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!

]

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

Ron Klein – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Groupon+

Ron Klein – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Groupon+

RON KLEIN

Senior Marketing Product Manager, Groupon+
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

It’s only been a few years, and Ron has already moved up from Financial Analyst to the Go-To-Market Lead for Groupon’s hottest new product launch: Groupon+. On the side, he’s imagining himself as the GM of the Detroit Pistons.

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

With Groupon+ we are redefining the way users redeem discounts: completely voucher-less. If we are successful in our ability to scale, users will be able to find local restaurants on our platform easily and be able to get discounted food at all of their favorite places. Meanwhile, merchants will gain new customers and improve the frequency of current customers, with no more printouts and no more handing over your phone to the waiter!

Where were you before Groupon?

Before Groupon, I worked in Finance at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati. My last role involved cost analysis for hair care and color…not exactly my niche area. When Brent from Groupon Recruiting reached out to me, I was ready to make a move and I always knew I’d end up in Chicago (and in Tech) at some point.

What do your parents think you do?

My parents still think I work in Finance “with money” even though I’ve told them I’ve taken on a new role. In fairness to them, Groupon+ isn’t in Detroit yet.

What’s your favorite spot in the Chicago office?

 

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

I am most proud of the early success I have had in taking Groupon+ to market (and ultimately doing that while transitioning out of Finance to Marketing during a 2 month period). We’ve added a ton of new enrollees to the program and have launched multiple large-scale brands on to the Groupon+ platform (e.g. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts).

Have you won any awards while you’ve been here?

Last Place, 2016 Groupon Finance Fantasy Football League

What’s your favorite conference room?

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us!

A few months ago I transitioned from Finance to Marketing as the Groupon+ Go-To-Market Lead. I had been working on Marketing Finance for over a year and a half and I was ready for a new challenge. I heard about the Go-To-Market position from a few people on the team and so I met with some Marketing folks to talk about the role and eventually applied. Working in Marketing Finance meant that I knew everyone in the Marketing organization already and I had built up a really great relationship with those teams, so I knew everyone who was in my interview loop. It was just a great fit and on a product (Groupon+) that I am still extremely excited about.

Transitioning to the Marketing organization has allowed me to develop more Marketing skills, including project management. I’ve also had the benefit of working with a ton of people in different areas of the company (Sales, Merchandising, Product, Marketing, Finance, Legal, Operations, etc). That’s another thing that’s so great about Groupon: you can really create your own career path and gather skills along the way.

“I am just four and a half years out of college and my early successes at Groupon now have me taking a brand new product (Groupon+) to market as the Marketing lead. You don’t get that kind of opportunity elsewhere.”

What makes Groupon different from other companies you’ve worked at?

Working in Tech (and specifically at Groupon) is such a tremendously different atmosphere than more corporate jobs. Since Groupon has not been around for that long, there is: a) a ton opportunity to make an impact in every area, and b) almost no bureaucracy or hoops you have to jump through to get things done.

If you’re hardworking and committed to the company you’re working for, there’s really no better place with more opportunities than Groupon. And I’m not just trying to sell you! Take my story: I am just four and a half years out of college and my early successes at Groupon now have me taking a brand new product (Groupon+) to market as the Marketing lead. You don’t get that kind of opportunity elsewhere.

Who or what inspires you? 

Working on a project or team that has a ton of growth potential and opportunity is what really inspires me. It’s what drew me to Groupon+. The product is on a complete upscale. We’ve gone from 2,000 merchants to almost 3,000 in just a month. We’re doing more and more transactions every month and our Tipster technology is the perfect way to let more and more people know about the product. It’s exciting to get behind a product that all consumers should inherently want: cash back at restaurants they are already going to.

What’s your favorite local business?

Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co. PIZZA. POT. PIE.

 What was your first impression of Groupon?

When I visited for my interview, I was probably more blown away by the culture than anything else. The 4th floor of Groupon is honestly just a fun space to walk through with products everywhere and the culture of the the sales staff spread all around. It was fun, quirky, and clearly a place I wanted to work.

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

I would take Stan Van Gundy’s job as General Manager of the Detroit Pistons. I’d proceed to trade Reggie Jackson and build a dynasty in just under 24 hours.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Great deals are needed –

for a discount company –

that wants to succeed

 

Groupon World Headquarters

Aline Yamamoto – Financial Controller, APAC

Aline Yamamoto – Financial Controller, APAC

ALINE YAMAMOTO

Financial Controller for APAC
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2015

Brazilian-born Aline runs APAC’s accounting and tax functions from Sydney, all while staying caffeinated and connected to her global teammates.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The Sydney office is pretty good at surprising its employees. One day we had “Bike ‘n Blend” at the office, which was essentially a bike in the kitchen with a blender attached to it. All you had to do was choose the ingredients, cycle, and you would have your smoothie prepared by your own cycling efforts!

Who or what inspires you?

My family inspires me. They taught me to be a strong, independent woman, and to never give up no matter how hard things can get.

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

As the business is always looking for ways to improve customer experience and ROI for our merchants, I need to make sure that we are doing the right thing from accounting and tax perspectives. Luckily, we have great communication between the departments in ANZ, which makes my job much easier in identifying issues and finding solutions for potential problems.

What’s your favorite conference room?

“Although I am literally on the other side of the world (Australia), I have the full support of my manager and also other areas of the business. I am never alone! I feel we are all working toward the same goal.”

So where were you before joining Groupon and what brought you here?

I worked at Ernst & Young in the audit function for 9 years. One morning, we had our all hands and the Oceania CEO said that people should update their CV every 6 months so they could track what they have learned. He said, “If there isn’t much to be added then you need to do something about it.” That made me reflect and I realized that although I had had an amazing 9 years with E&Y, it was time for me to move on as I did not see myself as a Partner and I wanted to try something different. That night I applied for a role—which happened to be with Groupon—and on Monday I accepted an offer! Everything happened very quickly, basically within 4 business days! It was the best move for me as a person and for my career and I have absolutely no regrets.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

I joined Groupon in May 2015 as a Finance Manager for ANZ. In January 2016, I got promoted to Financial Controller for ANZ, and after one year to Financial Controller for APAC. I now oversee Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the India accounting teams. For me, having this international experience with so many amazing people from different countries and backgrounds is awesome. Although it has been only 2.5 years since I joined, I’ve learned and experienced so much! There has not been one day that I feel bored at Groupon; I truly enjoy coming to work every single day. I’ve had so many great opportunities and exposure to things that I am 100% sure no other company would give me. I’m very grateful for everything that I have been through and also for all the opportunities that my managers and Groupon give me.

What do your parents think you do?

They think “I run this place!” The problem is that they just don’t think: they actually tell all their friends in Brazil (I am from Brazil!) It is embarrassing! I told them people can actually see on my LinkedIn profile what I do so they should stop saying this!

Accounting roles obviously exist at many companies, so what’s unique about your role here?

The international experience is something not many companies could offer. I love liaising with teams across the globe in so many different departments. I usually start my day with speaking to Chicago, then with Japan throughout the day, and finish with India and EMEA. Also, having exposure to so many different areas and new ways of doing things is something that is unique to Groupon. Although I am literally on the other side of the world (Australia), I have the full support of my manager and also other areas of the business. I am never alone! I feel we are all working toward the same goal and that I am part of “one team, one dream.” For me, all of these things make my experience with Groupon unique and it would be very hard to find anything better anywhere else.

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

I would be a barista. I love Art Latte! People in Sydney take coffee very seriously: never mess with it!

What’s your favorite local business?

Siam Orchid, a massage place next to our Sydney office.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Make life less boring—

With customer happiness–

This is fulfilling

Sydney Office