Heather Wilson – Senior Financial Analyst

Heather Wilson – Senior Financial Analyst

HEATHER WILSON

Senior Financial Analyst
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

Heather proves it’s possible to be both a Finance professional and a stunt driver in movies. Who says you can’t do both?!

Why is it important for Groupon to champion and support Pride@Groupon?

It is important for Groupon to support Pride@Groupon because there are unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community and without supporting them, Groupon would be missing the opportunity to nourish its workforce. Also, it’s just the right thing to do.

Why did you join Pride@Groupon?

After being exposed to the overall culture at Groupon, I knew that I wanted to become actively involved in an ERG. As an out lesbian, I knew that Pride would be an ideal fit and I also saw room for improvement within the ERG.

Why did you decide to seek a leadership position in Pride?

Being Co-Chair of Pride@ has been a very rewarding experience thus far, giving me several opportunities to go outside of my comfort zone and grow as a leader.

How will you be celebrating Pride, both personally and professionally?

For Pride Month, I will be attending several LGBTQ+ events around the city, volunteering, and getting acquainted with the local Chicago LGBTQ+ community.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Groupon is a very fast-paced environment that gives its employees both freedom and ownership. You are encouraged to drive change and own various processes. Overall, it is a very supportive company with lots of opportunities to learn and grow.

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

Groupon Goods is the entry point for many Groupon customers. Being the designated finance business partner for Goods, I help support this channel and in turn grow the Groupon customer base. I get to build out tools and reports that allow the Goods operation to have the best quality products to entice new and current customers back to Groupon. I also work on forecasting sales, calculating bonus compensation, sizing up the impact of various projects, and working with the business to understand the financial implications of decisions.

What’s challenging about your work?

The pace at Groupon can be challenging at times. New projects and priorities are constantly coming up on top of the standard responsibilities. This forces you to be adaptable and try to work smart, not hard, as much as possible.

Up for your next challenge?

Where were you before joining Groupon and how did you get here? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

Prior to Groupon, I worked at the American Red Cross as a Business Analyst. After spending several years there I was ready to move into a more fast-paced environment and also wanted to dabble in the tech industry. The fast-paced environment and constant change keep me excited about my work at Groupon. Also, my co-workers make it such a welcoming atmosphere which adds to my overall excitement about work.

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

I would enjoy being a car and motorcycle mechanic. I grew up racing motorcycles and building cars, so I love working with my hands. Mechanical work is also rewarding in that you have a finished, working product at the end of a project.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I once worked as a stunt driver in a film!

Siddhartha Subramanyam – Account Associate in Bangalore

Siddhartha Subramanyam – Account Associate in Bangalore

SIDDHARTHA SUBRAMANYAM

Account Associate, Finance Shared Service Team
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Pronouns:  Him/His

Siddhartha’s earliest days at Groupon included a trip to the much-loved Australia office, where he met his Groupie teammates from down under. Nowadays, he’s climbing the accounting ladder in Bangalore.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory is my first official work trip. On my first day, my manager asked for my passport details and told me that I would be flying to Australia and other APAC countries. I was stunned and surprised and was so excited for the opportunity! Later, when we checked in to the hotel I was still shocked; I had to keep checking myself over and over, asking, “Am I seriously in Australia?” That moment was priceless and unforgettable. So far, I have visited four Groupon offices and hope to visit the rest someday.

That’s a heck of a first week!  Can you tell us about the Australia office? We’ve heard so many good things.

The Australia office is AMAZING! When I was at the reception, each and every fellow employee asked us, “Are you comfortable?” and, “Let me know who you want to meet.” They’re so caring, it’s wonderful! They made an amazing first impression on all of us. Later, we meet the local Accounting team: Aline, Angela, and Roy. They work together very well; it was so amazing to see them working together in a supportive environment.

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

My first role involved handling APAC’s accounts payable processes and payments. It was a new process and I had to learn it from scratch. We successfully rolled it out and it is still running smoothly today without any hassle. Currently, I’ve had the opportunity to learn the general ledger. I hope to surpass expectations and make that process as easy as APAC accounts payable, as well as improve my skill set in this new area.

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

I basically handle payments and queries for APAC countries. What I love the most is the people all around the Groupon globe; interacting with them feels amazing.

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

When my team and I worked on stabilizing the APAC process, it was my biggest challenge because we had to learn the process from the beginning.  We needed to coordinate with the local team, conform to their schedule, and maintain tracking systems. My role was to manage queries and process payments to various APAC vendors, and because I was in charge of the money, I needed to take the utmost care. I had to check and re-check everything to avoid double payments and make sure all payments were valid. I was working with the local accounting team for AU and they were coordinating very well and learning their procedure and processes, and it wasn’t anything I had ever done before. At Accenture, I was just in charge of processing invoices. I had never made payments, responded to queries, or communicated with vendors before.

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

Previously I was working at Accenture as an accountant. I liked my job but I was not fully satisfied. I felt like it was not the right platform to showcase my talents. When I started looking for a change, one fine day I got an email about the Finance openings which were more well-suited to my skills. I applied for the position, and here I am! Groupon trusted my abilities and I proved myself to Groupon.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

The day I started working here, it felt like an amazing opportunity. The infrastructure was wonderful, amenities were better than I had seen before, and the colors were so peaceful, just like I wanted. I feel lucky to work at Groupon.

Can you talk about the culture of the Bangalore office a bit? You mentioned the infrastructure and amenities….what do those look like? 

The Bangalore office just wows me! We have a lot of programs and activities every month like celebrating festivals, birthdays, games, trips, self-enhancement programs, health camps, volunteering, and a lot more. As you can see from my photos, the office is very colorful. Groupon green is everywhere: the desks, sofas, outside seating area, which are so well designed. This gives everyone a positive feeling about Groupon. They also provide some refreshments like snacks, soft drinks, Friday fruits, etc.

What sort of teams and people are you working with on a day-to-day basis? What sort of exposure are you getting here that you didn’t get at Accenture?

Here, I work with a lot more people. Every day, I work with accounts payable team, payments team, and the general ledger team. At Groupon, my role gives me so much more scope and opportunities than the limited role I had at Accenture. Most importantly, employee satisfaction is the BEST at Groupon. Management focuses more on this aspect and makes sure each and every employee is satisfied with their role and the environment here.

Where can we find you outside of work? 

I’m an adventurer and food nerd. I like going to cafes, pubs, and visiting local tourist attractions. I’m a movie buff as well.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m a bit talkative, I always try to interact with new people. I love to make people laugh.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

Yes of course! Global Star Performer award, team award, and a Groupon-y Gratitude letter I received from Australia.

Kathryn Winiecki – Tax Manager

Kathryn Winiecki – Tax Manager

KATHRYN WINIECKI

Tax Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

What’s your favorite conference room?

The immense exposure that Kathryn’s role as a Tax Manager brings her is part of what keeps her excited to come to Groupon every day, but the #1 thing? The people! (OK and maybe team outings like Sears Tower yoga and Beyonce spin class don’t hurt, either.)

Tell us about your job as a Tax Manager!

I manage global tax compliance and reporting, which means I assist with the coordination and review of tax filings in the US and all over the world. What I love most about my job is that I get to interact with so many different people on a daily basis, whether that be here at HQ or in another country. I’ve even gotten the opportunity to practice my German (I studied it in high school and college). I am responsible for managing our global tax filings and audits, which gives me the opportunity to work with accounting, legal, and procurement teams. I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve been able to build at Groupon and the talented people I have the chance to work with daily. Tax laws are constantly changing, and Groupon is always evolving, so I’m never bored here!

Tax exists at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

Groupon is constantly changing as a business and facing new tax challenges. I enjoy the daily challenges and problem-solving that my job involves. My boss is also pretty great and truly cares about the team and our development. One of the best things about the Groupon tax team is definitely its people. We work extremely hard, but we also make sure to take the time to do fun activities together outside the office. This past year, these included (but were not limited to) yoga at the top of Sears Tower, a Beyonce-themed spin class, WhirlyBall, flag football, and a Chicago brewery bar crawl. On most Fridays after work, you can find at least a couple tax team members playing ring toss at Jerk down the street.

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

In tax, it is a little more difficult to impact this habit directly. However, what the tax team does every day helps leaders plan and make the best decisions for the company. I’m also always shamelessly plugging Groupon deals to all my friends and family…

Ready for a new challenge?

What’s your biggest accomplishment at Groupon?

My team’s biggest accomplishment last year was bringing Groupon’s US tax compliance in-house and preparing the tax returns ourselves, something that had never been done before. I know that might not sound glamorous, but I was so proud of the way the team really came together to get this done despite the challenges we faced along the way.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I crunch numbers in Excel all day without speaking to anyone.

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

Before Groupon, I worked as a Tax Manager at a public accounting firm. After speaking with a Groupon recruiter and meeting the tax team, I knew I wanted to work here.  In just one year, I’ve been exposed to so many different tax projects and types of work. The wide range of experience is something that you can’t find at every company, and I feel it has really helped further my career in tax. The culture at Groupon also drew me in; it’s a fast-paced environment, but the people here are always willing to help each learn and grow. The people at Groupon really make it a great place to work, and I’m extremely grateful for the friendships I’ve made here.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

“Is that a cat in a spaceship?”

Tell us about your involvement with Groupon Volunteers.

I joined Groupon Volunteers in order to give back to the community and meet people from other teams at Groupon. Groupon makes it SO easy to volunteer: just sign up and show up for whatever events you’re passionate about!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

When I’m not at work, I’m probably planning my next trip, doing yoga, playing rec volleyball, cooking, or obsessing over Instagram pug puppies that I don’t own (yet).

What’s your favorite local business?

Music Box Theater: great spot for independent and classic movies.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

When I was five years old, I jumped off of a swing set and broke both of my arms at the same time.

Who or what inspires you?

My grandma inspires me because even as a woman in her eighties, she is still traveling the world. Last year, she went to Russia by herself! My wanderlust likely comes from her, and I hope to always have that sense of adventure. My next trip is to Southeast Asia in July, and I can’t wait.

Ashley Doran – International Tax Manager

Ashley Doran – International Tax Manager

ASHLEY DORAN

International Tax Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Visits from the Abominable Snowman and team pajama parties aren’t necessarily things you might enjoy while working in public accounting. But for Ashley, working at Groupon means you can work hard while enjoying all of the oddities that come along with working at a quirky, global company.

First off…can you write a Groupon haiku?

With so many deals – –

possibilities endless – –

what to do today?

So tell us about your job! What do you do and why do you love it?

I am part of the Tax department at Groupon, specifically the International Tax team. I mostly work in the area of transfer pricing, which encompasses all of the intercompany transactions that occur between our related party entities. We have to manage and report these transactions appropriately to foreign tax authorities and there are a lot of rules!

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

About six months after I started, I was asked to help out with the sale/divestiture of some of our foreign entities. I didn’t have prior experience in that sort of M&A work, and one of our Tax Senior Managers left Groupon for another opportunity before the sale was completed. It challenged me to get up to speed very quickly. There were a lot of non-tax consequences that had to be considered, so there was input from many teams: Accounting, Corporate Development, Legal, Communications, etc.

This experience gave me an opportunity to work with people from all over the Finance organization, in a way that someone at my level probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do working somewhere else. We all helped each other through the process and my relationships with those teams are stronger now as we continue to tackle new issues and projects.

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

By structuring our intercompany transactions in a specific way, we allow ourselves to position Groupon global operations for future success, which translates to more Groupon deals and more opportunities to make Groupon the daily local commerce habit.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

There is a huge assortment of random things I’ve witnessed at the office, from team pajama parties to someone walking around dressed in an Abominable Snowman costume on the first day of winter. Also, all manner of quirky signs and desk decorations mean you can witness something new every day.

What are your biggest accomplishments?

The personal accomplishments I’m most proud of are completing my CPA and running my first marathon. I studied and sat for my CPA while working in public accounting, which required a lot of working hours. I had to stay very focused and really dedicate a lot of my free time to studying. It was so gratifying when I finally passed all the tests. Also, last fall I ran my first marathon in Chicago! As someone who loves running, it was something I had been working toward for a long time. I hope to run another one in the next couple of years in my home city of NYC!

So how did you get to Groupon?

I worked in public accounting at KPMG for a few years in NYC before going to a smaller in-house tax role at a private company. When I decided to move to Chicago, I knew I wanted to stick with an in-house position. The fact that Groupon was publicly-traded, and had a large international footprint meant I would be exposed to a lot of new issues and likely be learning a lot. I was not wrong!

What’s unique about the culture at Groupon as opposed to public accounting?

The culture at Groupon is definitely what makes it unique. Groupon’s background as a start-up combined with its laidback culture makes for a fun work environment. Despite the challenges that sometimes come with a laidback environment (at least for type-A accountant types), there is much to learn at Groupon and I am not done learning yet!

What do your parents think you do?

Simply “taxes.”

Be part of a global team.

What do you enjoy about being a member of Women@Groupon?

There are a lot of women in leadership positions at Groupon. I want to get to know them, learn more about how they navigate their careers and be exposed to more of my peers who want the same!

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who are intelligent, hardworking, and collaborative. At the end of the day, I think most everyone is just trying to do a good job, at work and in life. It helps to help each other!

Where can we find you outside of work? 

I love to run—with or without my dog, Hank—especially in Lincoln Park along the lakefront. I also enjoy cooking and have been trying to expand my skills with some cooking classes at Sur La Table. My fiance, Mike, indulges me by coming along, too!

If you could do any other job for a day, what would you do?

I’d love to do something creative for a day like photography or interior decorating. No spreadsheets necessary.

What’s your favorite local business?

Taco Joint!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I took piano lessons from the time I was 6 until 19!

Hannah Bright – Management Accountant in London

Hannah Bright – Management Accountant in London

HANNAH BRIGHT

Management Accountant
London, England
Joined: 2017

Favorite view from the office?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

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

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

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

Who inspires you?

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

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

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

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

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

What do your parents think you do?

And I quote… “Sum things up.”

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

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

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

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

What’s your favorite local business?

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

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Nothing is better – –

Than a “bright” sunny day in – –

Summer in London

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

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

=

Jomis Jose, Accounts Payable in Bangalore

Jomis Jose, Accounts Payable in Bangalore

JOMIS JOSE

Accountant Associate, EMEA Accounts Payable
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2015

Jomis talks about taking her career to new international heights at Groupon, what she does day to day, and her first time seeing snow while on a trip to our Berlin office.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Germany! As part of a transition, we had to visit the EMEA offices and I was one of the lucky people who got a chance to go and visit Groupon office in Berlin. That was my first flight, my first international travel, and my first time seeing snow! We can never forget our first experiences, right? First experiences are always special and close to the heart.

Each moment throughout that week was a new and special for me: different culture, food, language, etc. My favorite moment during the whole experience was first seeing Germany. It was around six in the morning when I reached Berlin; I boarded the flight it was midnight, so I didn’t bother to grab a window seat. My only aim was to sleep as I had to go to the office the next day.

When we landed in Berlin, I was tired and a bit grumpy, but when I stepped outside my first view was breathtaking! The whole area outside the plane was covered in snow. It was a picture-perfect view. For a 22-year-old girl from a small village, the whole week was a dream come true. Groupon had given me lifetime special memories, these are just a few…my list is long.

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

I had to finish transition of four entities in one week. That was a very short time span to understand the entire AP process of four entities where my trainers did not speak English as their first language. Invoices, mail communications, and even their accounting systems were set in their mother tongue. But my manager and my wonderful colleagues over there supported me to accomplish my mission on time.

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon.

As a woman, I love to be part of any groups that celebrate womanhood. I really enjoyed all the events conducted by Women@Groupon Bangalore and I am looking forward to other future events. My favorite event was when we launched Women@Groupon in our Bangalore office. We had a good crowd and it wasn’t just women who attended, all the men in our office joined us to make the event even more successful!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

My first impression was “wow, this is definitely a great place to work.” Groupon allows you to be yourself, and always welcomes new ideas and suggestions no matter how small of a role you are handling. Here we are like a family; I am away from my family back home, but I have found a second family in Groupon.

What did you do before joining Groupon?

I was with HP (Hewlett Packard) before. I worked there for a year and a half as a financial associate. I was looking for a company that could offer me something distinct rather than just work. One fine day I got Groupon interview email and I found that my passion was one of their requirements. They wanted someone who is willing to travel if required and that is my passion of mine. From the day I attended my interview to until today, Groupon has never let me down. I am glad that I chose Groupon.

What’s your favorite spot in the office?

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

My main job is payments, payments, and payments! I belong to the Payments Team and we handle all of EMEA. We execute payments and make sure they are all successfully released. Payments are one of the key areas where we have to maintain 100% accuracy. We also face rejections and other challenges often. Finding out the hidden cause of rejection is always tough and interesting…I often learn something new. I am also part of the Fresh Desk query management team. We are the single point of contact for EMEA payments, so I am always in touch with most of the EMEA office employees. Fresh Desk is also a great platform to learn about business and its complexities. In order to answer queries or clarify doubts of others, we should know the system and functionality thoroughly. I am always pleased to help someone with the knowledge I have.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I am an avid traveler. Also, you can find me out and about with my friends, exploring and becoming one with nature. Some weekends I will do absolutely nothing other than lay in bed and binge watch TV shows. Other weekends, I am spending hours shopping, buying unwanted things. My main hobby is designing; I love to design Indian traditional wear. Designing is something which I can sit and do for hours without even food.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I was college champion at chess player for three consecutive years; I love to play chess with someone who is competitive. I love trekking and adventures activities. I am very talkative; I cannot keep quiet for more than 10 minutes and last but not the least I love desserts, no matter what it is, if it has just sugar in it that is enough for me…

Brent Eaton – Corporate Recruiter

Brent Eaton – Corporate Recruiter

BRENT EATON

Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

The best advice Brent received before interviewing for his role at Groupon? Be yourself—and he is 100% that in his story and wants his candidates to do the same!

What teams do you recruit for?

Finance and Legal

What advice do you have for candidates who are heading into an interview at Groupon?

The best advice I could give someone while interviewing here is to be yourself. I was told that by my recruiter when I was hired, and I’m still here almost 3 years later!

What’s awesome about Finance at Groupon? Why join?

There are 4 big selling points for Finance here:

    1. The ability to make an actual impact and drive change. A lot of candidates come from larger, more structured companies. Typically, those companies are more established in their processes. Groupon’s open and collaborative environment in combination with having less rigid structure allows finance employees at all levels to share their ideas to improve process and procedures. We’re a 9-year-old company, so there is a lot we can still build!
    2. The culture! Our office is not your typical cubicle setting. The finance team sits together in an open-floor environment, fostering a more collaborative and exciting culture.
    3. It’s fast-paced. Like…really fast-paced. Each role has specific responsibilities they’re tasked with achieving. however, that’s not all your role will entail. Groupon is constantly evolving every day and the Finance team is given ad hoc projects on a daily basis. No day at Groupon is every the same!
    4. The ability to move around the company. We have many examples of people moving to a different team (or location!) within Finance or to the business. Both avenues are great to broaden one’s skill set. Check out Ron and Steve’s stories as examples of internal mobility!

What should a candidate expect from you during the recruiting process?

Honesty. Throughout the recruiting process, candidates should expect me to be candid with them. If a candidate does not move forward in the process, I believe it is important to provide specific feedback to help them with personal development. I’m here to help!

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

Candidates are most surprised about the opportunities to make an impact at Groupon. I hear from candidates all the time “My ideas get lost in the corporate ladder.” At Groupon, it doesn’t matter if you’re an analyst, manager, or director, we value everyone’s opinion. That is the only way we will be able to continue to innovate!

“Groupon’s open and collaborative environment in combination with having less rigid structure allows finance employees at all levels to share their ideas to improve process and procedures.”

Show us your favorite view from the office!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory happened last year. I received a gift card and a handwritten note from an employee I hired one year ago that day. He thanked me for recruiting him to Groupon and expressed how happy he was at that company. It was truly rewarding!

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

Our recruiting team is essential in building the daily habit in local commerce. We are tasked with finding the best talent from around the country for all departments. These individuals—at all levels—are equally important in building the daily habit. Without the talent, we wouldn’t be who we are today!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Crazy, but in a good way! When I saw the quirkiness of the office and the open floor setting, I was truly in shock.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

I’m proud of the success stories from candidates I have hired. Many of them have excelled in the area I hired them in. Others have moved on to other areas of the business they did not start in. Those folks have expanded their skill set and made themselves more attractive for long-term growth. I couldn’t be happier in helping them achieve their career goals!

You of course love recruiting and would never want to do anything else…but if you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

If we are talking about Groupon, I would join the Groupon+ team. Being a part of a company-changing initiative would be so cool. In terms of a job outside of Groupon, I would definitely be a Sportscenter anchor. It is basically my dream job.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

I enjoy public speaking. I come off as a quiet guy but I actually like to speak in front of crowds. As I grow in my career, I would love the opportunity to be a part of a panel at conferences, events, etc.

 

Azusa Villevieille – Merchant Payment Support Specialist in Tokyo

Azusa Villevieille – Merchant Payment Support Specialist in Tokyo

AZUSA VILLEVIEILLE

Merchant Payments Support Specialist
Tokyo, Japan
Joined: 2017

Azusa loves the international aspect of her role on the Merchant Payments team. But what’s cooler than international? Interstellar…she wants to see Groupon in space! So we do, Azusa. So. Do We.

What does Groupon’s impact on local businesses mean to you?

Our former country manager of Japan told us that Groupon can make a positive impact on small- and medium-sized merchants since they often struggle with advertising or finding new customers. These days it is very important to advertise online since it can reach so many more customers. I’m very proud that we are helping these small- and medium-size merchants because it is helping them reach their business goals. For example, there are small and local merchants such as family-owned restaurants who close, though they wish to continue. Thus, we are helping them to survive in this competitive, globalized industry.

Tell us about your job! What do you do?

I make lists of payments and holdings for APAC; every week it changes depending on the number of Groupon redemptions. It is so unique that we pay merchants every week since many other companies only pay once a month. Also, I answer questions regarding payments, such as missing payments or disputes about the payment amount. I like my job because it is very international and I can make a lot of contributions to APAC.

What’s challenging about working at Groupon?

Since Groupon is a relatively young company, things can change quickly as we learn and grow. Sometimes, there isn’t necessarily a set way to solve a problem, but it’s fun and challenging to figure these things out by yourself. It makes things interesting. You can be a pioneer here because there isn’t always a trail blazed, which allows you to try new things.

Ready to make an impact?

Who inspires you?

My coworkers Nelly Chavez and Ruben Calvo Ruiz on the Merchant Payments team. My parents also inspire me.

Where did you go to school?

I got a Master’s Degree from Institut d’administration des entreprises de Grenoble in France. My Bachelor’s Degree is from Chuo University in Japan. Also, I was an exchange student at the University of Copenhagen.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That it is a new and developing company. Compared to my previous work at booking.com, Groupon has a lot more space to grow and people can really make an impact here.

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

I make sure our merchants are supported and paid, which is incredibly important to Groupon’s mission of growing local.

Where were you before joining Groupon?

I was working as a Customer Service Executive at Booking.com and someone from Talent Acquisition at Groupon sent me a message on LinkedIn about the Merchant Payments role.

And how did you get from France to Japan anyway?

My husband got a job in Tokyo, so we moved here. I’m also originally from Tokyo, though, so why not move back!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Usually, I’m answering questions about APAC merchant payments and taking care of bank details for merchants. I also have weekly meetings with the Merchant Payments teams in Spain and the Emirates.

Describe the Tokyo office!

Our teammates here work so hard that even after our weekly Friday awards party, everyone goes back to their desks and continues working until they finish their tasks.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like to travel inside and outside of Japan. Last short trip was to Tochigi prefecture where we created traditional Japanese dishes using a wood joinery method, which is a traditional technique using no nails.

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

I would like to work on a space shuttle because it sounds very adventurous and exciting. Then I wish we could create a Groupon to go to the moon one day!

Manjula Manohar – Payroll Analyst in Bangalore

Manjula Manohar – Payroll Analyst in Bangalore

MANJULA MANOHAR

Payroll Analyst
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2017

What makes Manjula happy? Making sure that employees in APAC are paid on time. *Cue resounding applause from teammates in India, Japan, and ANZ*

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

In July 2017, just two months after joining Groupon, my manager tasked me with analyzing and streamlining the employee queries. I had to work with my entire team and the internal tools or mechanisms used to reach-out to employees for explaining/expediting their questions, then come up with the strategy of having a simple FAQ template/PPT. In the end, this drastically reduced employee questions and increased our productive hours, which I am very proud of.

What do your parents think you do?

My mother thinks I am always counting money, but my bank balance is zero.

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

I was working for United Spirit as a Senior Payroll Executive, where I was handling payroll and Incentives for a vast number of the Sales team. I am happy that I got an opportunity to join Groupon which has excelled my skills and provided me with vas opportunities to know more about system interpretation in payroll.

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

When I’m not at work, then pets are my companion. Travelling, trying new cuisines, and cooking are my hobbies.

Your role exists in other companies…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?

Groupon has a very employee-friendly culture which I felt on day one during my interviews. Also, the exposure to run the process through complete systemization made my role unique at Groupon. Most importantly, it did not take a long time for me to get acquainted with my team. I’m happy to be part of the Groupon family.

What’s your favorite conference room?

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory was a team dinner and bowling alley event we organized at the Phoenix Mall in Bangalore, which included tasting various cuisines, a bit of rock-n-roll with the team, and plenty of snaps.

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

I am a Payroll Specialist for the APAC region. I make sure all of the employees (including myself) are paid precisely and timely. Payroll itself is a challenging role but knowing how happy it makes employees to be paid on time and accurately boosts my enthusiasm, love, and satisfaction towards my job.

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

In a short span of time, I have taken up the opportunity of transitioning our process onto completely new platform. In addition I was tasked with process customization, streamlining, and systemizing. The results are that we have a more stabilized process in place with smoother functionality.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

The freedom of speech. You are given an opportunity to tell your opinion on  processes and so great ideas and implementations are often coming from employees. That kind of work culture encourages us to bring in more improvisation and enthusiasm in our work.

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

Paying employees on time and accurately is our mission and we pledge that we have achieved it. The results are happy employees  which in turn increases the productivity of employees and the company as a whole.

Rossella Giancola – Payroll Specialist in Milan

Rossella Giancola – Payroll Specialist in Milan

ROSSELLA GIANCOLA

Payroll Specialist
Milan, Italy
Joined: 2011

Ciao from Milan, Italy! Rossella dishes on the global aspects of her role and talks about her first visit to the Groupon office, where she was visiting as a head hunter to help staff our teams. She instantly fell in love and joined us two weeks later. (Aww!)

Tell us about your job! What do you do?

I work in the Payroll department and my main goal is to make accurate and timely payments, but not just that. I also support employees to understand their payroll, reset Cloudpay passwords, and provide tax support.

So tell us about your Groupon journey!

My Groupon adventure started 7 years ago. I was and am a Groupon customer and I believe a lot in our business. I started on the HR team and as a recruiter, I helped build the Italian team. For a couple of years, I led the development of the Merchant Services Team in Italy and then helped roll out its centralization in Poland. This was one of the most incredible professional experiences I’ve had. I managed a team of 18 people who up until a few days before were my colleagues. I had to earn their trust and learn their work, then suggest the best way to do it.

Eventually, we had a restructuring and I was tasked with rebuilding everything in another country. It was not easy, but I learned a lot from that experience and met equally fantastic people. I was involved in the selection, training, and management of the new Marchant Service team; I am very satisfied with the work I did and with my personal and professional growth. For the first time ever, I felt part of an international company and global project. I discovered that Polish vodka is really good, that the food is fantastic, the people are friendly and hospitable, it’s Christmas all year…but it’s really very cold.

I finished the project In Poland, thanks to the complicity of the Head of Human Resources, Ruth Di Nunzio, and Vanessa Virgilio, the “old” colleague of the Payroll team based in Milan. I was lucky enough to meet Ricardo Rehkopf and the Payroll team. I was instantly welcomed and supported in an excellent way by the whole team.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The last competition we ran as a team: The Color Run. It was not a race but a battle of colors!

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I’ve been on the Payroll Team for just one year and I have already worked on Italian, Spanish, and Arabic payrolls and I’m learning German, Dutch, and Swiss. I’m very lucky to be working with many colleagues from different countries. What other company could have given me all these opportunities!?

What do your parents think you do?

My parents have never understood my job and they probably have no idea what any Groupon employees do!

Obviously, you love Groupon, but you probably have a life outside of work. What do you do in your spare time?

I like spending my free time with my family and friends. I love reading romance novels, taking long walks in the mountains, skiing, and swimming.

What did you do before joining Groupon?

Before Groupon I was a Head Hunter and worked for a company that was responsible for research and selection for companies. Groupon’s Milan office had 50 employees and the company was planning to grow 200% in the same year. The company I was working for had organized a meeting with the human resources director to close a contract of collaboration and support in the search for new Groupon employees. I attended the meeting and it was love at first sight. After two weeks I was hired at Groupon!

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

The most classic of answers, I would like to be an astronaut. I am a very rational person and would like to know what it means to be with your head in the clouds.

Who or what inspires you?

I always try to learn from the people who are most successful in the workplace, my boss and my colleagues are people who inspire me. In my personal life, my family and the values they’ve taught me: honesty and charity above all.

What’s your favorite local business?

Finger’s Japanese Restaurant

Nelly Chávez – Merchant Payments Team Lead in Madrid

Nelly Chávez – Merchant Payments Team Lead in Madrid

NELLY CHAVEZ

Merchant Payments Team Lead
Madrid, Spain
Joined: 2011

Many of our international offices are incredibly close-knit, including Madrid. Today, Nelly shares her Groupon experience and covers six years of working in Finance alongside co-workers who have basically become family.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Our Christmas party in 2015. We threw a big party and all of the teams from Spain and Portugal came to the Madrid office. We took a big family picture.

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

I work on the Merchant Payments Team in Madrid. We make sure all merchants from EMEA and APAC get their payments on time. I really enjoy working with people from other departments all around the world, but what I love the most is my team. We are a little family: two members of our team were even born the same day and year. We always say Kristel and Robert are siblings.

Who inspires you?

My mother. She is the strongest person I have ever met. She never gives up.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

It was a very young, crazy, and stressful company.

What’s unique about Groupon Spain?

I think it’s incredible how despite all hours we spend working, we want to continue seeing each other outside of Groupon. We have formal celebrations (Christmas, anniversary and summer parties), but we also have “unofficial” celebrations: birthdays, concerts, trips, and of course our typical cañas every Friday. For instance, we have five co-workers with birthdays in January (including me) and we are going to have a big party. It became a tradition four years ago and this year will be pretty big.

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

We work with big merchants but most of our merchants are small businesses. For them, it’s pretty important for us to relay that no matter what, they will receive payment every week for their services, and that’s our main priority. There have been days that we had to work during the night to make sure merchants receive their payments on time.

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

In 2014, while I was working in Merchant Research, we did a massive update of the databases for Spain and Portugal. We hired additional people to help us accomplish the project. I was in charge of weekly planning and progress tracking and we reviewed more than 25.000 accounts. As the project was a success, it was extended two more months and we bought a database to look for new leads and accounts.

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

I’m a TV series addict. There have been times where I was watching more than 9 series at once. My favorite shows are The X Files, The Walking Dead, and Mozart in the Jungle (I love Gael García Bernal!!) I also watch Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon a Time, Grey’s Anatomy, and Criminal Minds. I’m trying not to add more series because I can binge watch a lot of shows.

I also love to work on DIY projects or “bricolaje” in Spanish. I haven’t had much time lately, but the project I feel proud of is when I updated my mother’s dining set. It was made of good wood and the chairs were very comfortable but they needed a change. We had just bought some new paintings to decorate the dining room so we decided to change the color of the table and chairs. At first, I thought it was going to be easy but I had to Google hundreds of pages searching the right way to do it. I also wanted to change the chair cushions. It took me more time than expected but I love the result and as a bonus, I got my own stapler gun!

What’s your favorite local business?

CANOE. It’s a bingo restaurant. I went there with some Groupon friends and we won 800 euros. It was a great night!

There are so many companies to work at in the world. So why Groupon? What keeps you here?

Why do I stay in Groupon? It’s an easy question…the people. During my 6 years here, I have met good professionals who are also great people. Some of them are my friends and some have even become family.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

Three years ago, some Groupon friends and I decided to go to the “Preuvas.” It is Madrid’s star location for the New Year’s Eve celebration is Puerta del Sol, the city’s most important square. On the night of December 30th, thousands of people get together at Puerta del Sol to perform the exact same ritual that will take place on the following night, but instead of eating 12 grapes we try different things. We usually eat chocolate snacks. After that, we go to party and dance until the sun rises or the club lights turn on. It has become our little tradition at the end of the year and I love it.

Steve – Finance Manager in London

Steve – Finance Manager in London

STEVE

Finance Manager
London
Joined: 2012

Last year, a few members of our Chicago-based Finance team had the chance to relocate to London in order to establish a center of operations for international finance. Steve was one of those lucky Finance Managers who made the move, bringing his expert karaoke skills across the pond to Groupon’s London office.

So tell us about your job! What do you do every day? What do you love about it?

I work in the Financial Planning and Analysis organization, which forecasts our performance and helps communicate our results to senior leadership.  We’re responsible for all countries outside of North America. It’s very interesting to interact with the folks who are running the business day-to-day and to see their perspective on what makes their business tick. Learning happens on both sides of the table. The exposure is great as we have meetings with everyone up to the CEO.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

We had a mariachi band come to the office one day to play for us. They were fantastic; it’s the kind of randomness that makes working at Groupon fun and unique.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by the hard work of the team that reports to me. They have incredible drive, passion, and dedication to moving the ball forward on new projects and making us work smarter every day.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I was really impressed with how passionate everyone was; my team’s function was relatively new when I joined, and everyone was excited to establish what our focus should be and how we could push forward our team’s mission. I think that kind of “blank slate” made the first few months—which are normally stressful or slow in a new job—super fun and engaging.

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

My team’s work is used by the leadership as a source of truth to help them understand how their decisions are shaping the results of the business. The finance team is always working to understand how customer behaviour is reacting to a change in how we operate or a new product we offer.

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

I think taking over the international FP&A team earlier this year was the biggest challenge. I had never done FP&A before, and the team was also relatively new to the business. We also need to work across a few different time zones, as my manager is in Chicago and we also look after Japan and Australia.

Your role exists in other companies, so what makes your job at Groupon unique?

For me, it’s always been the great way that finance works day-to-day with the leadership teams operating the business; we aren’t in our own silo but instead part of the greater team. This leads to great opportunities to get your thoughts heard and to help with key decisions.

What’s your biggest accomplishment while working here?

18 months ago, a group of us from the Chicago office relocated to London to help establish a centre of operations for the international finance team. We were able to transfer some of the knowledge and process we established in North America’s business, as well as learn a whole lot from the business leaders in our EMEA and APAC businesses. I think it was a great success and we’ve been able to build a stronger global team from the project.

What do your parents think you do?

I’m not sure, but I hope they think I operate a giant coupon printing press, monitoring ink levels and stressing out about card stock quality…

What’d you do before Groupon and how’d you get here?

I was in investment banking prior to joining Groupon. Investment banking was super presentation-oriented as opposed to a ton of analysis, which was the piece I was more interested in. I wanted to work in a more casual and fast-paced environment, so I was drawn to Tech. I actually just applied straight through the website and got a response the very same day! I remember being the most formally-dressed person in the building when I came in for my interview and was surprised to find that a lot of the other people I interviewed with had similar backgrounds to mine. They came from more traditional finance roles and then switched over to the tech industry.

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

Maybe a head chef? I love food and wish I was better at making some for myself!

What’s your favorite local business?

It has to be “The Orange Buffalo.” It’s a Buffalo wing food truck in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London, and it reminds us of home!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I am the finest karaoke performer on my team.

What are you up to when you’re not at work?

I love to travel; I just reached 33 countries the other day. Living over here has opened up the door to a ton of cheap flights to great places. Since moving here I’ve traveled to France, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, Poland, Morocco, Japan… the list goes on!

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