent on engineering excellence (site stability, paying down technical debt, reducing latency, library upgrades, increased test coverage, improved tooling). I also like to ensure that we have a customer focus. Many of our features come directly from customer feedback via focus groups, quantitative surveys, and app store feedback; the Wishlist feature was one of these. I also reserve a healthy amount of time for strategic initiatives that may not provide lift in the short term but that set us up for success in terms of the Groupon 2020 vision.

Data-Driven Features

At Groupon we are lucky to have vast amounts of data that we can use to deliver a delightful product to our customers. We have worked with one million merchants to date; we have pumped more than $18 billion into local businesses; we have more than 1 billion Groupons sold; our app has been downloaded 171 million times, and we have saved customers more than $28 billion.

The Groupon platform handles tens of billions of user actions per month, and for machine learning algorithms that drive core product features our platform needs to make decisions (such as which deal to show the user next) in fractions of a second.

Developing product features that take advantage of these vast amounts of data in a performant way is an interesting challenge.

We use machine learning algorithms in a variety of ways to develop products here at Groupon:

  • Supply intelligence – There are millions of merchants we could call at any time to get onto our platform; how do we pick the best ones? 
  • Fraud prevention – Fighting the bad guys in realtime.
  • Discovery and personalization – Selecting which deals to show a given user in her mobile app deal feed.
  • Image recognition – Identifying the best user-generated images with neural networks.
  • Logistics – Getting ahead of the order rush by sending extra inventory to the right warehouse in advance of high demand.
  • Customer support – AI-based chatbots to respond to and resolve customer issues instantaneously.

To make developing data-driven products faster, we built a generic, extensible machine learning platform at Groupon called Flux. Flux is the “Rosetta Stone” between data scientists and engineers.

Data scientists work primarily in R. Flux models are written in Java and Clojure for stability and speed. Python is the glue that connects R and Java. It all runs on Groupon’s large Hadoop cluster.

To make the process for productionalizing machine learnings more robust, Groupon has an ETL management platform called Quantum Engineered Data (QED). QED reads from any source, and includes built-in data cleaning, error correction, and anomaly detection. Clean data is preserved and made available as a “feature catalog.” QED handles failures smartly, supporting falling back to yesterday’s model when appropriate. QED is able to plug into any source of truth—including streams, warehouse tables, and JSON endpoints.

QED gives us a lot more confidence in the robustness of our models. In general, subtle changes to a single data field can seriously impact model performance, and nuances in the data set could look fine to tests but fail in the real world. 

 

Interested in joining Product?

Monitoring

This blog post would be incomplete without a brief discussion of Groupon’s monitoring tools. We have a healthy suite of realtime alerts on product and engineering KPIs. We use splunk for logging and wavefront for graphing. Each service is staffed with a 24/7 on-call schedule, with escalation handled by pagerduty.

Additionally, each product area and business are has an Amazon-style Weekly Business Review, where we look at metric trends longitudinally, identify areas of change or concern, and begin deep dives where appropriate.

The data warehouse uses Teradata and Apache Hive.

Experimentation

There are 100 teams at Groupon that run experiments. At any given time, around 200 experiments are being run simultaneously on the Groupon platform.

Groupon has a dedicated team called Optimize that built a bespoke tech platform for running product experiments with mathematical rigor. The experimentation platform is called Finch Express. Finch Express is built with Ruby on Rails, Node.js, Ember.js, Python, R, and Hadoop/Hive. The team has filed three patents for its innovations on product experimentation.

Essentially, Finch Express uses a technique called Group Sequential Analysis, first developed by Abraham Wald in 1945. Group Sequential Analysis has been used extensively in high-risk clinical trials, such as heart valve studies, where it’s possible that one treatment is actually harming the patients. Ethically, we would want to stop a harmful clinical trial immediately—but statistically, checking the experiment results mid-run or “peeking” will vastly increase your rate of false positives and invalidate your statistical results.

Group Sequential Analysis provides a controlled, statistically rigorous way to “peek” at experiment results at set points during the experiment run. This allows Groupon to end an experiment early if it is losing money, and to roll out an experiment early if it is deemed an early winner (capturing more upside).

Finch Express does all of this automatically. Product managers create the experiment in Finch Express, add a description and screenshots (to save the details for future product managers to reference), and launch the experiment at 50/50. Finch Express does the heavy lifting of dynamically determining the appropriate lift sensitivity for the experiment (based on traffic and conversion rate), performing the Group Sequential Analysis calculations, deeming the experiment a “success,” “failure,” or “flat” (most experiments end flat), and even automatically rolling out or rolling back the experiment based on its results. Then, Finch Express reports on the financial results of the experiment. The experimentation platform prevents product managers from statistical no-nos, such as peeking, unbalanced bucketing, and concluding the experiment too early. As a result, our experimentation processes have a high degree of statistical rigor.

On average, Group Sequential Analysis allows us to conclude experiments an average of 57.53% earlier compared to simply running them to a single final checkpoint. This reduces the cost of failed experiments, hastens upside capture of successful experiments, and allows for much faster iteration and innovation.

To date, Groupon product managers have run a total of 2,500 experiments, thanks in large part to the proprietary and patent-pending experimentation platform.

Thanks for staying with me until the end! I hope this gives you an idea for how we use big data at global scale here at Groupon to create our product roadmaps, to innovate with new products and features, to monitor product performance, and to evaluate the impact of new initiatives. If you’re interested in learning more about data-driven product management opportunities at Groupon, have a look at our open roles.

Anne Bustamante – Strategic Account Executive

Anne Bustamante – Strategic Account Executive

ANNE BUSTAMANTE

Strategic Account Executive
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2014

It can be daunting to switch jobs as a parent, especially when you’re a mother of three. But between joining the Parents@Groupon resource group and Groupon’s flexible environment, Anne has settled into a company where she can thrive.

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

I’m a salesperson for Groupon Getaways and cultivate relationships with hoteliers in the central region of the U.S. Together, we build deals based on seasonality and performance and look to grow the relationship over time. I love that what I put into my job is what I get out of it.

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

I love to travel. I have a running list of places I want to see and plan on visiting as many as I can when I have a little more time. The Getaways home page is up on my computer all day…in part because I’m always looking for new destinations to visit but also because I work in Getaways (it’s a win/win). The work we do inspires travel and as we grow I see markets expand and people looking to Groupon exclusively for the best rates and most interesting locations.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done here?

Any presentation I’ve given (or have to give)! I’m not a fan of public speaking, so that’s always my biggest challenge.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

There’s so much energy, activity, color, opportunity, and collaboration at Groupon. I noticed it when I started and still see this every day on the job.

I love that since I’ve been here I’ve never heard the statement, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, I hear “we can do that” or “let’s give it a shot!” and think it’s the best way to grow the company and that’s exciting.

Have you won any awards in your time here?

Yes! I won President’s Club in 2016.

Sales obviously exists at other companies, so why Groupon? Why not sell elsewhere?

I came here because, professionally, I’ve always worn many, many hats and I was at a place in my life where I wanted to focus on one specific profession and do that one thing really well. My experience with Groupon had always been positive and I had heard that the culture was super awesome and collaborative. I love that since I’ve been here I’ve never heard the statement, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, I hear “we can do that” or “let’s give it a shot!” and think it’s the best way to grow the company and that’s exciting.

Show us your favorite view from the office!

What do your parents think you do?

My dad owned a bicycle store for 25 years and I spent my summers and weekends working at the bike shop. I cut my teeth in sales before I could ever ride a bike. I thought my parents would say that I work with travel or that I work at Groupon (they’re subscribers so they get it!), but when I asked them they responded, “obviously we think you sell.” I think they’ll always think my job is to sell!

Speaking of parents, tell us about your involvement with Parents@Groupon!

I was co-chair of Parents@Groupon from April 2016 until December 2017 and a member of the group since I started at Groupon in 2014. I’m a mother of three and when I started at Groupon, I looked to the group as a resource and as a support system. Honestly, I was a little worried about entering such a young company with a family. What I found when I joined the group was a surprisingly large network of parents and allies and an amazing team that wanted to make Groupon a great place to work for parents.

Backing up a bit, where were you before joining Groupon and what brought you here?

My background is in the arts. After I graduated college I worked as a medical photographer in a hospital in Baltimore, MD., then in Springfield, IL. I transitioned into arts management and worked for several non-profit arts organizations throughout Chicago overseeing membership, sales, and sponsorships. One of the organizations I worked for used Groupon to sell memberships and that was my first introduction to the company. I loved the process and seeing the impact on the organization.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

I spend all my time out of the office with my family and dog. I love to cook and eat and I have lots of kitchen help: kids chopping, husband chatting, dog rooting.

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

Coffee taster. I took a coffee cupping class once and while I don’t think I have the palette or experience to evaluate coffee, I would love to taste different coffees and learn about their flavors. It’s fascinating. (I was up for almost two days after the cupping class, so I think one day would have to be it!)

What’s your favorite local business?

105F – Chicago. I started going here on a Groupon a couple years ago and it’s still my favorite place for yoga.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us!

I can untangle anything!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have to admit, I was a huge fan of the candy pit in the enchanted forest. All that candy in the tree stump is the most random thing I’d seen in the office. I didn’t expect to see anything like it and thought I was imagining things! It was so beautiful…

Julie Szudarek – President, International

Julie Szudarek – President, International

JULIE SZUDAREK

President: International
London, UK
Joined: 2011

“Julie has a great and evolving leadership style, well suited to the complex, fast-moving, digital space of Groupon. We see Julie listening to, learning from and connecting people across the business, especially between North America and International, pushing us to become more global, more effective and more successful,” Cathy O’Grady, Senior Director of International HR

Tell us about what you do! 

I’m based in London and run the international business for Groupon. I have an amazing team who bleeds Green. We all love driving customers to merchants and providing value and discovery to customers.

What are you excited to take on in the upcoming year?

I’m excited to continue to grow and evolve the international business. I’m excited about a lot of the HR plans for 2018 which are focused on continuing to drive employee engagement at Groupon.

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

We work hard every single day to find the best merchants across local, travel, goods and coupons for our customers. Local businesses are the core of our community and the work we do for these businesses is one of the reasons I love working at Groupon; I love small businesses because they offer unique things to me as a customer. I’m glad we can help them thrive and obtain new customers.

Speaking of small business, what’s your favorite local business?

In Chicago, it is a place that my kids call ‘the fire place.’  it’s a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant in Lakeview called Sakura Teppanyaki and Sushi, and it’s also a Groupon merchant.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite memory was doing a dance on stage at the Local All Hands in Chicago with Darren Schwartz.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen at the office?

When I was interviewing in 2011, a zombie was walking through the office. It was March, not Halloween. I’m not sure what was going on…

So, based on that experience, your first impression of Groupon was…

“Wow, this is a really crazy place.  A week feels like a day and like a year at the same time; I think there is a problem with the space-time continuum.”

What inspires you?

Seeing my kids learn and achieve new things.  My very shy 8-year-old daughter composed a song for her violin and played it in front of the whole school. It was a huge accomplishment for her!

What do your parents think you do?

Go to meetings.

What did you do before joining Groupon?

I ran revenue management and strategy at Orbitz. Aaron Cooper, currently President of North America, hired me. One day when I was on maternity leave with my 2nd daughter, I told my husband that I had to work at Groupon. Aaron called me the same day. I think the stars were aligned and it was fate that I ended up working here.

“Local businesses are the core of our community and the work we do for these businesses is one of the reasons I love working at Groupon; I love small businesses because they offer unique things to me as a customer.”

So now that you’ve been here for a while, what keeps you excited to come to work every day?

I love our value proposition, it’s very unique and one of a kind: drive new customers for merchants and save consumers money and help them discover new things.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I have 3 kids…. i’ll say no more. But seriously, I like concerts, going to the gym, and trying new restaurants.

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

Field hand or farmer; I find things like cutting grass and doing outdoor physical labor very relaxing.

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

Many emails I write are completely contained within the subject line.

Karishma Patel Buford – VP of Global Talent Management

Karishma Patel Buford – VP of Global Talent Management

KARISHMA PATEL BUFORD

VP of Global Talent Management
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

As a global leader, I have found Karishma to proactively get to know each teammate both personally and professionally; she adapts her leadership style to meet individual needs. She also goes “hard” for her team and goes above and beyond to ensure that any obstacles in the way are broken down for their success (and the success of the initiative). She has been a tremendous add to Groupon and a great representation of someone who lives/models our Values every day. – Cassandra Black: Senior Lead, Talent and Inclusion & Diversity

Tell us about your leadership style. 

If you asked my team, I’m sure they would start and end with “driver,” which is always something to watch out for to avoid micromanaging or burning out my team in the process! I’m sure they would also say that I focus on the big picture and making an impact and that I am fearless in fighting the good fight.  

And what’s the most important quality in a teammate for your organization?

Focus on the solution, instead of just the problem. And follow through!

Talk about the time you realized your work was making a big impact. 

Since the question is the first time, I have to go back…way back to a very personal experience that changed my life and trajectory. I was in my 4th year of college and had just decided I was going to transfer out of my Biomedical Engineering major into Psychology. I was testing the waters by engaging in some extracurricular programs like volunteering at a crisis hotline and interning at the psych unit at UVa. It was a Sunday night when I had received a call at the crisis center from a father who had just taken his wife to the ER for a nervous breakdown and had come home to put his kids to bed. With a gun in his hand, he was ready to take his own life. The fact that he called first let me know there was a chance to save him. We spent two hours talking on the phone and at one point, I pointed out some conflicts in his thinking: that he believed his wife when she blamed him for their troubles but never when she told him she loved him. Somehow, simply helping him see the disconnect in his thinking was a breakthrough.

When the calls end in these situations, you never really know what happens next. But, the next day, I went on to my internship to interview a patient who had just been admitted the night before. After a few questions, it was clear that this was the wife of the man I had spoken to only 12 hours before. Two days later, he visited and I watched all four of them playing together with even a sense of calm. I knew then that I was meant to influence others, to change minds, and maybe even change hearts to make a difference in the world.  

How has working at Groupon impacted you?

Groupon has been an amazing ride in two short years. I’ve grown more as a leader and professional in these two years than ever before thanks to new experiences that have stretched me, lots of feedback from my customers and team, and most importantly, an incredible sense of pride for what my teams have accomplished through their unwavering focus and commitment.

Who are your biggest influences?

My family. My father who has taught me about excellence and striving for more; my mother who taught me compassion; my husband who has taught me about forgiveness and resilience; and my kids who have taught me about patience and true love.

Speaking of your family…what do your kids think you do?

Probably summarized as building great leaders. And now, as my role has expanded…hiring them!

What’s the last book you read?  

I just finished Ray Dalio’s Principles. It is spot on in terms of building a culture from the ground up and what really matters in building a high-performance organization.

Describe a unique breakthrough moment in your time at Groupon.

I think my team will be OK with me saying this because it was a great aha! moment for all of us. At our recent Talent Development & Diversity offsite, the entire global team got together. One of our lightbulbs was that in our super fast-paced environment—and though we talk all the time virtually—we really did not have a clear sense of each other’s challenges in different regions of the world. Because Groupon is headquartered in the US, the perception is that things run more smoothly with fewer challenges on this side of the pond. The reality is that we all have our challenges no matter where we sit, they are just different. So it’s important to always ask about what those are, have empathy, and collaborate together to figure out how to support each other as a team.

Describe your job in 10 words or less.

Support the business in attracting, selecting, developing, and retaining great talent. (11!)

Inspired by Karishma's story?

 

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

This is really tough to nail down to just one piece of advice. I have been fortunate to have found many amazing mentors in my career who have given me a great deal of wisdom and coaching along the way. The best advice is played out in the Jim Carrey movie, Yes Man. Say “yes” – even if it’s scary or if it means some short-term pain. Say “yes” to the experience if you want to have a life and career of endless possibilities. In short, own the experience! That was SO not on purpose. ; )

What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?

Dust yourself off and try again. (Aaliyah, RIP.)

What’s your favorite local business?

Toss up between Big & Little’s—which is two blocks from my house and a Friday night go-to—and River North Car Detailing that does magic when faced with the aftermath of a three-year-old and a ten-month-old.   

What’s the last Groupon you used?

Team dinner at Sapori Trattoria in Chicago.

We know you love what you do at Groupon…but if you could try any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

Oprah. Meeting and talking with people about their journeys, what they’ve learned, and how they have and will change the world…there’s really nothing more inspiring. 

Ashley Doran – International Tax Manager

Ashley Doran – International Tax Manager

ASHLEY DORAN

International Tax Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Visits from the Abominable Snowman and team pajama parties aren’t necessarily things you might enjoy while working in public accounting. But for Ashley, working at Groupon means you can work hard while enjoying all of the oddities that come along with working at a quirky, global company.

First off…can you write a Groupon haiku?

With so many deals – –

possibilities endless – –

what to do today?

So tell us about your job! What do you do and why do you love it?

I am part of the Tax department at Groupon, specifically the International Tax team. I mostly work in the area of transfer pricing, which encompasses all of the intercompany transactions that occur between our related party entities. We have to manage and report these transactions appropriately to foreign tax authorities and there are a lot of rules!

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

About six months after I started, I was asked to help out with the sale/divestiture of some of our foreign entities. I didn’t have prior experience in that sort of M&A work, and one of our Tax Senior Managers left Groupon for another opportunity before the sale was completed. It challenged me to get up to speed very quickly. There were a lot of non-tax consequences that had to be considered, so there was input from many teams: Accounting, Corporate Development, Legal, Communications, etc.

This experience gave me an opportunity to work with people from all over the Finance organization, in a way that someone at my level probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do working somewhere else. We all helped each other through the process and my relationships with those teams are stronger now as we continue to tackle new issues and projects.

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

By structuring our intercompany transactions in a specific way, we allow ourselves to position Groupon global operations for future success, which translates to more Groupon deals and more opportunities to make Groupon the daily local commerce habit.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

There is a huge assortment of random things I’ve witnessed at the office, from team pajama parties to someone walking around dressed in an Abominable Snowman costume on the first day of winter. Also, all manner of quirky signs and desk decorations mean you can witness something new every day.

What are your biggest accomplishments?

The personal accomplishments I’m most proud of are completing my CPA and running my first marathon. I studied and sat for my CPA while working in public accounting, which required a lot of working hours. I had to stay very focused and really dedicate a lot of my free time to studying. It was so gratifying when I finally passed all the tests. Also, last fall I ran my first marathon in Chicago! As someone who loves running, it was something I had been working toward for a long time. I hope to run another one in the next couple of years in my home city of NYC!

So how did you get to Groupon?

I worked in public accounting at KPMG for a few years in NYC before going to a smaller in-house tax role at a private company. When I decided to move to Chicago, I knew I wanted to stick with an in-house position. The fact that Groupon was publicly-traded, and had a large international footprint meant I would be exposed to a lot of new issues and likely be learning a lot. I was not wrong!

What’s unique about the culture at Groupon as opposed to public accounting?

The culture at Groupon is definitely what makes it unique. Groupon’s background as a start-up combined with its laidback culture makes for a fun work environment. Despite the challenges that sometimes come with a laidback environment (at least for type-A accountant types), there is much to learn at Groupon and I am not done learning yet!

What do your parents think you do?

Simply “taxes.”

Be part of a global team.

 

What do you enjoy about being a member of Women@Groupon?

There are a lot of women in leadership positions at Groupon. I want to get to know them, learn more about how they navigate their careers and be exposed to more of my peers who want the same!

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who are intelligent, hardworking, and collaborative. At the end of the day, I think most everyone is just trying to do a good job, at work and in life. It helps to help each other!

Where can we find you outside of work? 

I love to run—with or without my dog, Hank—especially in Lincoln Park along the lakefront. I also enjoy cooking and have been trying to expand my skills with some cooking classes at Sur La Table. My fiance, Mike, indulges me by coming along, too!

If you could do any other job for a day, what would you do?

I’d love to do something creative for a day like photography or interior decorating. No spreadsheets necessary.

What’s your favorite local business?

Taco Joint!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I took piano lessons from the time I was 6 until 19!

Martha Szatkowski – Senior Director, Global Risk

Martha Szatkowski – Senior Director, Global Risk

MARTHA SZATKOWSKI

Senior Director, Global Risk
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2013

If you’re looking for an inspiring leader—or a workout buddy in Chicago—Martha, Senior Director of Global Risk, is your go-to.

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

This is a tough question to answer in a short way! I oversee a Global team that is made up of three main functions: merchant escalations, recoveries, and analytics. That doesn’t totally capture our mission and overall work, of course. I could go on in depth but it’s so interesting that I don’t want everyone coming to me and asking to work on my team.  🙂

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

I am challenged every day in my role. That is what has kept me at Groupon. On the worst or most stressful day, I leave thinking…wow, I learned so much today and I am humbled by all the amazing and smart people that I get to learn from each day.

Who or what inspires you?

Generally speaking, passionate people inspire me–whether it’s a passion for work, family, the arts, etc. If I am getting more specific, my mom and dad have been the most inspirational people in my life. Each of them has a beautiful story–from coming to the U.S with almost nothing to accomplishing so much and more than I could ever imagine both professionally and personally. Their energy, strength, and passion for life have always been contagious.

Speaking of your parents, what do they think you do?

I explain Groupon a lot to my mom and I still don’t think she knows! My nieces and nephews know I work in an office with a cat spaceship and to call Aunt Martha if they ever get in trouble. I think that last part is because my siblings don’t know how else to explain what a lawyer does or what someone in the Risk field does!

Were you referred to Groupon by anyone?

Yes, Silvija Martinjevic!

You recently celebrated your 5-year Groupon anniversary! Take us back to 2013: what was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

When I first walked in the door on that first day of work back in March 2013, I thought…what am I doing here?! I had always worked in a traditional office environment as a lawyer so the open platform, all the themed areas in Groupon, the cat spaceship…all of it was so different. However, the one thing that struck me above all of the differences was the energy–I could feel the energy of the office and how people enjoyed their jobs!

So after working in a more traditional environment, then coming to Groupon, what keeps you coming to work every day? What makes your work here unique?

The general Risk field is different at all companies. Groupon is unique because if you work hard and want to take on more and things that may not specifically fall into your field, you are encouraged to do it. I have had the opportunity to take on many different tasks/roles within my overall Risk role and more projects than I can count. I work daily with many different cross-functional teams. Why do I stay at Groupon? My extremely supportive manager and awesome team keep me at Groupon. Every day is different and challenging.

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

Part of my job is to get the best merchants on our platform and then to keep our customers coming back to the site to buy amazing deals on all our lines of business.

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

I am a spin class fanatic and I love to make my friends workout with me–ask anyone on my team…I’m always looking for workout buddies! I love to cook and have been trying to learn how to play guitar. I have a very big family and we are spread out from the midwest to the west coast so I spend a lot of free time trying to see them all!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I can’t think of just 1 memory that is my favorite…but the most random thing is the day I walked into an elevator with the Abominable Snowman.

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

Honestly, my biggest accomplishment is being part of building a successful Global team. I have been lucky to work with a team that is so passionate, smart,  and hardworking on a daily basis. I am also proud of being asked to Chair Women@Groupon in early 2017. It has been a wild ride working to empower women (and men) in a time where women have such a strong voice in this world.

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I practiced as a lawyer specializing in complex medical malpractice litigation (yes, I know totally makes sense that I came to Groupon!). A very close friend of mine was and is still working at Groupon–she introduced me to my former boss and after meeting at Motel Bar for lunch 5+ years ago, we left our meeting talking about an open role. The rest is history.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I love to cook and am obsessed with Top Chef…for one day I would love to know what it’s like to be a real chef in a restaurant somewhere in the West Loop of Chicago.

What’s your favorite local business?

Cycle X in the West Loop and La Colombe in the West Loop. Spinning and coffee…that’s pretty much how I make it through the day!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I used to sing as a kid–from voice coaches to theater to even taking classes in college. I always knew I wanted to go to law school but I thought maybe I could do Broadway on the side! Only kidding, I always knew I wanted to pursue a law career but briefly had a musical passion. Now, all my friends who know I used to sing try to (unsuccessfully) get me to do karaoke!

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