Tiffany Chou – Software Development Engineer in Seattle

Tiffany Chou – Software Development Engineer in Seattle


Software Development Engineer, Goods Logistics Outbound
Seattle, WA
Joined: February 29, 2016 (a leap year!)

Despite the fact that Tiffany started at Groupon during a leap year, she recently surpassed her two-year anniversary and shares how much she’s grown personally and professionally since first starting here.

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

My team’s job is to figure out how to get a physical package to a customer when they buy products on our site and how to receive them properly if customers decide to return an item. It’s interesting because I spend a lot of money buying stuff online but never really think about how much work must go into getting that package from a warehouse or a vendor to my front door. I get to see all of it happen!

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

I started out as a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) intern in summer 2015 on the Goods Logistics Outbound team. After that, I was offered a full-time job with Groupon as an SDET on the Goods Customer Experience team and joined the team at the beginning of 2016. After a year, I transitioned to an SDE position, back to the Goods Logistics Outbound team. I’ve done some moving around at Groupon!

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

I think Groupon engineers are some of the most positive and helpful people I’ve ever met. When I first left college, I was terrified to ask questions and look like I didn’t know what was going on. When I got to Groupon, I was initially too nervous to ask questions, but quickly realized that everyone I turned to was extremely happy to answer any questions I had. Groupon is where I learned how to ask questions without fear. Recently, I had to work with someone new on a different team for the first time and he was so helpful that I tried to tell him just how much I appreciated his help, and he responded with something along the lines of, “Don’t worry; send me as many messages as you need to. We’re not just part of a team; we’re all in the same ship that we call Groupon.” There is no competition, only collaboration, and cooperation. It’s incredible to be part of such a supportive community; everyone wants to see everyone else succeed!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I was surprised at how laid back everyone was, but how people are still able to get a lot done. In school, I’ve always been pretty competitive, but I realized quickly that that’s just not the culture at Groupon. Everyone is willing to help each other and everyone wants to see you succeed.

What’s been surprising about working here?

Even though we have so many people who are remote or working in different offices and time zones, which can definitely make things more difficult at times, we always figure it out. Everyone is accommodating and understanding when it comes to these obstacles, and we still come together, in the end, to try and make the best product possible. Our organization has people in Seattle, Palo Alto, Chicago, and Bangalore, so it can be pretty difficult to get everyone in sync, but somehow we make it work!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on?

If you go on Groupon to buy something, you might see that some things have a “[Used]” option. That’s called our ‘Open Box’ project, and my teammate Michael and I built that entire program together! It’s really cool to get to see the changes you make out there in the wild. That’s one of the things I love about Groupon — it’s big in that we have many customers and clients using our services, but it’s small enough where you really can make an impact on the business and see the difference you’re making!

Were you referred to Groupon by someone?

Grace Hopper! Not directly, of course, but it was at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that I initially connected with Groupon. I’m grateful that Groupon cares about diversity and getting more women into the industry.

What’s your favorite programming language?


Tabs or spaces?


What did you do before Groupon? How did you get here?

Groupon is actually my first job out of college. I studied biology and computer science at a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts (Mount Holyoke College) and realized I missed the Pacific Northwest too much. I kind of fell into Groupon that way, and I’ve been having a great time ever since!

What’s your favorite view from the Seattle office?

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

One of the coolest things about Groupon is it’s got a pretty big name, but teams are small, so your work really has an impact on the company. In a lot of ways, Groupon still feels kind of like a start-up, so even though I’m technically a back-end developer, I’ve also had to put on the Design and PM hats. I know plenty of people on our primarily back-end team that have worked fairly intensely on the front-end. Although the context-switching can be difficult, and it pushes you out of your comfort zone, I learn so much by being forced into all of these different perspectives and mindsets, and I come out of it a better developer in the end.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Honestly, I have several. One of my favorites is when a bunch of us signed up to stair-climb our building (the second tallest building in Seattle, behind only Columbia Tower) to fundraise for cystic fibrosis cure research. It was 56 floors and so cool to see Groupon care about such a cause!

Another one of my favorite memories was back in 2016, we hosted about 20 high school girls during the summer for a Girls Who Code program, and I was asked to speak at their “graduation.” It was amazing to see these girls (many of whom had never programmed before) show off what they had learned over just a couple of months, and I was honored to be asked to share words of encouragement and empowerment at such a special event for them.

One time we all went out as an office to a Mariners baseball game once, and somehow the Mariners actually won, which stands out as a pretty excellent memory, too. I love that we get the whole office together for things like this outside of work!

Where can we find you outside of work? 

I go hiking basically every single weekend. I just discovered it at the end of summer last year, and I just can’t stop. My goal is to complete 52 during 2018, and I’m currently ahead of schedule!

What do your parents think you do?

I think they must think I spend all day learning how to use Microsoft Office and Google Chrome all day; they always ask me how to get Excel to do something specific or what this new feature in the browser is.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

The Groupon Seattle office held a cookie-baking contest a little while ago, and my Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies won, even though I have a dairy intolerance and wasn’t able to try even one of my cookies before bringing them to the office! The CEO ended up asking for a photo of the winning cookies, so now he might know who I am, but only for my decent baking skills.

Joanna – Senior UX Researcher

Joanna – Senior UX Researcher


Senior UX Researcher
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Former Groupon Design intern Joanna takes us on her intern-to-employee journey and talks about the connection between data points and human stories.

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

As a UX researcher, I am part of Groupon’s Design Union team. I get to work with many cross-functional teams around the globe and run research studies with our customers, merchants, and employees. Even just this year, I was lucky to work with some amazing people in product and engineering, business ops, merchant support and development, business development, marketing, content strategy, legal—you name it!

I love bringing the user perspective to conversations that are often very data-driven. As UX researchers, we strongly believe every data point has a human story. I’m glad we are here to tell them via quotes, videos, and insights that ultimately help create products that are desirable, feasible, and viable.

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

I was recruited by Groupon during grad school and worked as a User Experience Intern during the summer of 2015. My then director extended a full-time UX researcher offer to me while I was finishing my last semester at school. I was promoted to a senior researcher role a year later.

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

The “Groupon people” seemed really friendly. I remember walking around the office the day of my interview thinking the atmosphere was so vibrant and happy. Also, everyone was running around trying to find their conference room. Each floor was a labyrinth of desks, conference rooms with funny names, and strange break areas—the enchanted forest and the tiki bar come to mind. It felt like a start-up.

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

A couple of months ago I interviewed a study participant in Warsaw in Polish while referencing a questionnaire and taking notes in English. It was quite a brain workout, but also really fun.

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

I work on customer and merchant research studies around “voucher-less” products such as BeautyNow and Groupon+ that connect directly to our mission of building the daily habit.

What’s unique about Design at Groupon?

Design is more than making things look pretty. Designers and UX researchers at Groupon spend a lot of time solving problems that deliver value, both for our users and our business. We hardly ever work alone, but we collaborate with others, often on many different teams.

What are some of your design influences?

In my previous career, I was mostly influenced by great designers such as Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Massimo Vignelli. As a UX researcher I am always impressed with the work of my peers and mentors, such as Steve Portigal, and also my former grad school instructors Brianna Sylver and Ben Jacobson. I listen to a few podcasts, such as Mixed Methods, Dollars to Donuts, UX Podcast, and attend industry conferences and meet-ups.

What’s something about working at Groupon that might be surprising to people who don’t work here?

Most people don’t realize Groupon has such an amazing, smart, and thriving Design team we refer to as “Design Union.” The team includes product designers, visual designers, UX writers (content strategists), and of course, UX researchers. I am humbled how much I learn from my teammates as well as our customers and merchants every day.

What’s your favorite conference room?

What were you up to before joining Groupon?

I was a graduate student working towards my Masters of Design Methods degree. Prior to that, I spent over ten years working at a Communication Planning and Branding studio in Chicago as art director and project director.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

One of my merchant UX research interviews took place at a massage therapist office in Chicago. Two product managers attended the session along with me—one flew in from Seattle and another from Berlin, Germany. The room was so tiny they had to sit on the floor. I ended up conducting the entire one-hour long interview seated on top of the massage table. It was very memorable and definitely helped build user empathy among the entire team.

What do your parents think you do?

My mom thinks I help design Groupon ‘coupons.’

What keeps you fulfilled outside of work?

Yoga. Biking. Traveling with my family.


Hannah Bright – Management Accountant in London

Hannah Bright – Management Accountant in London


Management Accountant
London, England
Joined: 2017

Favorite view from the office?

Self-proclaimed Excel geek and Accounting lover Hannah shares how her experience at a Big 4 Accounting firm prepared her for a career at Groupon.

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

I am part of the EMEA Accounting team based in London. We look after the accounting for various entities in EMEA. Right now I work primarily on our Belgium and United Kingdom entities, as well as on various tasks for our EMEA region. What I love the most is that it’s a fast-moving environment so it never gets boring. For example, I was recently given the opportunity to travel to a couple of the other offices such as Paris and Warsaw. It’s been busy but has also been so to great meet and work with new people.

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

Straight out of school I joined the School Leaver Program at Ernst & Young. I was just out of school when I joined EY, and working for one of the Big Four at 18 was a bit of a shock if I’m totally honest; I definitely was not ready to balance working long hours as well as studying for my accountancy exams. I was really devastated when it didn’t work and was a bit lost with what I wanted to do as I always had my heart set on the world of Accounting.

I then joined a Mini Prime Brokerage on the accounts team. This was the opposite of my previous experience: a small firm with about 50 employees in total. Here I learned more than I could have ever imagined. I became a huge Excel geek and by the time I left I was running the month-end process for the company, it was a huge responsibility. I was there for over two years, but when I heard of the opportunities at Groupon I couldn’t miss the chance. I felt like I had a career opportunity at Groupon rather than just a job.

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

Groupon is continuously growing, there is always something changing and something new is always on the horizon. It can be challenging at times, keeping up with the changes but I get to work with some really experienced colleagues that are all for sharing their knowledge which allows our team to grow so it’s a great opportunity. I am again, studying for my accountancy exams and Groupon is invested in my professional development. It is a different environment to my previous experience which is much more suited for me. I get the support of colleagues who have been through similar experiences which is a huge help when finding a balance between work, studying and everyday life.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory was our trip to the We Work festival. A number of us were invited by the company for an all-expense-paid weekend trip. I got to spend a weekend with my colleagues/friends, and the biggest highlight was that I got to see Florence and the Machine which was always on my bucket list! It was a great way to network. Another one has to be the Halloween Quiz we had. Our team name was the ‘Skelle-tubbies’. We had the best masks that moved when you spoke, we won best-dressed team!

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

When the new Revenue Recognition Standards came into place recently, we had to amend the way we recognized Business Developer’s Commissions in EMEA. There was a lot of challenging work in the beginning but it’s been really rewarding. I worked to develop this new process, and I post entries across multiple countries which has been a first for me.

Who inspires you?

A bit different, but Ellen DeGeneres is an inspiration for me. She is commonly known for being a talk show host but she is much more than that. Her career was not plain sailing and she was awarded a Freedom Medal from President Obama for her courage. She speaks for those who feel they can’t, uses her platform to gift generous donations to those in need, isn’t afraid to be different, and she stands up for what she believes in. We need more Ellens in the world.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

In all honesty, I was nervous to work for a big company again… but I was so relieved it was a completely different atmosphere. My team is great and they were so welcoming when I joined.

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

Like I mentioned before, the most challenging task was probably my biggest accomplishment in the last year. It was a new revenue recognition that hadn’t been done in Groupon before and I got to work with many teams across EMEA. I have also recently been chosen to help on the cash reconciliation transition to the new team in Poland. I’m really excited to travel and meet new people. I get to share what I have learned in the last year. I’ve surprised myself with how much I have learned and how far I have come.

What do your parents think you do?

And I quote… “Sum things up.”

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

When I’m not at work, I’m most often socializing with my friends or family. I love food, so it normally includes going out for dinner or cooking new recipes and hoping for the best!

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

I would probably find a job where I could play and look after dogs all day, that would be the dream!

What’s your favorite local business?

The Goudhurst Inn, a local pub. It does the best roast dinners!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Nothing is better – –

Than a “bright” sunny day in – –

Summer in London

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

You can spell Hannah backward and forward. (Cue the laughs.)


Groupon Attends Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco

Groupon Attends Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco

Grouponers @ Lesbians Who Tech: Two (Lefty!) Engineers Recall Their Experience at the Inclusive & Inspirational Event


March 2018





JESSICA HARTOG, Software Developer in San Francisco

Taking place in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, LWT represents everything that Silicon Valley’s homogeneous engineering community is usually missing. The under-represented minorities in tech (and elsewhere in the world) are welcome on Castro Street and at Groupon. Groupon aims to build up amazing communities like this one — a home office for inspiration, respect, integrity, and inclusion. Acting as the embodiment of so many of the things that Groupon holds as its core values, LWT and the Castro District alike are aligned with what Groupon aims to be. So much of my role at Groupon has to do with helping foster an inclusive community. From working together with other engineers internally, to working with communities in the Open Source landscape, the things that I learned at LWT will help me to engage those communities in a more empathetic, respectful, and inclusive way. Some highlights from the summit were keynote speakers Sally Kohn (CNN Commentator/Activist), Dawn Laguens (Planned Parenthood Federation of America), Megan Smith (Shift 7 & former CTO of the US), and a surprise appearance from Samantha Bee. I was also excited to learn about some awesomely creative open source opportunities like Open Artificial Pancreas System (#OpenAPS), where using open source, engineers can come together to improve the market for care of Type I Diabetics.

KEVIN McINTOSH, Software Engineer & Pride@Groupon Co-Chair in Seattle

I attended LWT because I want Groupon to pay attention to the neglected demographic in the intersection of women and the LGBT space: lesbians in technology. I have partnered with this organization on and off for about four years, so I was excited to help Groupon continue to build the relationship. Groupon is taking greater steps to increase diversity within our organization, especially in tech, and we want to help promote badass women and allies in the tech space.

As an impromptu speaker, I presented a 60-second speech on the importance of businesses being able to consider technology bootcamps as a potential source of high-quality technical talent in addition to the traditional college graduate. On the recruiting side, I had the opportunity to spend some time in the speed mentoring section of the conference, where I ended up mentoring eight individuals on everything from interviews to resume crafting.

One of the highlights was running into Samantha Bee (the comedian from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS) who was interviewing attendees on the spot! As a key takeaway, I will be considering how to be more open at work. The issue is that by not being more open, you risk alienating candidates as well as your coworkers. Also, bringing passionate people to these events really makes a difference!  🙂

Sydney Celebrates IWD with Panel & Special Guest Speaker Pepa Randall

Sydney Celebrates IWD with Panel & Special Guest Speaker Pepa Randall


8 March 2018

Sydney celebrates IWD with a tea party, leadership panel, and special guest speaker

Written by Olivia Deskoski, PR & Communications Manager for ANZ

For International Women’s Day this year, the Sydney office focused on the theme #PressForProgress and making Groupon an awesome place for women to work by holding a morning tea event featuring a panel of three three senior team members who are parents. Wayne Nagle, Cara Amores, and Mel Cook discussed how to achieve work/life balance when you have children (it’s more a blend than a balance), men stepping up in the co-parenting role, and our HR lead Cara shared some great insights into her vision for the business and actions taken around making Groupon an attractive place for women to work.

We were also excited to have a special guest speaker from our corporate partner, GWS Giants AFL women’s team defender Pepa Randall, who was candid, humble, and brilliant in sharing her amazing journey into a new sport – women’s AFL (Australian Football League AKA aerial ping pong) that’s been traditionally male dominated for over a century. Women’s AFL has only been around for a couple of years, so the #PressForProgress message was very strong and she had a lot of inspirational takeaways for everyone – including her training and nutrition regime which includes eating 8 meals a day! Pepa emphasised it’s actually hard to eat so much, but somehow we didn’t believe her.

One of Pepa’s gold-star messages during her talk was: “Sport has the ability to teach you about aspects of life. And one lesson is you can’t be fearful to give your best. It is scary doing that because if you give it everything you’ve got and it gets shut down and goes the other way, it can be crushing. But I’ve developed confidence through moments in the game to not hold back because you can reap the rewards when it does all go right.”

Awesome words from a pioneer of Australian female sport!


Of course, it wouldn’t be an Australia story without some boomerangs. 

Dagmara Owczarska – SSC Director, Global Operations in Warsaw

Dagmara Owczarska – SSC Director, Global Operations in Warsaw


SSC Director, India & Poland, Global Operations
Warsaw, Poland
Joined: 2012

Building shared service centers from scratch with Dagmara—a Groupon veteran who has worked in multiple roles during her 5+ years with the company.

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

In 2012, when I joined, Groupon was—just like it is today—an amazing, fun, and extraordinary place to work. My first role at Groupon back in 2012 was Head of Operations for Polish business, with the responsibility of Inside Sales added to the scope several months after I joined. When the opportunity of pushing myself towards global operations occurred in 2014, I didn’t need to think twice and even though it wasn’t clear how my role would evolve in future, I jumped into it and started building the shared service center in Warsaw, initially for customer services only. In 2016, all operations came under one roof of Global Operations (Customer Service and Deal Factory), which was a turning point not only for me but for the entire organization. In 2017, we opened a second location in Poland (Katowice), and very recently I was granted an amazing opportunity to manage all in-house operations in Poland and India. This journey has just started and I am more than excited about it!

That’s an awesome journey! What do you attribute to your success here?

I attribute my success to 3 factors, whether at Groupon or anywhere else: an amazing team of super-smart people, hard work, and a can-do attitude.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Stay transparent.

And what advice would you give someone looking to move up in their career?

Work with smart people and learn from them. Work hard. Always treat feedback as a gift. And then work even harder.

How does Groupon fit into your life?


What does your job look like day to day?

Right now, I’m formulating while already executing (this is Groupon after all, no time to waste!) a strategy to align all Shared Services operations in maximizing their contribution to customer growth, increasing customer lifetime value, growing profitability and last but not least, making Groupon a great(er!) place to work. This requires a lot of coordination between four locations but I’m super excited about how much we can do together to support our company goals!

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

In Shared Services, we’re in touch with hundreds of merchants and thousands of customers every day. By focusing on four pillars: People, Customer Experience, Merchant Success and Streamline & Simplify, we contribute to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit.

How many times have you been promoted?

I think 4.

What are you most proud of in your time at Groupon?

Building the Warsaw and Katowice hubs from scratch. Warsaw and Katowice host two large Shared Service Centers that support business around the globe (customer service, merchant services, editorial, in six languages). We started with a small team of German-speaking CS reps in 2014 and build out the office in Warsaw followed by Katowice, which opened last year. Everything was literally built from scratch and it wouldn’t have been possible without the great team I have both in WAW and KAT, who every day live the “no compromise on quality” rule.

What’s challenging about the work you do?

Complexity, but that’s why I love it.  🙂

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I love sweet cream 😉

Who is the most inspiring woman at Groupon?

We all are!

=chennai badge

International Women’s Day in Japan

International Women’s Day in Japan

IWD 2018 in Japan

Highlights from International Women’s
Day in our Tokyo office


The local Comms team worked with volunteers to organize a food- and quiz-filled event for Grouponers in Tokyo.


Groupies from our Sydney office were

present for the festivities! Here, Sandy and Aline,

who are clearly on a world tour since becoming famous

on the People Blog, spent time chatting with

Yoshiko Mizushima, General Manager of

Accounting  & Finance.


Groupon-branded macarons?!

Say no more. The men from the

office prepared and served all of

the food and drinks for the occasion.

🎂 🍥 🍰


Grouponers were quizzed on the topic of women in the

workplace, including a question about President of

International, Julie Szudarek, and what job

she would love to do for a day.

Join the fun in Tokyo!

We're hiring!


Everyone watched a short

video highlighting Groupon women

from across the globe speaking to

the importance of International

Women’s Day and what it means

to them.


After a short quiz about women

and the gender gap, the winner

received Groupon bucks and everyone

snacked on sandwiches and sparkling



Yoshiko from our Finance organization spoke about

the importance of recognizing International Women’s Day

and overall gender equality at Groupon,

finishing off the speech with a toast.

Géraldine Ah-Soune – Représentante commerciale à Montréal

Géraldine Ah-Soune – Représentante commerciale à Montréal


Représentante commerciale
Montréal, QC
Joined: 2015

Ancienne championne d’échecs, Géraldine raconte son expérience de travail au sein de Groupon Montréal et partage sa manière de maintenir sa motivation dans l’équipe de ventes.

Quel est votre meilleur souvenir chez Groupon?

Quand toute l’équipe est allée au Soccer Bulles. C’était super drôle de voir les collègues dans une situation différente.

Parlez-nous de votre travail! Que faites-vous? Qu’est-ce qui vous plaît le plus?

Je suis en contact avec les partenaires et je leur parle de Groupon. C’est très intéressant car j’ai la chance d’interagir avec des gens de toutes les industries. Ce qui me plaît dans ce que je fais est que je suis convaincue d’aider les petites et moyennes entreprises dans leur stratégie commerciale. Je crois en ce que je vends!

Quel est le plus gros défi que vous ayez rencontré?

À mon humble avis, je pense que le plus gros défi est de faire ce que tu dois faire au quotidien. C’est un marathon et non un sprint. Ce sont des baby-steps à chaque jour. Plusieurs petites décisions mises bout à bout qui en font une journée productive.

Qui vous inspire le plus?

J’admire plusieurs personnes mais pour citer un exemple non original : Nelson Mandela qui a évité une guerre civile à son pays en brisant le cercle vicieux de la haine et de la violence.

Quelle a été votre première impression de Groupon en tant qu’employeur?

La première impression que j’ai eue était celle des employés. Dès le processus d’embauche jusqu’à mes débuts, ce qui m’a marqué a été l’humilité de l’équipe. Même s’ils travaillent pour une multinationale, les gens étaient très cool et serviables. Pas de jeu d’ego comme on peut retrouver dans d’autres compagnies. Tout le monde est serviable et prêt à arrêter sa tâche seulement pour t’aider.

Il y a tout plein d’extraordinaires histoires Groupon. Quelle est votre plus grande réussite et/ou votre plus grande fierté? Racontez-nous!

Être créative dans l’apport de deals.

Vos parents : que croient-ils que vous faites?

Mes parents pensent que je vends des coupons.

Que faisiez-vous avant Groupon?

Avant Groupon, je faisais de la vente en porte-à-porte. C’était mon tout premier travail après l’université. J’en ai énormément appris en termes de techniques de ventes et d’attitude.

Vous avez sans doute une vie en dehors de Groupon. Quelles sont vos occupations à l’extérieur? 

Je fais du yoga et récemment je me suis acheté une machine à coudre pour me motiver à apprendre la couture. Je suis aussi une buveuse de thé.

Votre rôle existe sûrement dans d’autres entreprises que Groupon… alors qu’est-ce qui rend votre mission chez Groupon unique?

Je crois en Groupon et au fait que l’on aide réellement les petites et moyennes entreprises. Il n’y a pas d’investissement initial. Notre modèle d’affaires est très flexible.

Dites-nous quelque chose qui pourrait nous surprendre à votre sujet!

J’ai été championne d’échec entre 8 et 10 ans!

Women@Groupon – Sarah Duffy, Senior Corporate Recruiter

Women@Groupon – Sarah Duffy, Senior Corporate Recruiter


Senior Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2012

Sarah—or “Duffy” as she’s fondly called on the Recruiting team—brings her contagious enthusiasm to the People Blog and reflects on 6 years of building teams at Groupon.

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind while they’re applying or interviewing here?

Make sure you read about Groupon and especially all the stories from the employees on our People Blog! (You’re already in it if you’re reading this, so be sure to poke around!) It’s a great way to learn about the team you’re interviewing for and what people say about working at Groupon. Also, think about what’s important to you in your next opportunity, whether it be specifics about the job, your team, your manager, or the office. Be prepared to ask many questions and learn a ton!

Who or what inspires you?

Motivational speeches. I know it might be weird, but they get me excited…especially hearing from women in leadership here at Groupon! I love attending speaker panels with Women@Groupon or any other professional development speakers we’ve had. Hearing their stories and how they’ve climbed the corporate ladder is very motivating and inspiring!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That It was different, fun, and unlike any other office I’d walked into! Everyone I met was truly passionate about the company and showed they loved being there.

What’s awesome about the teams you work with?

You have the opportunity to be creative and innovative every day! This environment is always changing, so you’ll consistently be challenged and always learning along the way. It’s an environment that people love coming to and you will too! People have positive attitudes, they work hard, and they want to reach end goals. It’s contagious and I love it!

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

I’m recruiting great talent every day and the talent we have is what makes Groupon great!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? The most random thing you’ve witnessed at the office?

One year on Halloween, one of our recruiters decided to dress up (and act) like our office mannequin. It scared quite a few people coming into the office!

What’s your favorite conference room?

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What are you most proud of?

I’m proud to say I’ve been here in recruiting at Groupon for 6 years now! I’ve especially loved being able to help build our global interview guide over the last year. I’ve also been part of revamping our interview training and running the training throughout the year for our hiring managers. It has allowed me to build many new relationships, be part of building our one playbook for talent acquisition, and have the chance to apply it within the business. I love working towards making us better every day!

Anything a candidate should know about how to work with you or what to expect from the recruiting process?

Be yourself and ask questions!

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about Groupon?

I think most candidates come in surprised when they notice it’s not your normal office you see every day. We’re casual, we have an open space that allows you to collaborate, there is always a positive vibe, and people genuinely enjoy being here!

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Research the company and have questions ready for the job and Groupon!

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon!

What I love most about being a member of W@G is having the chance to learn new things and network with people I haven’t met yet within the company. It gives you the chance to meet with so many other great people in the company you haven’t worked with and a chance to learn what another area within the company is doing.

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

I would be a bride again because I loved my wedding dress and would want to wear it all over again! I loved dancing in that dress!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m going to Europe for the first time this summer!

Valerie Smith – Customer Support Representative

Valerie Smith – Customer Support Representative


Customer Support Representative
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2014

What’s your favorite conference room?

Show us your team!

Team Eastwood ROCKS! We are the pilot team for Groupon+ and BeautyNow.

Me and Digital Asset Manager, Jeff Knutson, with our free copies of “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington from her speech at Groupon!

Valerie makes things happen! From maintaining top scores in Customer Service to orchestrating a last-minute Chinese business delegation office tour…with help from our CEO!

Tell us about your job. What do you?

My position as a Customer Support Representative has changed to a specialized position, where I work with my team on various types of projects from BeautyNow, Costco and much more in the pipeline! I’m also answering callback phone calls and what I love is solving problems in an effective where my customers are surprised that something so complicated can be solved in less than five minutes.

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on in your time here?

The most challenging thing was beginning my journey at Groupon! Only one week to train and know the processes for the Goods Channel and answering the phone calls for the first time and it was Black Friday! I had to take what I know from 15+ years of Customer Service experience from my previous employers and apply my strengths to master the customer service processes at Groupon, Inc.

There are a lot of awesome Groupon stories. What’s yours?

When my Toastmasters colleague, Henry Jiang, contacted me, saying he had some Chinese Business Delegates visiting Chicago and that Groupon was top on the list of places to visit. This call came at the end of October of 2017. I asked when the delegates wanted to visit and he said the following week—which also happened to be earnings week! Did I make it happen? Yes, I did! I had emailed Groupon CEO Rich Williams and he responded immediately, getting me in touch with the right people. Within two business days, the Chinese Business Delegation was scheduled to visit the following week. That was a quick turnaround!

It was an amazing experience to have the Chinese Business Delegation from a high-end executives network called Zhisland take a tour of Groupon and meet key stakeholders at Groupon and have a Q&A session. Being part of the tour and Q& A session was a great experience from an international standpoint.

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

Effective communication and understanding the customer’s bottom line. Also, I add value to each and every Groupon customer experience when I speak with them on the phone.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

My Q&A and Customer Service scores are always 95-100% monthly because I add value to each customer I come in contact with on a daily basis. The awards I have obtained so far are 2015 Rep of the Month on my team; November 2016, December 2016, and February 2017 80/80 CSAT winner giving exceptional customer service; and October 2017 Exceptional Customer Service during CS Week.

Valerie with her sister, Sandra, at the Groupon holiday party

So take us back to life pre-Groupon. What were you doing? How did you get here?

Before Groupon, I was working for a credit union as a Human Resources Associate within Learning & Development and Recruiting with my HR Director. My coworker at the credit union received an invite to apply for an onsite interview at Groupon headquarters in Chicago. This coworker knew my energy levels and how I always wanted to work at a global company. He knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime. He emailed me and I applied for a part-time CS position to get in the door with my customer service skills! The rest is history.

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

My first impression of Groupon was how much things change. If you cannot adapt to change quickly, you have to make a decision if you are in or not!

Tell us about your involvement with Blacks in Groupon!

I joined BIG because I wanted to be a part of the Diversity & Inclusion movement happening at Groupon. I’m the Marketing and Communication Lead and I’m looking forward to spreading the voices within BIG onto the People Blog and other marketing channels.

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

Talent Development: I have a passion to train and mentor talent to see them grow within their strengths and placed in roles that would allow them to shine!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Seeing All For One perform on the first floor of our building in Chicago It was so much fun. It was an afternoon full of FUN!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I’m a professional flautist!

Who or what inspires you?

Speakers like Oprah, Les Brown, Lisa Nichols, Eric Thomas, John C. Maxwell, Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins! I love every last speaker for being transparent on what it means to be intentional with action, behind your goals. I live that daily. I mean what I say, I mean what I do!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I’m involved in Toastmasters, taking on leadership roles, improving speaking techniques, and am a social media queen training others on how to utilize social media channels. There is one passion I do have and that is training individuals to develop their own personal brand!

Khushbu Agrawal – Data Warehouse Engineer in Bangalore

Khushbu Agrawal – Data Warehouse Engineer in Bangalore


Data Warehouse Engineer
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2017

So tell us about what it’s like being a Data Warehouse Engineer at Groupon.

I create something meaningful for everybody. Yes, there is a lot of data generated everywhere. As a Data Warehouse Engineer, I convert data into meaningful information which is critical for the business to make more informed decisions in order to grow the company.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day basically in office starts up with the standup call, which gives the team a good head start. I then work on a couple of user requests along with small breaks in between. Yes, I don’t forget enjoying time with my colleagues in the chaos of work, too. At the end of the day, it gives me a sense of accomplishment with work, fun, and food

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

GDPR compliance is keeping everyone on their toes. Lots of old technology is going off and users sensitive information is to be kept hidden. I am working on this piece of work which is quite challenging.

What do your parents think you do?

Who knows, ha! They think I do stuff on a laptop.

What has been surprising about Groupon so far?

Groupon has every type of engineer. Any technology, you name it, Groupon has a skilled resource for it. Great learning with a great future is guaranteed here.

What’s your favorite programming language?

I love coding in Unix.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

It’s open and full of unique, talented people.

What’s your favorite conference room?

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Participating in GEEKon, our global internal hackathon. I had just joined Groupon two months prior and I was so thrilled to see people excited and geared up for the event. Each team came up with unique ideas, and I too took part in it. It was fun working with and learning from other teams. My team worked on creating a multi-dimensional analysis (OLAP) on Hadoop using open source Apache Kylin. This provided us low latency and higher performance even in the TB of data. I was the Architect and designer of this project. This project gave us good learning and exposure!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Traveling, hanging around with friends, and last but not least, online shopping. 🙂


Women@Groupon – Hillary Proctor, Technical Project Manager

Women@Groupon – Hillary Proctor, Technical Project Manager


Technical Project Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

It might surprise you to find out that some of our earliest employees who started in our Editorial department eventually took their skillset to the Engineering organization. Hillary is one of those people! What sort of skills allow for that interesting career move? She explains.

Tell us about what you do!

I was originally hired as a fact-checker in the editorial department and spent my first few years at Groupon as a site editor. I learned a lot about problem-solving under pressure and communicating with different kinds of stakeholders across the company. Both of those skills were key when I transferred to the engineering department for a role on the Application Operations Support team (better known as AOS). AOS handles technical triage and support for both customer-facing and internal applications globally, essentially bridging the gap between business and technical teams. It was a bit of a learning curve at first, but making the switch to tech was the most significant turning point in my career thus far, and I’m so grateful that Groupon afforded me that opportunity.

While in AOS, I was especially interested in coordinating cross-team collaboration and improving documentation, which I later realized was actually project management. After honing those skills through several types of projects, I recently moved into a role in the Engineering Project Management Organization (PMO), so I now get to manage cross-functional projects full time! Members of the PMO have been described as air-traffic controllers, or conductors – whichever metaphor you prefer, we’re basically the ones who orchestrate and keep track of complex efforts across many individuals and teams to ensure a project is executed successfully. We’re also obsessed with spreadsheets and Google calendar, both of which are close to my heart.

What’s the proudest moment in your time at Groupon?

I worked from our amazing Dublin office for six months to help train a new support team there. I’m incredibly proud of that opportunity and how it expanded my own perspective on Groupon as a global company. Plus, it was easy to love living in Ireland!

Take us back to 2010: what was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

I joined in May 2010, so it was a lot different back then! Near the end of my second day of work, everyone in the company gathered for a “mandatory meeting” that turned out to be a Cinco de Mayo…toast, if you will. I knew at that moment that my time at Groupon definitely wouldn’t be boring!

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

Our technical projects bring together many teams and drive key strategic initiatives – whether it’s rolling out a new product, ramping up an engineering service, or overseeing a cross-platform campaign with our truly hilarious spokesperson. I know that if the PMO is working on it, it’s mission-critical. More broadly, I’ve seen a ton of growth and operational improvements in my time at Groupon, and I’m excited to keep making the experience even better for customers and merchants.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love trying new restaurants and blog about them at In fact, before I joined Groupon, I went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu to become a better-informed food writer! I wrote a few food pieces for Groupon as well, during my time in the editorial department.

What’s your favorite local business?

I’m partial to my neighborhood, Logan Square, so I’m going with Lula Cafe for food and Lost Lake for drinks.

What’s the story behind your track jacket nickname?

I have the full green tracksuit from the early days (I think the pants are considered vintage now), a 5-year black track jacket, and two platinum stars. HPro is a nickname that started in college, but I also made it my handle on HipChat, our internal chat room system. Every so often I’ll hear it out loud from someone I don’t know very well, and it takes a second to remember that it’s only because they’ve seen it in HipChat so many times!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

This haiku is dedicated to the PMO:

Talented colleagues – –

Managing cross-team projects

Rockstars? Herders? Both

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Too many to count over (almost) 8 years! A few that come to mind: celebrating women in tech with 15,000 others at my first Grace Hopper conference, watching multiple sunrises over Lake Michigan during early shifts at our temporary office space, going to Medieval Times and a horse farm for (two different) team outings, and having Thursday market lunches along the canal in Dublin. Oh, and I made a 5-second appearance in a Nightline segment way back in 2010.

But on a sentimental note, I’ve met some of my closest friends here, so that’s what stands out overall.

Have you won any awards in your time here?

Last fall, I won Engineering Operations Employee of the Month and received a (super soft) hoodie.

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon and Groupon Volunteers.

I’m currently on the Women@Groupon leadership board. I’m in charge of finance, so I help ensure that we’re using our budget for maximum impact. Our W@G programming aims to empower women through professional development, networking, community outreach, and other events. I’ve really enjoyed supporting that mission and also partnering with other employee resource groups to build a more inclusive atmosphere. On the volunteering side, I’ve helped out with the Red Cross Disaster Relief Telethon, Scout Out Engineering, and Girls Who Code mentorship. I’m also passionate about participating in quarterly blood drives – my grandpa donated 22+ gallons of blood in his lifetime, so I donate in his memory..