Veteran’s Day 2017

Veteran’s Day 2017

GROUPON FOR VETERANS

10 November 2017

Honoring the Grouponers who have served our country

This Veterans Day, we’d like to recognize a few of our veteran employees by sharing their journey from the military to Groupon. Continue reading to learn more about four Grouponers from our veterans employee resource group, Groupon for Veterans.

The mission of Groupon for Veterans is to educate the community on Groupon’s core values and desire to give back to those who have served and continue to serve. Our goal is to draw on the professional skills associated with military service through active marketing and community engagement. Groupon for Veterans has an open membership that includes veterans, those currently on active duty, their families, and anyone who supports those who serve our country.

 

Jake Coffman — Physical Security Specialist, Intel Analyst [Chicago]

I joined the Marines out of high school in 2001 following the attacks on 9/11, where I was forward deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as a Combat Engineer.  When I separated in 2006 from the Marines, I completed my ungrad in Political Science and International Studies from Northern Illinois in 2010.  Upon graduation, I began working in Aon’s Risk Solutions department on their traveler security management/crisis response team before moving to iJET Integrated Risk Management out of Annapolis.  This past January, the ultimatum of a move led me to look elsewhere — which lead me to an opening with Groupon that fit well with my professional experience and kept me in Chicago.  

 

Landon Starr — Network Systems Engineer [Chicago]

Growing up, I always wanted to be around airplanes — so naturally I joined the Air Force and was made a Network Engineer. I’ve spent the last 6 years serving between the active duty Air Force and the Air National Guard, with some of that time spent in Afghanistan, Qatar, and South Korea. Since leaving active duty in 2015, I spent time at two different schools, Illinois State University and Parkland College, where I studied Network Management and Aviation. The transition from the military to life as a full-time student wasn’t the easiest thing, and after a lengthy job search, I was fortunate enough to find my calling here at Groupon. I’m a Network Systems Engineer, and I work with a great group of people. My team, and Groupon as a whole, has been super helpful and welcoming and I look forward to working towards our 2020 goals!

 

Nicholas Rohr — Business Development Representative: Health, Beauty, Wellness [Chicago]

Most of my family was in the military at one point or another. My grandpa was in the Marines and went to Korea, my mom was in the Air National Guard, other aunts and uncles were in the Marines and Air force both active duty as well as in civilian roles. Needless to say, I also grew to like the idea of joining the military. After high school my grandpa gave me some words of wisdom which swayed my decision of joining the Army or Marines to instead joining the Coast Guard back in 2006. I was stationed in Kodiak, AK and Honolulu, HI with some training in Petaluma, CA. I ended up becoming a cook and that carried over into my civilian life after I got out. I moved to Portland and worked at Castagna Restaurant, before moving to Chicago where I worked at Little Goat and Lula Cafe. When my son was born, I wanted more stable hours and started selling meat to restaurant for a few years. Then I applied to Groupon for a sales role and have been having a blast learning a new industry in Health, Beauty and Wellness.

 

Sonny Sran — Business Development Manager: Health, Beauty, Wellness [Phoenix]

Ever since I was a little boy, I knew I wanted to be a United States Marine. My younger brother and I would buy fake camouflage and toy guns from the store and pretend to be Marines shooting at cars for hours until the Ice Cream truck would come. It was no surprise to my parents when I showed up to our home with two Marine Corps recruiters begging them to sign off on paperwork allowing me to enlist at the age of seventeen and go to basic training upon graduation. I did just that and after about a year of training all over the United States, I became an Aviation Ordnance Systems Technician for helicopters. Essentially, my job was building and handling missiles, bombs, and explosives — in addition to working on all weapons systems associated with attack helicopters. I was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in  2009-2010 with HMM-364, and I deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010 and again in 2011-2012 with HMLA-369. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA when I was not forward deployed. I completed my four years, and three weeks later, I became a full time student at Arizona State University where I majored in Political Science. Halfway through my senior year, I began working at Groupon because I thought my military benefits were going to run out and even after graduating I stuck around because I enjoyed the culture and excelled in the role I was in.

Natalie Vas – Business Development Representative

Natalie Vas – Business Development Representative

NATALIE “CaptaiNat” VAS

Business Development Representative – Things To Do
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2015

As aspiring guitarist CaptaiNat approaches her 3-year anniversary, she takes us on her Groupon voyage from the early days of our Phoenix office to now.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite memory is probably our grand opening party for the new Phoenix office. We had a photo booth where everyone had a blast dressing up for pictures, and a surprising amount of people in our office have killer karaoke skills. (Just not me!)

Who inspires you?

My DSM Grace inspires me! Anytime I’m frustrated or upset, she reminds me to stay positive, keep my head up, and believe in myself no matter what.

What’s your biggest accomplishment here?

The thing I’m most proud of about my time here at Groupon is how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown since first joining. I came from a customer service job (which I didn’t particularly enjoy), and when I first started at Groupon I didn’t necessarily have concrete sales experience. I was around before Groupon’s Sales training program was built out, so we only spent one week training before I made my first call. The training at that time was “trial by fire,” but it worked out for the best because that’s how I learned to be more confident on the phone! I was the prime example of “fail forward.” Our manager always encouraged us to “just do it” anytime we were afraid to call a merchant.

It can be really hard when people tell you “no” all day, but all of those “no’s” have helped me learn how to be more confident both on the phone and in real life, too! Fast forward to today: I’m coming up on my third-year anniversary, and I’m so proud I’ve been around to see this office grow from using iPhones to where we’re at today.

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

I love being on the TTD (Things To Do)  team because we are getting people to check Groupon first for really awesome and unique things like brewery tastings and festivals…..or even pole-dancing classes!

 

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I was in the third hiring class in Phoenix, so when I first started, we were all in this tiny room making calls on iPhones. My first impression was, “oh man, what did I get myself into!” But, I was blown away by how great everyone was, and how committed we were to building out the Phoenix office into what it is today!

What differentiates Groupon from other companies with Sales teams?

A bunch of my friends work at other companies doing very similar jobs, but at the end of the day, they don’t have the office culture we do! What makes Groupon so special is a little bit of everything. It’s not just the people, but all the crazy contests and spirit days we’re always doing! Cold calling businesses and sales, in general, is not always the easiest job, but playing Catchphrase, having our weekly Wednesday Breakfast Club, team outings, and all of my coworkers keep me sane during the harder days. Plus, our Halloween costume contest was pretty amazing.

What do your parents think you do?

A direct quote from mom: “you sell stuff to people, like on that show ‘The Office’ right?” – close mom, close.

Are you involved in any of Groupon’s ERGs?

Yes! I’m a member of PRIDE@Groupon.

Why do you participate in PRIDE@Groupon?

I joined PRIDE@Groupon because it’s a cause that’s close to my heart. I want to be a part of anything we can do to create more awareness and support!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

My personal goal for Q4 is to learn how to play one song on the guitar. I’m already halfway there!

Give us a glimpse of your workspace:

Natalie’s desk aka “organized chaos”

 

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

I would be a unicorn trainer, because who wouldn’t want to hang out with unicorns all day?

Pride@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Anita – Business Development Representative

Anita – Business Development Representative

ANITA MAZKOORI

Business Development Manager
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2016

If you ever come across a deal for a llama tour in the Phoenix area, be sure to thank Anita. She’s determined to win over a llama farm just as much as she wins in Catch Phrase.

What are you most proud of so far?

I worked on an account for almost a year before it closed and it was by far the account I’m most proud of! I built a relationship with this merchant, met with him in person, and waited as patiently as I could for him to come around. It was well worth the wait once it went live and I even bought the Groupon once (ok, twice)! Persistence is really half the battle.

How do you keep work fun?

CATCH. PHRASE. Totally bragging about my Catch Phrase team here….but we don’t joke around. It’s serious.

Who or what inspires you?

Obviously, my mom. She’s almost 60, smiles all of the time, and has a super positive outlook on life. She’s the most compassionate person I’ve ever met. Also, honorable mention goes out to Beyonce. Because, Beyonce.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

It’s so laid back, and there was so much LaCroix! At my last job, we had a $6 fee each month to be in the “water jug club,” so unlimited LaCroix was awesome. On a side note, there are tons of really pumped, incredible, and inspirational coworkers.

“I love the Groupon marketing platform. It’s really cool to work for a company that only makes money when the marketing works for the business.”

What do your parents think you do?

Our conversation via text:

Me: “Mom, what do you think I do at work every day?”

Mom: “Whatever you do in your life, do it with honesty, integrity, and best intentions. Love, mom.”

Are you involved with any ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)?

I’m a member of Women@Groupon. Whether it’s women in sales, leadership, or outside of G2, it’s been inspiring to see women play a vital role in the direction of the Groupon’s future. A few months ago, Women@Groupon’s Phoenix chapter hosted an event that brought women from various backgrounds and companies together for a happy hour. I really enjoyed learning about the goals and roles of local female entrepreneurs.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I was really lucky to have the opportunity to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia from 2011-2013 (a country in Southern Africa). I taught and managed an After-School program and learned so much from the resilience of the kids I worked with!

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

I’m a huge animal lover. If I could have any other job, I’d own a llama farm and do llama tours full time. I’m on the Things to Do Vertical, and I’m always chasing farm tours. It’s been my dream to close an account that does llama-walking tours. I think it would crush. I’m not kidding.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Smiling and dialing

I’ll call back in the morning

Objection overruled

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Jabril – Sales Trainer

Jabril – Sales Trainer

Way back in 2015, Jabril was six months into his career at Groupon working as a Business Development Associate for our Memphis market. Fast forward to 2017, he’s now at Groupon’s newest office location in Phoenix, Arizona training the newest waves of southwest Sales Reps.

Since last checking in I’ve been promoted to Sales Trainer as part of our Sales Training and Development team. I’ve been training new Business Development Sales Reps as well as helping out with our continued education program. I was on the team in Chicago when I learned about the job opportunity to become a trainer for our Phoenix office. After understanding how they were utilizing the training program to develop reps and grow the new office, I decided I wanted to be a part of that.

The Phoenix office is slightly different from headquarters in Chicago; since it’s a much smaller office everyone is a lot closer and the culture has a family feel to it. Still, like Groupon overall, we have a very vibrant culture where everyone works hard and tries to learn from each other. Every individual has the ability to make a huge impact on the office camaraderie and I feel we all take advantage of that. I moved out here on January 1st of 2017, and just in that short window of time, I’ve seen the training program evolve quite a bit. We’ve been able to adjust the continued education program to support a wider range of more tenured sales reps, and we have made the new hire process more interactive and engaging for those who are just joining Groupon.

Account Executive Emily

Account Executive Emily

Last year, we circled up the wagons and headed to the southwest to open up a new sales office in Phoenix, Arizona. Today’s interview features Emily, an Account Executive who transitioned from working at a hospital to sales at Groupon.

Name: Emily Sykes
Title: Account Executive

What makes selling Groupon to local businesses unique? 

Groupon is very customizable. You and the merchant are part of the creation. I talked to a merchant who sold cupcakes, but we ended up featuring a cupcake making class. The merchant had never offered that before, so it felt fun and different. We don’t force merchants into a mold, but instead create the mold with them.

What do you attribute to your success here? 

I’m not the kind of person that settles. Even if I am doing well, I know that I can always do better. I am hard on myself, but not to an extreme extent. I always push, numbers aside. I do my best rather than just coming in to do my job.

What was your biggest Sales accomplishment at Groupon?

The San Diego Humane Society! I called and we featured them for an Animal Walk. They loved it so much that they want to run a campaign for all of their events.

What keeps you coming to work everyday? 

Knowing that every day is a challenge. I can have a great day any day I push myself. Also, my team is fantastic! My DSM keeps us engaged and challenged…it never feels like work.

What’s the culture of the Phoenix office like?

This is a new office and it feels like a start up, but it has the backing and resources of a large organization. The office has a welcoming feel, and I love being a part of it. Spring Training contests keep the atmosphere light and the reps engaged. The employees are so communal and quick to lend a hand. That environment becomes contagious.

Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon. Phoenix is hiring! Check out our current openings here or watch our Phoenix video to learn more from the reps themselves. 

 

Groupon Phoenix Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity

Groupon Phoenix Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity

In late February, members of our Groupon Phoenix office had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona. Jessy Gheen, one of our Phoenix Account Executives, shares the experience of helping a family build their home.

Jamel Jibba was born in Ethiopia and moved to Phoenix, Arizona with his family a few years ago. Currently, Jamel, his wife, two children and mother-in-law all share a two-bedroom apartment. Jamel works two jobs to make ends meet and has looked forward to the day when the family can have a larger home and yard for the children to play soccer. Habitat for Humanity helps families who aren’t able to purchase adequate housing on their own in partnership with volunteers and organizations. The future home owners in return must contribute 200-400 hours of sweat equity toward the building or renovating of the home.

With a total of 19 Groupon volunteers including friends, family, and even new hires who hadn’t officially started yet, we were able to put in 5.5 hours of hard work and sweat. We were in luck to be there on “crane day” to put up the trusses, and also were put in charge of measuring and cutting wood, nailing everything in, putting up the sides, leveling out the yard, and other things I was surprised they trusted us with doing. It was an amazing opportunity for our group and so rewarding to help this family make a better life for their children.

The Groupon Phoenix team has already participated in more than 8 group volunteer events in our first year and were honored to be recognized with 61% participation in 2015, 2nd of any Groupon office in the world. It’s a great way to get to know your colleagues and helping those in our community who need it most. We already have 10 planned activities for 2016 and we’re getting more great ideas from our new hires as well.

“There are so many great things about the culture at Groupon, but sharing in volunteer experiences with my coworkers has to be the best. Working with Habitat for Humanity this last weekend showed how much everyone can accomplish when we come together and each pitch in some labor. I was very impressed with the handy skills that many of my fellow sales reps have (myself not included) and overall enjoyed the quality time spent doing something important. The best part was meeting the future homeowner, Jamal, and seeing the pride he had in building his home with such a great organization. I look forward to many more Groupon volunteer events! A special thanks to Jessy for always giving us these great opportunities!” – Sarah H.

“I am new to area so when I got the email I thought it would be a fun experience and I never did habitat before.  It felt great to be able to help a family and learn something new but I also realized I should stick to an office job and im not very handy haha.  But it was definitely fun.” –Kalli C.

“Volunteering this past weekend for Habitat for Humanity was a great experience. Working hand in hand with the family that was going to be living in this house was really amazing. Seeing the family extremely excited and proud of the hard work they had already put into the home so far was the best part. The amount of hours dedicated by not only the family, but countless volunteers that were put into building this home for a family in need was incredible and I was happy to be apart of it. It was great to bond with my co-workers at Groupon in an environment other than the office and helping out a family that was in need was a great feeling we all shared.  I was really happy to be a part of it and can’t wait for the next event.”- Rob A.

 

Phoenix and Chicago Sales Team Up, Potluck Ensues

Phoenix and Chicago Sales Team Up, Potluck Ensues

Written by: Peter Schirripa, Regional Sales Director in our Phoenix office

The key to success, borrowed directly from SVP of Groupon Sales, Darren Schwartz, is activity x skill. Here in Phoenix, activity is our strong suit. Where we have opportunity to grow and improve is skill.

For the past five weeks, four Chicago-based Business Development Reps have been working in our Phoenix office as part of a newly-piloted transfer program to help with skill development on both the team and individual level. The results were fantastic! Kevin Hahn, AJ Roskin, Shane Bradley, and Mike Lampariello all took a selfless trek to the desert to help grow the ever-expanding Phoenix office.

Once the Chicagoans arrived, they were assigned to work with specific teams. Each of the four Chicago reps has been at Groupon for at least two years, and their background and Groupon experience proved to be a tremendous resource. Having seasoned mentors in the office helped to expand the Groupon knowledge of every rep here. We decided to throw a potluck to show our gratitude, and more than 60 teammates chipped in by bringing homemade delights (that’s a lot of goodies), but the main focus was sharing memories from their time here.

It was quite apparent that having Chicago and Phoenix reps join forces was incredibly beneficial to the team here. One final thanks to AJ, Kevin, Mike, and Shane as well as everyone who helped contribute to the program (and potluck) in both Chicago and Phoenix!

Marvelous Mondays in Groupon’s Phoenix Office

Marvelous Mondays in Groupon’s Phoenix Office

Written by: Peter Schirripa, Phoenix Launch Team Sales Manager

Groupon Phoenix—we take our jobs seriously, but not ourselves. Case in point: “Marvelous Monday.” At most companies, Mondays are often groggy, slow-moving, and evoke a longing for the weekend that came to an end too quickly. But in Groupon’s Phoenix office, we make the most of every day…especially Monday. “Marvelous Monday” may or may not be a new tradition in the office. If we’re truly going to work with the best merchants possible and create the best campaigns for our subscribers, we figured we might as well look our best while we do it.

Our vision here is simple: we work hard to change the world. Our Sales Reps have an affinity for changing the lives of local merchants while making life less boring for our subscribers. We strive to craft successful campaigns for the merchant, the customer, and for Groupon.

As the number of merchants we work with grows, so do our hiring needs. We opened this office with 15 Sales Reps in early 2015, and we recently just hired our 50th employee. You could say we’re growing faster than desert weeds, building out our office with mostly referrals who are energetic and passionate about growing a new location.

We will be moving into a permanent location soon and are excited to add more talent to the team. Interested in joining the best-dressed (on Mondays, at least) Sales team this side of the Mississippi?

Check out some of our current openings here or email pschirripa@groupon.com with any questions!