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.

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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Ricardo Rehkopf – Director of Global Payroll & Shared Services in London

Ricardo Rehkopf – Director of Global Payroll & Shared Services in London

RICARDO REHKOPF

Director of Global Payroll & Shared Services
London, UK
Joined: 2013

We had no idea Ricardo was such a big deal in the payroll world. He has been featured in Payroll World Magazine where he talked about how Groupon manages global payroll and compliance. Today, he’s on the blog talking about his global team and his love for travel and cooking.

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

The work that my team and I do globally—essentially making sure that all employees and vendors get paid accurately and on time—contributes substantially to satisfaction, motivates productivity levels across the entire business, and thus helps Groupon better achieve its overarching business objectives.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

I’m very proud that my team and I were able to standardise and centralise all of Groupon’s payroll processes, covering all countries in all their legal, financial, procedural, and organisational complexities paving the way to effectively utilise one single system. I am also very proud to have done the same for our AP Shared services in India. They’re a fabulous team to have and are now processing all international AP and employee expenses for EMEA & APAC.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

This past summer, we went on a treasure hunt to discover London around our office. Looking for clues, finding the treasure, and having a few drinks along the way was a lot of fun!

Who or what inspires you?

My friends and family inspire me, as well as some famous entrepreneurs and writers, like Richard Branson and Paulo Coelho.

So what’s your job like? What do you love about it?

I work in the Payroll department and International Trade AP Shared Services, managing all of our countries around the world. I make sure all payroll processes are in place and that we all get paid accurately and on time. I have a team helping me with the payroll operations based in Bangalore, Milan, London, Paris, and Dublin, and my team in the International Trade AP Shared Services sits in Bangalore.

I’m based in London and I travel to all the different locations where my teams are, I also travel to Chicago where my manager is: Jenni Weinacht. I love my job because it is fun, every day is different, I like the different cultures and diversity I work with, and my team is so great to work with.

Working at Groupon has provided me with exposure to a great deal of network outside and inside Groupon and learning experience in the e-commerce industry. I’ve been a panelist to a few payroll events and seminars in the payroll world and I’ve also featured in the Payroll World Magazine in May last year.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I’m a lawyer…

So what’d you do before Groupon and what brought you here?

I am a true payroll veteran with more than 20 years under my belt having worked for different organisations in North America and Europe. I focus on strategic payroll issues and efficiency gains in global payroll and payroll/HR software systems. Prior to Groupon, I worked for Thomson Reuters, Avid Technology, Celergo in the UK, and CPEhr out of California.

As a payroll veteran, what makes Groupon a unique place to work?

Groupon is simply a cool and flexible place to work. The people make all the difference and that is where Groupon differentiates itself as an organisation. There are so many great people working here who are intrinsically motivated and dedicated to being successful. Personally, I truly enjoy the freedom of applying my skills in creative ways.

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

I’d love to be a restaurant chef at a Michelin star restaurant. I have a great passion for cooking and experiencing beautiful food in a social setting.

What’s your favorite local business?

NOPI, an Ottolenghi restaurant in Central London.

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

The most challenging part of my work since being at Groupon was transitioning all countries to a single payroll provider as well as supporting the HR team in implementing a new HR system. Nevertheless, it was great fun doing so.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I love spending time with my partner traveling different countries and places. My favourite pastime is cooking and dining out, and spending time with friends. I also like playing paddle tennis and doing yoga, and during the winter season, I enjoy skiing.

What’s your favorite office view?

Ernesto Martin – Senior Finance Manager

Ernesto Martin – Senior Finance Manager

ERNESTO MARTIN

Senior Finance Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2013

Ernesto’s mom may believe he’s actively trying to work as far away from Spain as possible, but if we had the opportunity to work in 4 countries and try our hand at acting, we too would pack our bags and go wherever Groupon sent us.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Lots of options after 4 years in many countries! In Madrid’s office, we always produced our own content for Halloween, Christmas, and other events, and I had the honor to try acting a bit in 2014.

Tell us about your day-to-day work.

I manage the Finance side of Sales for North America. We work with different departments to make sure that our Sales team can have the tools to improve their efficiency. We help model new initiatives and tests. Finally, my team is in charge to set up compensation schemes and get Sales team paid in a timely, accurate, compliant manner.

Give us some background on your where you started and how you got to where you are now!

I joined as Finance Manager for Spain and Portugal as a member of the Southern Europe Finance team. As we grew the business and started to generate standard processes, I was offered a chance to join the European team in London that created a central finance function for the International Business. My job was to manage all processes related to Sales. I was the Business Finance partner for Sales, Sales Ops, Sales Compensation, and Merchant Payments. Groupon asked me to leverage that knowledge acquired in the international markets and move to Chicago to continue my work in Sales Finance, and here I am now! Groupon is a global business that allows us to grow and get out of our comfort zones.

What’s challenging about your work?

Sales Finance in international is quite challenging, as you need to coordinate different countries, languages, opinions, and timezones.

Who inspires you?

Anybody who is able to challenge the status quo and motivate the rest of us to improve things.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

From the very first day, I believed that Groupon had a rich culture with regards to ownership and inclusion. All opinions are respected and it is really easy to share your ideas and to see the impact of what you do. I also had the feeling that things were a bit messy in the beginning and now I feel really impressed about how much we have improved over time.

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

We try to maximize the potential of the sales team, making sure that we can get as many relevant deals as possible available for our users.

OK, so your role probably (definitely) exists at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

Groupon sales process is very complex. You need to be able to show to merchants how Groupon can help their business, but that is just half of it, as you also need to set a successful deal structure. The fact that our sales reps are not selling a closed product means that they all need to be experts in every single category they cover. We have an army of extremely talented salespeople and a constant need to update our assumptions. Nowhere else you can get the adrenaline of knowing you can always beat yourself.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I love traveling and tennis. I am also in love with Chicago’s steakhouses, and that is ruining my budget for traveling and my body for tennis.  🙂

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

Sales, the most important department in almost every company!

What’s your favorite local business?

Any business on Groupon+

What’s your biggest accomplishment while at Groupon?

We created a centralized process for deal approval and special redemptions for international. We had to coordinate Risk, Finance, Merchant Payments, Accounting, Sales and Global operations for all countries and all lines of business. The process was relevant and gave me a lot of exposure to all levels of management, as I was the owner of the project and had the chance to make a positive impact in management efficiency and forecasting accuracy across the region. I learned a lot about coordinating teams in different time zones and process compliance. Also, some commercial skills as we were constantly exposed to ongoing negotiations with our merchants. 

What do your parents think you do?

My mother believes I intentionally pick any job opportunity that gets me further away from Spain.

Why do you participate in Groupon en Español?

I just joined Groupon en Español, and so far, after a couple of activities, I think it is a great way to interact with other colleagues and also see the impact that your employer has in the community.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I like music festivals and techno music. This summer I went to Burning Man and I will try to repeat next year.

Mina Samaan – Accounting Manager

Mina Samaan – Accounting Manager

MINA SAMAAN

Accounting Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

Favorite conference room?

After joining Groupon, Mina has worked his way up from Senior Accountant to Accounting Manager, traveled the world, and centralized and organized a major international project. Not bad for only being 2 years in!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have a ton of awesome memories in this office, but one in particular sticks out the most. It was during the holidays and our team did Secret Santa at 4 pm and finished around 5. From there we randomly decided to hang out and play board games; next thing we knew it’s midnight and we’re all still there having a blast! Honestly, in that moment I realized we’re not just co-workers, but also friends who have a blast with one another.

Who inspires you the most?

My parents! They came to this country when I was very little to give me a better future. They had very little money but worked extremely hard to make something of themselves. They taught me that nothing is given to you in this life, but rather you must work in order to succeed. Along with what’s truly important is to respect and admire others along the way.

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

On the accounting side, it’s a bit difficult to directly impact this habit. However, I truly believe we do impact this habit in an indirect way. By correctly recording our financials, we are able to efficiently report on trends that help leaders make decisions that will positively impact the business.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

I started at Groupon as a Senior Accountant. My job was to come in and take on this project called “Intercompany,” which is the allocation of expenses internally. In the past, this project was very messy and sporadically spread across the globe. I came in and quickly began to learn from some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with. Slowly I started to centralize the project in North America and was rewarded by being promoted to Accounting Manager. Within two years, my team and I were able to complete the largest portions of this project, and get Intercompany back in control. Along the way, I was able to fly to different countries and meet some amazing people.

What do your parents think you do?

“My son works at a place that convinces stores to give discounts on their site, and then give his company money at the same time….I know… it makes zero sense .” It’s as if I work for the Mafia, geez!

What did you do before Groupon?

Before Groupon, I worked for a small media company. It was awesome, but I wanted something more. But one day a Groupon recruiter reached out via LinkedIn; I wasn’t actually looking for a job at the time, but I replied anyway. Next thing I knew, I had an interview scheduled. What’s even crazier is halfway through my drive to the interview, I thought about turning around. Then I thought  “what’s the harm,” and came in. Once I walked into Groupon, I knew I wanted to be here!

What’s your favorite local business?

Fontano’s Subs. A+!

Accounting roles obviously exist in most companies, so what makes your work here interesting?

Groupon is extremely complicated as a business; we are seeing and solving new challenges every day. At other more established companies, they’ve been doing the same thing for years. To me, that’s just boring.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I’m about to have my first child in January!

Esther – Head of Global Merchant Payments

Esther – Head of Global Merchant Payments

ESTHER

Head of Global Merchant Payments
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

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

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

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

What’s your favorite local business?

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

What’s unique about Groupon as a work environment?

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

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

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

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

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

Give us a glimpse of your workspace.

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

Why do you participate in Parents@Groupon?

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

What does your mom think you do?

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

Have you won any awards here?

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

Who or what inspires you?

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

What was your first impression of Groupon?

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

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

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

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

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

What did you do before joining Groupon?

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

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Daily payments for –

Merchants who run on Groupon –

Get your deal today