Manager, Project Management
Palo Alto, CA
Preferred pronoun: She/Her
What do ancient Egyptian goddesses have to do with GDPR? Meg fills us in and talks about her career bringing different perspectives together in order to solve technical problems at Groupon.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
For a summer in college, I taught English classes at an elementary school in Yichang, China. It was an amazing experience to immerse myself in Chinese culture, travel through the stunning Three Gorges area before the dam was completed, and work on my Mandarin. While I haven’t retained much of the language, the experience shaped my global perspective.
Have you won any awards during your time here?
I was honored to receive the inaugural Ownership award from our CTO Colin Bodell for my support of GDPR. It’s an obnoxiously large statue of Atlas holding up the world – definitely how I felt sometimes during busy times of the project because there was so much to do! The difference would be I was definitely not holding things together alone, as we have a great core team supporting each other. I also received a lovely monogrammed pen.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
This is tough! I was thrilled to be part of the Groupon team at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing last year. We sent an amazing group of women and allies from across our teams and sites to the conference, and it was an awesome experience to connect in person with my Groupon colleagues and talk to great candidates about why we love Groupon. One of my favorite keynotes focused on the gaps in AI performance when the development teams lack diversity. The critical importance of different viewpoints in developing technical solutions really resonated with me. I love bringing another perspective to our problem solving!
Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?
I’m the manager of an awesome team of Engineering Technical Project Managers based in Palo Alto, California. We make sure the big, important stuff gets out the door to our customers. Our Project Management Office (PMO) team members utilize their unique knowledge, skills and experience to manage complexities, resolve issues, and keep engineering team members engaged, ensuring successful execution and delivery. We have a broad breadth of knowledge across the Engineering organization and significant ownership of the high-profile work of the company. I love bringing together so many passionate folks in different cross-functional teams towards a single goal and accomplishing it together!
Let’s talk about Engineering at Groupon. What’s unique about the culture here?
We have extremely passionate people in Groupon Engineering. Folks are encouraged to speak up and often. I love the excitement we bring to work every day and am constantly amazed by the teams I work with going above and beyond.
What’s your favorite part about your team’s Software Development process?
As a project manager, guiding my team through each stage of the project or development cycle is really interesting. My favorite part is the relief and pride of a successful Go Live. Seeing a feature on our platform that is new or creating a better user experience because of our efforts is really exciting and motivating.
Where were you before joining Groupon? What brought you here?
I previously worked at several great corporations with very interesting challenges in IT project management and business analysis, but I wanted to move faster. I love the autonomy of Groupon. The opportunity to make a significant impact with each project or individual I manage has been amazing.
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?
I’ve been managing our internal project to ensure compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since last year. We love code names at Groupon, so we call this “Project Bast.” Bast was a goddess in ancient Egyptian religion, a major protector deity represented as a cat. Cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, and Bast represents our project goal of protecting data privacy and security. And, she is a cat and at Groupon, we like cats.
Project Bast has been an overwhelming but amazing opportunity to revolutionize our approach to data privacy and security at Groupon, and so rewarding to work with intelligent and dedicated folks across every department in the organization. I’m incredibly proud of our accomplishments, and could not have done it without my team. We have implemented ongoing best practices throughout the company that are the right thing for our customers, merchants, and employees.
How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
My team of Engineering Technical Project Managers ensure that the important features, products, and platform initiatives are completed to improve our customer experience, making them come back again and again. We are the bridge between the engineering development teams and business requirements to prioritize the critical work. We remove cross-functional blockers and enable team success. Project managers make things happen!
Can you talk about your involvement with Groupon’s ERGs and volunteer program?
I recently became engaged as a team leader for our Grouponsultation cohort. I’m organizing a team of Groupon volunteers across our locations to solve problems for a nonprofit over the next three months. We’re supporting Culinary Care, who provides free meal programs to cancer patients, as well as their families, during their treatment journey. Our team is helping them best utilize their new platform to continue to grow and impact more people. It’s wonderful to have company support to organize and utilize our skills for a great cause.
What do your parents think you do?
My mom actually knows what I do! “While at work, you lead a team who is assigned various projects to manage for Groupon. Ultimately, you need to make sure all projects managed by your team are moving forward and if they’re not, how that can be facilitated. At that point, you become the advocate for your team member so they can successfully complete the project on time and on budget. Then you celebrate success! (You excel at celebrating!)”
What’s your favorite local business?
My favorite local business is La Fondue in Saratoga. It’s a splurge but definitely more affordable with our Groupon deals! La Fondue is a fun and unique fondue restaurant with an over-the-top atmosphere and delicious exotic menu choices like wild game and signature chocolate combinations. It’s one of our go-to places for a special date night or celebration.
Where can we find you outside work? What are your hobbies, side projects, or interests?
With my family! I have two young boys that fill my life with adventure. We love to travel, read books, go to the zoo, play football, and walk our dog, Hershey. We went on a cruise in Japan last year. Sushi is their favorite food, so they were in heaven.