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…

Israel Pederson – Sales Operations, Reporting and Analytics

Israel Pederson – Sales Operations, Reporting and Analytics

ISRAEL PEDERSON

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

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

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

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

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

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

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

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

What inspires you?

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

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

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

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

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

What are you most proud of in your time here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your favorite local business?

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

What’s your favorite view from the office?

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

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

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

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

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Catchy portmanteau – internet caught by surprise – building the future

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

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

Photos from international Groupon visits:

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Esther – Head of Global Merchant Payments

Esther – Head of Global Merchant Payments

ESTHER

Head of Global Merchant Payments
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

Esther may not be president of the United States, but she’s clearly a leader in the Global Merchant Payments world of Groupon.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have witnessed a lot of random and crazy things in the past 7 years. There are so many times that I think back and realize how fortunate I am to have these wild and crazy stories. One notable moment would be the day we went public on November 4, 2011. At 5 pm the day before, we received a company-wide email titled “IMPORTANT: All Chicago Staff Training Tomorrow – 8 AM.” Back then, it was extremely rare to get any emails saying something was “mandatory,” so we all knew the business was not messing around. When we all got in that morning people headed to their designated meeting areas to be met with champagne and cake! The whole day ended up being such a fun celebration. It was even more memorable to have been in Customer Service at the time. All of our phone calls that day seemed less like work and more like thanking our customers for their appreciation and commitment.

What’s your favorite local business?

I love Cesar’s Restaurant that we run periodically on Groupon!

What’s unique about Groupon as a work environment?

Groupon has given me unique opportunities to learn and grow, which I feel are really specific to this company. The investment they have made in hard-working individuals goes beyond what people are qualified to do on paper. I have also met some of my closest friends here and although some have moved on; we all know that Groupon has something special.

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

Being in Merchant Payments, my team is constantly thinking about our merchants. We know that accuracy and timeliness on our end help our overall relationship with our merchant base. We work hard every day to help other teams do their job without boundaries or complications.

What’s your biggest accomplishment here (so far)?

I love watching my team grow. Being a manager in both Customer Service and Accounting, I have managed a lot of people. I love seeing others succeed both inside and outside of Groupon. I have seen some of my former employees become managers, top sales members, project managers, actors, stay-at-home parents, and many others that have gone back to school to become something entirely new and challenging.

Give us a glimpse of your workspace.

“Groupon has given me unique opportunities to learn and grow, which I feel are really specific to this company. The investment they have made in hard-working individuals goes beyond what people are qualified to do on paper.”

Why do you participate in Parents@Groupon?

I love getting to know others throughout the company. As a mother, it has been extremely valuable to meet other through parents at Groupon and see how we are all working through the challenges of work/life balance. It is also amazing to see what Groupon is capable of when we all come together!

What does your mom think you do?

“You manage a crew of people and process a lot of money for your merchants/vendors.”

Have you won any awards here?

Not yet! But in 8th grade, I won “Most likely to become president.”

Who or what inspires you?

My mom is my inspiration. A mother of 4, she has never given up on any of us. She is an elementary school principal who is dedicated to education and the growth of our communities. She is a loving mother who thinks we can never do any wrong and she is the best grandmother to my son. She is the textbook mother and grandmother who still gives us money to spend on our birthdays and spoils her grandkids any second she can. My mother never told us that something was impossible; for her, she worked hard through her years and always looked for the alternative solution when things got difficult.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought Groupon was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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

I really want to be a celebrity’s assistant. Not sure why… just seems really busy and exciting.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I started at Groupon on my birthday! Having to write ‘today’s date’ and my birthday on all of the HR paperwork made for some messy penmanship (I kept messing up the years!)

What did you do before joining Groupon?

I went to school to become an English teacher. After substitute teaching for a little bit, it was hard to find a full-time job. An opportunity came up to be a Customer Service Representative and I remember my husband telling me that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I took the job and never looked back!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Daily payments for –

Merchants who run on Groupon –

Get your deal today

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

VOLUNTEERING

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

14 November 2017

Enjoying pink baked goods (for a cause)

From the Sydney Office

We all have a special woman in our lives, so let’s support them and each other at the Pink Ribbon Breakfast and Bake-Off Competition!

For winning the Global Volunteer-A-Thon, Groupon ANZ was provided the opportunity to not only celebrate but also give back. Together, we enjoied a cupcake, shared a breakfast and heard some important details around Breast Cancer.

Each Groupon team was invited to bring their best baked goods to the table and go head to head in the Ultimate Groupon Bake Off to find out just who is the Bake Leader once and for all!

It was a great event, organized by our staff, with personal stories shared regarding loved ones who had impacted by breast cancer.

Everyone loves a good “camera timer” joke.

From the Sydney Office

And Breakfast Tea in the Melbourne Office

A Note from the Melbourne Office

Just wanted to share our little Pink Ribbon Morning Tea we had this morning in Melbourne. Thanks for everyone who was involved!

Ryan and Craig outdid themselves in the baking department and there were plenty of tasty treats for a good cause to go round!

We’ve opened the morning tea up to the rest of The Hub office space and hope to raise quite a bit of money by the end of the day! I’ll loop back in with the final count tomorrow 🙂

Great to have Ryan and Steve T in the office as well (and our little celebrity Liam the Cavoodle!) – and what a morning to welcome Daniel to the Melbourne Office as well! Go Tea!!!

We Raised a Massive $1173.30!

Thank you to each and everyone of you who baked (or bought) in some items of food. Thank you to the Taskforce, Women@work (Tina, Amanda, Melissa, Naomi, Ryan, Ang, Kiera, Val & Cara) who organized it all, to Steve who judged the bake off & a massive Thank you to everyone who generously donated!

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

STEPHEN GARVEY

Project Manager, Recruiting Operations
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011 & 2014

Stephen is one of Groupon’s “boomerang employees” who left and returned shortly thereafter due to missing the people and culture. However, he could’ve come back more quickly if he had been on that hoverboard…

Who inspires you?

My wife is an ICU nurse, so she literally deals with life and death situations every day. It amazes me that she’s able to continuously head in and deal with that. It’s really helpful to have that reminder that while our jobs at Groupon are challenging and can be stressful, it’s not life and death. We’re just trying to help make life fun for our customers.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought that the office was really big. At the end of my first day, I got a little lost and ended up taking a staircase that let me out in the custodial area. I had to walk around in there for a while before I found someone who could let me out.

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

My role is to work on systems and processes that are used by our recruiting team. I’m helping make their jobs easier so they can go out and find the best talent to add to Groupon.

So why did you leave Groupon then come back?

I received an offer from another large company that seemed like a logical next step in my career, and I felt that it was too good to pass up. However, I was definitely reluctant to leave Groupon. I ended up staying in the office until 7 pm on my last day because it was so hard to say goodbye. In the end, the things that I missed the most about Groupon were the people and the energy of the office. There’s definitely a sense of team and community that just doesn’t exist everywhere. I was back within three months of leaving.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Groupon, Love Local – –
Just making life less boring – –
A great place to work!

What’s your proudest accomplishment while working at Groupon?

I recently worked on a project that was tasked with onboarding our entire global recruiting function onto one unified Applicant Tracking System. It was a completely new challenge for me and I learned a lot. It has been really exciting to see some of the wins that have come from that project.

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

I would love to spend a day as the New York Mets mascot, Mr. Met. Everyone loves him, and it seems like he has a wonderful giant baseball-headed family. It’s a real fairy tale.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

My first job out of college was as a production assistant on the set of a very classy reality show called “I Want to be a Hilton,” starring Paris’ mom, Kathy.

Nominate a teammate (or two) for a superlative!

Groupon World Headquarters

Parents @ Groupon Celebrates 1st “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day” in Chicago

Parents @ Groupon Celebrates 1st “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day” in Chicago

A typical Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day might entail kids shadowing their parents as they go about their day, maybe setting up a makeshift workspace for kids to doodle, tinker with desk decor, or play office. At Groupon, we decided to do things a little differently this year. In late April, a dozen kids over the age of nine alongside their parents had the opportunity to spend the day immersed in their area of choice, whether that was engineering, photography, recruiting, design, or even a Shark Tank-themed sales contest.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 9.52.44 AM

“When planning the event, we really wanted to make sure we had a variety of departments featured and leading activities. We were excited that we had animation, engineering, and the photo studio, among a few other fun activities with great teams!” Katie Knox, Parents @ Groupon Talent Development & Recruiting Chair.

The National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation explains, “Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work program goes beyond the average practice of “shadowing” an adult. Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education and helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future, and allowing them to begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success.”

Later this summer, Groupon will host kids of all ages for Bring Your Kids to Work Day, but first, Parents @ Groupon has both Mother’s and Father’s Day events lined up to celebrate the hardworking parents of the ‘pon.

Want to learn more about our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)? Check out these stories to find out how our employees are getting involved.