Tahora Nazer – Marketing Intern in Seattle

Tahora Nazer – Marketing Intern in Seattle

TAHORA NAZER

Marketing Intern
Seattle, WA
Joined: 2018

Tahora, queen of gifs, talks about her experience optimizing Groupon’s landing pages during her internship in Seattle.

What team are you interning for?

Marketing – Search

What do your parents think you do?

They think I help Groupon become more popular!

What did you work on this summer?

My project was about finding optimization opportunities in our landing pages. The goal of these optimizations was to provide a better experience to customers who are visiting our website.

What’s the coolest thing you accomplished this summer?

All the major findings of my project turned into action items. We realized what could be improved on Groupon pages to increase customer satisfaction, the engineering team put that into action, and we have already witnessed the results. It’s exciting to see how impactful a well-defined internship project can be when combined with effort and collaboration.

What’s been most surprising so far about interning at Groupon?

How much the effort of interns is valued. It was surprising to see how intern projects turn into action items and make impact while the interns are still at Groupon.

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

Virtual Reality for social good! VR has been used for helping people during physiotherapy sessions for regaining their ability to walk by simulating walking on the beach instead of in a normal room.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

The Tripods novel series by John Christopher. I entered the wonderland of books when my father started reading these novels to me and my sister when we were little girls.

My Instagram is mainly photos of ____________.

Me traveling across the US.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced in the city you’re interning in?

Seeing the Seattle skyline from a cruise boat.

What was your favorite memory from this summer? 

The cooking class we went to with all interns and managers in the Seattle office. I learned to cook Indian food and make spices from scratch. it was interesting to see how such events can change the dynamics of the teams and make work more fun.

 

Tanuja Ghosh Boral – Senior Manager, Customer Service in Chennai

Tanuja Ghosh Boral – Senior Manager, Customer Service in Chennai

TANUJA GHOSH BORAL

Senior Manager, Customer Service
Chennai & Bangalore, India
Joined: 2012 (feels like yesterday!)

5+ years at Groupon is essentially 10 years at a “normal” company, but Tanuja clearly has made a home here and bleeds Groupon green to prove it.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I love listening to ghazals of Jagjit Singh and gambling in casinos.   🙂

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Well, there are many indeed! It’s difficult to choose just one! To mention a few, when I was selected as “Groupon Ambassador;” when one of the leaders coined me “Tiger & Tornado;” our Annual Day celebration; recognition through multiple awards and promotions over the last 5+ years; successful completion of COPC; and making it on the Groupon 5+ years wall in Chennai!

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?

I oversee the North America Customer Service operations for our India locations (Chennai and Bangalore), with a span of approximately 500+ people. Prior to this role, I was managing EMEA & APAC operations in Chennai along with Global Merchant Support.

I love that no two days are the same at Groupon. Starting from collaborating with onshore counterparts, stakeholders, support functions, managers across locations to managing projects, continuously improving the customer experience for our email and chat channels…the days just fly by. From my very first day until now, there has been a guaranteed excitement about completing a successful and happy day at work. The challenges are unending and the opportunities are like the waves in an ocean: they keep coming one after the other!

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

When I was managing Merchant Services along with International Customer Service operations simultaneously, for 1.5 years. I worked on multiple process improvement projects—pilots were to be handled for both these platforms along with stabilizing the operations, which was extremely challenging. At the end of it all, the projects did benefit the service delivery expectations and I was happy with the positive results!

Prior to this, I was wearing multiple hats and simultaneously managing the Quality, Escalations, and Training Teams at our Chennai location for North America Customer Service business. I successfully piloted the QA and Escalations team in Chennai while onboarding roughly 350 new hires for CS in one quarter with just one trainer! I kept challenging the status quo and myself!

What inspires you?

Groupon as a company inspires me! Its culture, people, and values drive my work, which fosters an environment of transparency and belongingness! It is also extremely heartening to see most of my team members who have reached managerial positions of credible importance within Groupon in Chennai and Bangalore. They are all today the pillars of Groupon India’s success in Customer and Merchant Services and this gives me immense pleasure and energy to carry on!

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

When I was able to turnaround the UK Customer Service business within a span of two weeks post my movement to this division…it was a fantastic experience! And the icing on the cake was when I received a fabulous appreciation from my stakeholder on the successful quick turnaround!

 

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

I was a Senior Financial Research Analyst in an MNC which deals with US companies in preparation of financial reports, filed with Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). I also worked as a Business Consultant for 1.5 years with a banking software firm in Private Banking & Asset Management.

I got head hunted – the role looked exciting to me and here I am today!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

That it was one of the coolest companies I have ever come across; I never knew work could be so enticing! So much to look forward every day!

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

I would be an astronaut venturing into outer space!

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

Simplifying and streamlining, growing profitability, and improving our customer experience are the main objectives of the Customer Service business. Understanding customers’ requirements accurately and ensuring we are able to respond to them correctly the first time makes a huge difference to the companies outlook to end users.

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 love being home enjoying with family and friends. Travelling around the world and photography are my hobbies!

 

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Meg Berol – Manager, Project Management in Palo Alto

Meg Berol – Manager, Project Management in Palo Alto

MEG BEROL

Manager, Project Management
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2016

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’ve been engaged with PRIDE@Groupon, Women@Groupon, Parents@Groupon, and Groupon Volunteers.

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.

日本「夏祭り」- Japan’s 2018 Summer Party

日本「夏祭り」- Japan’s 2018 Summer Party

 日本「夏祭り」 | Japan’s 2018 Summer Party

 

先日、グルーポン・ジャパン全社員が東京に集まりました。大阪や名古屋をはじめとする各都市から東京オフィスに社員が一堂に会し、2018年度上半期の総括や下半期に向けてのビジョン等を共有する貴重な機会となりました。 特に暑い今年の夏!カンファレンス終了後に開催された社内パーティは、「夏祭り」をテーマに縁日ゲームやフードブースが登場し、非常に盛り上がったイベントとなりました。

Groupon Japan has gathered for another quarterly meeting held at Tokyo office with Groupon employee from all across Japan. It was great to see teammates from Osaka and Nagoya who travelled all the way to Tokyo to have a great time with us at this event. We covered a lot of good stuff! We kicked off the party with our Country Manager, Yasushi Okue, sharing an overview of the first half of 2018, our goals for the rest of the year, and of course, awards and more awards! We don’t normally have summer parties here, but yes, it has been a very hot summer in Japan this year and we decided to go with a “Summer Festival” theme (a.k.a. “Natsumatsuri”). Food, drinks, games and outfits…anything to do with Summer Festival were everywhere in sight!

カントリーマネージャーのブースは「利き酒」。お酒を試しながら、気軽にカントリーマネージャーと語れる時間に。

Our Country Manager serving us a drink (a.k.a. Sake). They were all tasty and had a unique character.

連続予算達成の大阪拠点のメンバー。おめでとうございます!

Teammates from Osaka! Congratulations on achieving your targets: we’re looking forward to having them back in Tokyo again!

縁日といえばヨーヨー釣り?!大人になっても釣れると嬉しいものです。

This is yo-yo fishing, where you catch water balloons with paper made small gears. We all take this game very seriously!

すべてのブースはマネージャーが担当。はっぴに身を包んでパーティを盛り上げます! 全社が大集合したこともあり、熱気のあるパーティとなりました。2018年上半期のMVP受賞者の発表では、営業部が選ぶバックオフィス、バックオフィスが選ぶ営業部などの受賞もあり、部門の垣根を越えてお互いに感謝の気持ちを形にすることで、一体感を感じる結果となりました。 また、勤続年数2年、5年を迎えた社員に送られるジャケットの授与式などもあり、全社員が今後への意気込みを新たにしました!

Thanks to our sales managers for making this event happen! Every Groupon employee has something important to contribute, and it was great to give out MVP awards to teammates from Sales and our back office operations teams.  We also can’t forget those who received their green and black track jackets: congrats to our long-tenured teammates!

勤続2年を達成して、グルーポン・グリーンジャケットを受賞した皆さんです。 現在、弊社グルーポン・ジャパンでは、事業拡大につき一緒に働く仲間を募集しています! ◇営業職 ◇エンジニア ◇カスタマーサービス ご興味のある方はjp-recruit@groupon.comまでご連絡下さい。お待ちしています!

Groupon Japan is hiring! We’re looking for teammates to join us in the following departments: 

◇ Sales 

◇ Engineering

◇ Customer Service

If you are interested in joining us, please contact us at jp-recruit@groupon.com or visit our Career Site to apply directly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Anushri Devarmanai – Product Management Intern in San Francisco

Anushri Devarmanai – Product Management Intern in San Francisco

ANUSHRI DEVARMANAI

Product Management Intern
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 2018

Despite what her parents might think, Anu is spending her internship rolling out new deal structures and shipping features to production for Groupon’s hottest product launch. (NBD!)

What school do you go to?

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What team are you interning for?

Groupon+

What do your parents think you do?

Probably make coffee and run errands for others.

So what do you *actually* do?

I am a product management intern for Groupon+, which is a card-linked offer system where users get cash back on their purchases. Groupon+ as a whole is neat because it eliminates the need for a voucher and makes the process of using Groupon seamless for consumers and merchants. During my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several different features. In product management, we have key metrics that we use to determine to success of our features. My features are designed to improve key metrics like conversion or enrollments.

One project that I’m working on is a new deal structure for Groupon+ deals, called Mesa. In order to get this deal structure set-up, I have been collaborating with individuals in sales, legal, engineering, design, and content. This project has given me an incredible amount of insight into how all the pieces come together in order to create a successful feature. I’ve learned how to manage roadblocks, align timelines, and handle differing priorities in order to successfully keep the project moving forward. It has been quite the ride – and I’m having so much fun! Not a day goes by that I don’t learn at least 10 new things.

Memorable Groupon moment so far?

Earlier in the summer, I spent an afternoon volunteering in Presidio with Groupon. We were removing weeds from a community garden, and it was a competition to see which team could finish their section the fastest. Naturally, the 5 interns banded together into a group, raced to put on our gardening gloves, and began hacking away at the weeds. After about an hour of weeding, we successfully finished clearing our section FIRST! But more importantly, it was a fun way to bond with my fellow interns while volunteering and protecting the environment 😉

What’s been most surprising so far about interning at Groupon?

The culture! I feel so grateful to be working with my Groupon+ team. Everyone is so kind, friendly, funny, and not afraid to bring their quirky personalities to work. My team has welcomed me with open arms, and I can genuinely say that I get to have fun at work because of my coworkers. I was definitely surprised that the Groupon+ team had such a collaborative and supportive culture, but after being a part of the team for 6 weeks, I can’t imagine it being any other way!

What’s the coolest thing you’ve accomplished so far this summer?

I’ve been able to take on a feature from beginning to end. I was able to start by working with the designer on the mocks, kicked off the feature with engineering, worked with the engineering through development to clear any roadblocks, and saw the beautiful end result on Groupon staging. The feature is scheduled to go out into production next week, and you’d best believe I will be showing every single one of my friends and family the feature that I was owned (as an intern!)

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

I think the technological advances that are being made in biotechnology are remarkable. For example, telerobotics is an area of robotics that builds semi-autonomous robots that can be controlled from very far away. This could change the future of surgery by allowing physicians to perform medical procedures remotely. With telerobotics, physicians are able to reach patients who are in remote or inaccessible locations without having to physically leave their office. Innovations like this are redefining the possibilities in healthcare, and I am so excited to see how innovation in biotechnology continues to develop in the future.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It’s short, and very [bitter]sweet.

My Instagram is mainly photos of ____________.

Travel destinations and random artsy stuff.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced in the city you’re interning in?

San Francisco’s natural beauty is so lovely. I recently went on a trip with some fellow Groupon interns to Big Sur. It was a fairly short drive, and the views there were incredible. Big Sur is a rugged part of the coast with big, scenic drop offs and secluded beaches. It was fun to be able to spend time with other interns outside work while enjoying California’s weather and nature.

 

Aria Srinivasan – Product Manager for Groupon+ in San Francisco

Aria Srinivasan – Product Manager for Groupon+ in San Francisco

ARIA SRINIVASAN

Product Manager, Groupon+
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 2015

Jumping from Finance to Product Management is not the most typical career move, but Groupon is full of nontraditional journeys. Meet Aria, who took ownership of her career and forged her own path.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

1. Going to Grace Hopper my first year and being incredibly inspired by all the baller things women in the world are doing!

2. All the happy hours and feeling so #blessed to be working with such awesome people

3. Realizing my coworkers have not just turned into friends but truly family!

Tell us more about your experience at Grace Hopper! 

Grace Hopper is an amazing conference celebrating the accomplishments of women in computing and sharing innovative ideas as a group. One of my favorite memories was listening to a panel of four engineering leaders for the Hillary for America campaign. It was fascinating to hear how they all took breaks from their ‘normal’ gigs to do something for the country, the technical challenges they ran into, and the moral and emotional feelings they had after the election.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I recently came across an old Facebook post from 2011 where I said “I wish I worked in tech so I can just wear jeans to work.” My first impression was how chill the culture was, and here I am still LOVING the culture and wearing whatever I want to work!

 

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

When I first joined Groupon, I started as a financial analyst for the Engineering teams. During GEEKon last year, I reached out to my friend who was leading a project working on a Facebook messenger bot to see if I could be her minion doing some Product Management work with her team. I loved working on it, and the VP of Product at the time reached out and asked when I was going to finally move over to product full time. Here I am!

That’s quite a jump going from Finance to Product…what was that transition like?

After graduation I started working in invest banking. After a few years, I was itching to move to Silicon Valley where I grew up and started applying for companies whose products I actually used. I ended up in a super cool Finance role where I could do all the traditional finance things I had a background in, and learned a ton about large-scale engineering projects that Groupon was undergoing like cloud migration. I wanted to do something more consumer-facing, and my managers recognized that and made it happen.

Since transitioning to Product a few months ago, I am still able to leverage my data analysis skills that I developed in finance, but looking more at customer data like clicks and new customer acquisition, rather than financial data. Being a PM requires me to be really creative and have some daring ideas – something that’s new to me but still really exciting! The coolest part about the messenger bot is that it’s still causing a buzz around Groupon! Just a few days ago I was meeting with our customer service and AI team in Poland to talk about what we did.

 

What’s unique about Product at Groupon?

The Groupon+ team that I work on is definitely the most driven, passionate, and collaborative team I’ve ever worked on. Everyone genuinely loves working on the product and with each other.

What’s Groupon+ all about?

Groupon+ is our card-linked offers deal program and our newest (and in my opinion, coolest!) product at Groupon. I’m focused on enrolling new customers and making their experience of claiming cash back deals as seamless as possible. Because we are a new(er) team, we operate like a startup within the company and really work hard to make Groupon+ as awesome as it can be. We have A LOT of fun while we’re at it!

What sort of business impact does it have? 

Because Groupon+ is Groupon’s newest product, it feels like almost working at a startup which is really exciting. We have our fare share of challenges trying to penetrate the market and educate users on who we are, but it’s also incredibly fun to brainstorm and push the boundaries with my team.

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

I help customers save money in the easiest way possible — just link your credit cards and enroll in Groupon+ for free to start getting cash back at your favorite restaurants!!

We see you were a board member for Women@Groupon, and now you’re a member.  Why did you join?  

I was the Palo Alto chair for Women@Groupon. It helped me meet a ton of women at Groupon globally who I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It was great to hear everyone’s stories and understand what impact they have at Groupon.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

It’s my dream to be a rapper.

Where can we find you outside work? 

I am either traveling (#wanderlust) or dancing!

What do your parents think you do?

My parents work in tech so have a good understanding of what I do. My Instagram followers on the other hand think I just mess around at work all day.

Zhe “Calvin” Song – Software Development Engineering Intern in Palo Alto

Zhe “Calvin” Song – Software Development Engineering Intern in Palo Alto

ZHE “CALVIN” SONG

Software Development Engineering Intern
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2018

You can’t read Calvin’s internship story and NOT feel amped up about Data Science.

What school do you go to?

Northeastern University – Seattle

What team are you interning for?

Data Science Platform

What are you working on or what will you be tackling while you’re here?

I’m working with the Data Science Platform Team in Palo Alto. We are responsible for building an end-to-end self-service platform to support Machine Learning/Data Science as a service at Groupon. Imagine that if you were a Data Scientist, how excited you would be if you had a unified, standardized solution that takes care of the entire data science lifecycle for you? That’s Holmes!

My project is part of this exciting platform, which focuses on building a generic data-ingest solution for click-stream data to be surfaced in real-time fashion. Every time a customer purchases a deal, or claims/redeems a deal at Groupon, an event will be generated and processed as “click-stream” event that is of my interest! I build real-time streaming data pipelines and API to consume, process, store, and expose click-stream data with a bunch of really cool cutting-edge technologies such as Apache Kafka, Beam and Spark, Redis, JTier (Groupon’s Java tier built on top of Dropwizard).

What’s been most surprising so far about interning at Groupon?

Before I started my internship at Groupon, I was prepared to do some of the “debug-oriented side projects” with the team. I figured since I was going to be an intern, the company may not trust me enough to assign important or high impact jobs to me. However, I was surprised from the first day I joined here; my manager went through the architecture of the entire platform built in our team and set up a series of interesting and challenging goals for me.

The DSP team is a new team that just formed maybe two weeks before I joined here, which means everyone in this team are actually building the platform (Holmes!) from scratch. As an intern, I am super excited that I can contribute and make impacts on the existing project with other full-time engineers. Everyday here I learned a lot from those talent and experienced people surrounding me, from coding practices to software development life-cycle, what a wonderful experience!

What’s the coolest thing you’ve accomplished so far this summer?

I built a generic real-time streaming data pipeline that’s running on top of Apache Beam to serve as a real-time solution for all click-stream events. The pipeline is meta data driven so it’s highly extensible for clients who need to customize the schema for specific event based on their requirements. How cool is that?!

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

I was a graduate student majoring in bio-analytical chemistry before I decided to switch my career to computer science. During the time as a research assistant in a bio chem lab, I got the chance to play with one of the most advanced and innovative technologies in this world : Cryo-Electron Microscopy, which won the Chemistry Nobel Price in 2017. This was super amazing since it allows the researcher take real-time pictures of proteins that can’t be formed into large crystals!

Best book you’ve ever read?

Wuthering Heights

What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced in the city you’re interning in?

I tried surfing in Half Moon Bay once. It was super cool and interesting with just a minor problem — I could barely stand up for more than three seconds.

What’s your most memorable Groupon moment or story so far?

My first day at Groupon is memorable to me. This is my first internship in my life and from the very first moment at Groupon I started working on a bunch of really cool projects!

What do your parents think you do?

My parents think I am developing “some programs” that keep sending the ads to customers…….

Gonzalo Bello Gonzalez – Business Developer in Madrid

Gonzalo Bello Gonzalez – Business Developer in Madrid

GONZALO BELLO GONZALEZ

Business Developer
Madrid, Spain
Joined: 2018

Gonzalo’s sales career at Groupon has progressed at a speed of 1.21 jigawatts since he started at the Madrid office. (Sorry, we had to.)

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? 

I think my favorite memory in Groupon was my first few weeks at the company. Finding welcoming people willing to help you at any moment, always with a smile on their faces. If I compare this with other jobs I’ve had, the difference is huge. On top of that, I started in the Graduate Programme, which allowed me and my coworkers to adapt more quickly to Groupon and also become friends with each other. Integration is much simpler this way and that makes coming to work a pleasure and not an obligation.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?

Even though I am in the Sales department, I love my job because I get to do it in a very specific way. I do not have the intention of simply selling Groupon as a salesman, I truly believe it’s a great tool to help local merchants. I have the choice to choose who I work with every day and I like when I get to show a merchant all the possibilities and benefits that Groupon can offer them.

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

Groupon is much more than just selling deals. Is a great marketing tool that allows businesses to multiply their scope in a way that a few years ago would be impossible to even imagine. Nowadays, the information is available for everyone, and of course, Groupon gets some benefits for it. How can you say no to a tool that allows you to reach a lot of potential customers?

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

What I like the most about working at Groupon is the possibility of working with several types of categories. I can work with restaurants, spas, wellness centers, etc. Having the chance to negotiate with so many types of businesses is very enriching. Also, Groupon is a company that really cares for its employees, which you can see every day.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

I think my proudest moment was my first contract, when I realized I was good at Sales, which I loved. I think being a salesman forces me to do my best every hour of every day.

Ready to build local together?

What’s your favorite local business?

If I had to choose, I would take the great variety of restaurants and food in Madrid. Lately, for example, is trending the Hawaiian food and poke bowls. On Groupon specifically, we have this amazing deal of poke bowls that has allowed the business to show off its food to locals.

What do your parents think you do?

They don’t really know what I do, but they are always telling me to find new deals on the business they love. They push me just as much as my actual boss!

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

I love music, I enjoy going to music festivals (the bigger, the better!) and concerts. Movies from the 80’s are my passion, too. I have plenty of old movie posters in my room—I even have a small model Delorean!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I am the lead singer and guitarist for a band called “Fries.” You all should come and see a show sometime!

Shefali Agarwal – Software Development Engineering Intern in Palo Alto

Shefali Agarwal – Software Development Engineering Intern in Palo Alto

SHEFALI AGARWAL

Software Development Engineering Intern
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2018

Find yourself a team that will ride the elevator with you every day when you have an injury, just to keep you company.

What school do you go to?

Cornell University

What team are you interning for?

Groupon API (GAPI) team

What are you working on so far?

I am working on building a friendly user interface where Groupon clients are able to fill out a form in order to submit a GAPI ticket (which is a request to change something in the GAPI team’s internal files), change their internal files automatically and create a pull request on GitHub, all with one click of a button. Before the project was set up, the GAPI team had to do all of that manually and it was very tedious, but with my project, this process will be a lot faster and lot more efficient.

But most importantly, what do your parents think you do?

They think I make pretty pictures on the computer and they also think I am a pro at Photoshop (I’m really not).

What’s been the most memorable part of your Groupon experience so far?

I had injured my knee a couple weeks into my internship and ever since then, someone from GAPI always keeps me company when I use the elevator even though the stairs are right next to where we sit. It may seem like a small and insignificant thing, but to me, it shows that the team really cares about each other!

Just being at Groupon and specifically on the GAPI team has been amazing. There is never a dull moment on this team, what with the weekly Mario Kart sessions and the jokes/roasts that we constantly throw at each other! I have also become really close to some of the other interns at Groupon, some of whom are now my best friends! I can honestly say that I have met some amazing people and I will definitely be keeping in touch with everyone I have met here, even after I finish my internship.

What’s been most surprising so far about interning at Groupon?

The one thing I have been most surprised by is how easily I have been to become friends with the people at Groupon. I expected everyone to be a bit introverted because of how computer scientists are normally depicted, but I was pleasantly surprised to come in on my first day to find a letter signed by everyone on GAPI welcoming me to their team. I was also surprised by the open environment at Groupon where employees can just stroll up to another team without any hesitation whatsoever to ask them a question or just chat. The company culture at Groupon is honestly the best that I have seen yet and I absolutely love it.

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

The most innovative technology has to be the VR goggles that I got to try out at an event about a year ago. It was honestly like I had stepped into a whole new world. The idea of virtual reality really fascinates me and it blows my mind that we are living at a time where that is made possible. The time, thought and effort that has gone into making that a reality is absolutely amazing.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

The Harry Potter Series! I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan! I love it so much that I have been to the Harry Potter theme park, have a crazy amount of Harry Potter merchandise, read the books and seen the movies countless number of times and know everything there is to know about it.

My Instagram is mainly photos of ____________.

Food and friends! (But mainly food).

What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced in Palo Alto?

The views! I have not been to any place else where I can go from the ocean, to the hills, to the desert within an hour. The Bay Area is absolutely beautiful!

Manuela Migliaresi – Sales Trainer in Milan

Manuela Migliaresi – Sales Trainer in Milan

MANUELA MIGLIARESI
Sales Trainer
Milan, Italy
Joined: 2010

Qual è il tuo ricordo preferito in Groupon?

Pensare ad un solo ricordo in particolare in quasi 8 anni di esperienza Groupon è difficile, ricordo i primi appuntamenti, le prime soddisfazioni, le conventions a Roma e Milano e poi la nuova esperienza come trainer, le trasferte in Spagna e l’incontro con i diversi team outside …Valencia, Siviglia, Palma!!!

Parlaci del tuo lavoro! cosa fai? Cosa ti piace ?

Mi occupo di formazione e affiancamento dei nuovi commerciali e li seguo dai loro primi passi fino a quando sono autonomi. E’ bello vedere concretamente la loro crescita, le sfide che riescono a superare e… quando mi dicono che hanno raggiunto dei riusltati grazie ai miei consigli è una soddisfazione immensa!!

Qual è stata il progetto più sfidante a cui hai lavorato?

Fino a poco fa seguivo anche la Spagna, sicuramente fare formazione in una lingua diversa è stata una bella sfida sopratutto al principio, poi è diventato molto divertente. Fare appuntamenti in tutte le città della Spagna, è stato affascinante e mi ha fatto avere un’immagine piu’ ampia ed a 360° del nostro business, ho acquisito competenze sempre piu’ ampie e specifiche sulla trattativa del nostro business.

Chi o cosa ti ispira?

Cio’ che mi ispira è la convinzione in quello che faccio. Dal primo giorno ad oggi ho sempre avuto la ferma convinzione che il nostro sia un business geniale, un’idea bellissima che ogni giorno migliora e da una mano a milioni di aziende.

Qual è stata la tua prima impressione di Groupon come datore di lavoro?

La prima impressione …così come la seconda ..la terza e così via 😉 è stata entusiasmante. Non avevo mai trovato un’azienda giovane, dinamica, all’avanguardia in cui la professionalità e rapporti umani avessero un così equilibrato mix. Per me sin dal primo giorno Groupon è un’idea geniale ..uno strumento utile a qualsiasi azienda locale che crea business in maniera gratuita!

In che modo il tuo lavoro influisce sulla mission di Groupon di costruire un’abitudine quotidiana nel commercio locale?

Anche da Trainer seguo quotidianamente le trattative dei sales e vado spesso con loro in affiancamento dai nostri partner in tutta Italia, quindi continuo  a portare ogni giorno la nostra esperienza in giro per le aziende e a spiegare agli esercenti locali come il nostro business puo’ aiutarli a migliorare ogni giorno.

Ci sono molte fantastiche storie in Groupon. Qual è il tuo più grande successo?

Le mie soddisfazioni quotidiane ci sono ogni volta che qualcuno che formo viene confermato o raggiunge dei buoni risultati!! I miei successi piu’ grandi li ricordo da commerciale, nella chiusura di accordi con partner molto restii in un primo momento, che, quando sono riuscita a convincere a fidarsi di noi, hanno trovato Groupon un ottimo alleato, continuando ancora oggi, dopo anni, a collaborare con noi. Sicuramente il raggiungimento ed in alcuni casi il superamento degli obiettivi menisli che ci vengono dati è la piu’ grande soddisfazione e motivo di orgoglio in ambito sales. Il mio orgoglio è quello di aver iniziato al principio nella mia città : Napoli!! di averla vista crescere da 0 e raggiungere picchi altissimi, e di aver visto l’intero sviluppo di una start up ad un’azienda consolidata. Sono fiera di aver fatto parte di questo processo e farne ancora parte dopo quasi 8 anni

Hai vinto qualche premio?

All’inizio della mio percorso in Groupon come commerciale esterno su Napoli ho vinto per 2 anni consecutivi un Ipad, assegnato durante le convention ai 10 migliori sales di Italia. Nel 2015, da poco a Milano nel ruolo di Sales Trainer, ho vinto ilGroupon Green Award (il premio mensile  assegnato al dipendente che si distingue per agire i valori dell’azienda)

Scatta una foto al tuo angolo/vista preferito del tuo ufficio.

Il tuo ruolo probabilmente esiste presso altre società oltre a Groupon … quindi cosa rende unico il tuo ruolo in Groupon? 

Io penso che questa sia un’azienda unica, fatta di persone speciali ..non è paragonabile ad altri tipi di aziende. Forse quello che ci differenzia è che noi abbiamo visto questo business assolutamente nuovo in Italia ..nascere da 0 ed esploderci tra le mani diventando in un’azienda strutturata e matura. La differenza è che la sentiamo nostra e lottiamo ogni giorno per portare avanti la nostra mission tra le persone di tutto il territorio. Ci sono altri trainer in altre città, ma in Italia sono l’unica …per me questo ruolo è come un sales al cubo 😉 nel senso che posso fare cio’ che facevo prima ma dando supporto a tutti i sales che ne hanno bisogno in tutte le città d’Italia!!!

Cosa pensano i tuoi genitori che fai?

I miei genitori mi hanno seguita sin dal principio a Napoli … conoscono molto bene la nostra azienda, tramite i miei racconti, comprano spesso coupon per andare a cena con gli amici ;)..sono molto fieri ed entusiasti del mio lavoro!!

Se sei un membro di un Employee Resource Group o partecipi con Groupon Volunteers, perché ti sei iscritto?

In Italia siamo molto attivi con gli eventi Volunteers, nell’ultimo anno abbiamo organizzato eventi di beneficienza. Sono molto coinvolgenti ed aggreganti per tutti noi dipendenti ed avendo un fine benefico sono molto’ gratificanti.

Che cosa hai fatto prima di Groupon? Come sei arrivato qui?

Io sono laureata i Scultura quindi vengo dal mondo delle gallerie d’arte e organizzazione di mostre, sono poi passata al sales vendendo prima pubblicità e poi opere d’arte editoriali…e poi sono approdata in Groupon è andata così: un’amica un giorno mi ha raccontato di aver comprato un pacchetto massaggi scontato su un sito..mi sono fatta mandare il link…mi è sembrata un’idea fantastica e mi sono detta: “Mando subito il CV..voglio lavorare in questa azienda!!!” in 10 gg ero parte del team sales di Napoli ;)!!!

Probabilmente hai una vita fuori da Groupon; cosa fai quando non sei al lavoro?

Avendo una formazione artistica, vado spesso a vedere mostre ed esposizioni …faccio yoga e mi piace molto cucinare…per cui sono spesso in cucina a sperimentare cose nuove e ne approfitto per organizzare cene con gli amici…e poi mi piace viaggiare per cui ogni occasione per me è buona per saltare sul primo volo disponibile 😉

Se potessi fare un altro lavoro per un solo giorno, quale sarebbe e perché?

Non nascondo che la mia prima passione è sempre il sales, per cui se dovessi cambiare lavoro non cambierei azienda …ma solo ruolo, adoro Groupon, quindi se proprio dovessi fare altro..mi piacerebbe a volte tornare alle mie origini di sales.

Qual è il tuo business locale preferito?

Io amo il mondo dell’estetica e della medicina, quindi come bisiness locale mi sono sempre divertita molto con centri di medicina estetica, c’è molto da sapere ed è molto interessante come ambito…mi sono fatta una bella culture tra pressoterapie, cavitazioni, filler e botox ;)))

Lulu Wang – Software Development Engineering Intern in Palo Alto

Lulu Wang – Software Development Engineering Intern in Palo Alto

LULU WANG

Software Development Engineering Intern
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2018

Preferred pronoun: She/Her/Hers

TFW you get to see your work make a huge impact *and* you get paid for spotting a bug in the Groupon app. Win/win for Lulu!

What school do you go to?

UC Berkeley

What team are you interning for?

Mobile iOS – Search and Discovery

What are you working on or what will you be tackling while you’re here?

I’m currently working with the Search and Discovery team on multiple front-end features for the Groupon iOS app! This means making design decisions and improving the app’s user experience from a developer’s role. I come from mainly a design and illustration background, so being able to directly influence the content user’s experience at the highest level is probably one of the best parts about my internship. So far, I’ve worked on three UX-related features, and I’m currently in the process of pushing out a 4th!

What do your parents think you do?

“Software stuff”

What’s the coolest thing you’ve accomplished so far this summer?

Besides the really laid-back atmosphere at Groupon and the awesome team I’m part of, I build features that I can point to on the app and say, “Look I made this!”

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

Microsoft Hololens (AR is so cool).

“Being able to directly influence the content user’s experience at the highest level is probably one of the best parts about my internship.”

What’s been most surprising so far about interning at Groupon?

How non-traditional it seems to be in regards to corporate culture. Before interning at Groupon, I had expectations of cubicles, strict corporate bureaucracy, and other things you often hear people complain about. But this experience has taught me otherwise, and has definitely left a positive impression.

What’s something exciting that’s happened during your internship this summer?

I once reported a bug on our internal app, Catfood, and ended up winning Groupon Bucks for it! Yay for monetary incentive 🙂

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

A Feast for Crows from A Song of Ice and Fire.

My Instagram is mainly photos of ____________.

Me derping in life; occasionally my art.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced in Palo Alto?

California Avenue! They have the nicest eateries and cafes, including the award-winning South Asian restaurant, Zareen’s.

Shankar Golla – Database Administrator in Bangalore

Shankar Golla – Database Administrator in Bangalore

SHANKAR GOLLA

Database Administrator, EDW-DBA
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Talking Teradata with Shankar, a Database Administrator in Bangalore.

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

I first started at Groupon as a Level 2 Teradata Database Administrator in Bangalore, India to support 24/7 database operations. I worked with cross-functional teams like DevOps and Development teams during Teradata upgrades and installations. As part of the Teradata downsizing project, I played a key role in identifying resource-consuming queries and worked with users on optimization to improve efficiency. I also identified stale scheduled jobs in our optimus tool and worked with the user to disable the job to reclaim CPU and IO resources. I identified users who ran frequent queries on a daily basis and asked them to reduce the frequency based on usage and core tables refresh.

I also managed our bi-weekly calls with the Teradata team to drive the Teradata open incidents and other issues pertaining to the system. Throughout my time, I have conducted multiple trainings and brown bag sessions for the user community to help understand the Teradata architecture and SQL optimization and best practices to write efficient and optimal queries. All of these challenging activities helped me to get where I am now: Level 3 Teradata Database Administrator.

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

Being a Database administrator, a typical day starts with addressing users’ questions and concerns raised through JIRA tickets. We work closely with the user community to optimize the Teradata SQLs. Currently, we have two Teradata systems: Production and Disaster recovery, data stored in Teradata used for analytics and decision making, it is our responsibility to make sure the systems are available for the business 24/7.

As part of infrastructure maintenance, we take care of software installation and maintenance, database backup and recovery, security, authentication, capacity planning, performance monitoring, database tuning, and troubleshooting. It is and was quite challenging to work with user community to understand their business requirements and to provide best practices and techniques to write efficient queries. I love to work with cross-functional teams during software upgrades and installations as we prepare the virtual machines for testing which gives me exposure to learn other database technologies like big data.

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

Teradata cluster downsize. This was the first kind of project to reduce the cluster size and it had not been done in any of the customer locations. The system is used for daily ETL with strict SLA timelines and day-to-day analytics and critical reports with a user base of 700+ active users per month. To make it successful, we focused on every aspect of the system instead of just focusing on moving data from the existing system to the downsized system.

In order to do this, we had to do the following: reduce existing usage of system resources; finalize the nodes to be downsized based on the current capacity utilisation; determine how to reduce the cluster size with minimal or no impact to business; create backup and restoration strategies; and determine a rollback plan and strategy for critical datasets. Two phases of the project has to be completed within two months in conjunction with other priority high-priority projects. The project timelines are very challenging as we have to complete both the phases within the two months timeframe to minimize the rental cost.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That it was a flexible environment and open place for all; I felt that I could reach out any of the engineers to get my job done. I also feel that Groupon provides many opportunities to learn new technologies.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I sit in front of a system in an air conditioned work environment.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

I received Engineering Excellence Award in Q2 of 2017.

Where can we find you outside work?

I like playing and watching cricket. I have two adorable kids with whom I like to spend most of my spare time.