Geekfest goes international with a new location: Berlin!

By
at September 19th, 2017

Did you know that Groupon has over 650 web services? It takes a vast software infrastructure to run Groupon.com, the Groupon mobile apps, and a whole bunch of internal tools—and that infrastructure requires an enormous amount of technical expertise (read: geekiness).

Naturally, we Groupon engineers like to share our geekiness with the world, which is why we started Geekfest several years ago in Chicago. It’s an event series that mostly consists of tech talks given by experts in their field. Over the years, it has spread to other Groupon office locations like Seattle and Palo Alto.

And this week, it’s going international! For the first time, Geekfest will be hosted in Groupon’s brand new office in Berlin. At 6pm on Thursday, September 21, Philipp Krenn will be giving our kickoff talk on microservice monitoring in our top-floor event space, after which attendees will be invited to eat pizza, drink some Weißbier, and enjoy the view from our balcony overlooking Hausvogteiplatz in the city center.

So if you’re in the Berlin area, come on by! You can RSVP via our Meetup event.

Hope to see you there, and here’s to many more Geekfest events in the future!

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Pride@Groupon’s double-decker presence in 2017’s Chicago Pride Parade

By
at July 7th, 2017
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Photo c/o Aaron Bean

Groupon takes pride in fostering an inclusive work environment. All year long, Pride@Groupon—our LGBTQIA-focused Employee Resource Group—strategizes and executes on initiatives that benefit both LGBTQIA-identifying employees and merchants alike. June, aka Pride Month, is obviously an exciting time of the year for Pride, as each year Groupon participates in Pride parades across the globe. This year, in Chicago, Groupon employees marched through Boystown in a psychedelic-inspired double-decker bus, which boasted a mural illustrated by one of Groupon’s own designers, Bert Fanslow.

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Photo c/o Aaron Bean

Nathan Bean, Pride’s current Communications Chair, helped to organize and execute Groupon’s presence in the parade. “I love working at a company that is all about inclusion and diversity. Being in the Pride Parade was a great way to show that to millions of people.” The most memorable part of the day, though? “The first turn the bus made as we entered the parade was amazing. As we made it, the crowd lit up with excitement. It was a wall of noise that brought a giant smile to my face. Looking at all the people who were having a blast just being around people they loved was astonishing.” Visit Aaron Bean Cinema to view more photos from Groupon’s parade presence.

While Pride month and the accompanying parades are definitely some of the biggest events of the year for Pride@Groupon, there are myriad other projects and events they have throughout the year. Below are some upcoming events for the Chicago chapter of Pride@Groupon:

September 22: WERQ Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair

October 1:  AIDS walk

Q3: Volunteering event serving dinner to LGBT and homeless youth at the Center on Halsted

Click here to learn more about the Employee Resource Groups at Groupon and how they’re positively impacting their local communities or follow us on Instagram @GrouponCareers to see more photos and boomerangs from Pride celebrations across the globe!


New Jersey native Umang talks self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and accepting Groupon’s cat obsession

By
at July 6th, 2017

Name: Umang Bhatt
Title: Product Management Intern
School: Carnegie Mellon
Location: Chicago

umang bhatt intern palo altoWhat team are you interning for?

Supply Intelligence and Dynamic Pricing

What are you working on?

On the supply intelligence team, we work to decide which merchants Groupon should target to onboard next. Using our proprietary machine learning model, we automatically curate calling lists for every Groupon sales representative around the world. On the dynamic pricing side, we are building a pricing engine that handles price changes for Groupon deals based on demand forecasting and deal performance. Intelligent prices drive value for merchants as well as keep customers engaged; our goal is to continuously iterate to derive the optimal price of a Groupon deal.

Describe your internship in 3 words:

Satisfying, eye-opening, Jabber-filled.

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

It’s awesome to see how open everyone is to meeting 1:1 to talk about their work and to get to know you on a personal level. Be it a first-year engineer or a senior director, everyone is welcoming and ready to grab coffee or lunch. All they will say when you ask is “toss time on my calendar.”

ezgif.com-resize-2What was your first impression of Groupon? 

“Groupon rhymes with coupon; well, this ought to be an interesting summer.” My experience here has been much less interesting/mundane and much more fascinating/demanding. How can Groupon strategize to stay at the forefront of its niche? How can Groupon become a daily habit for all users? These are questions I toil with every day with my manager and mentors, who help make my every day at work intense yet rewarding. An aside: the cat obsession really confused me for the first week or so, but then you become immune to it, don’t worry.

Who or what inspires you? 

I am inspired in two ways. In regards to my personality and character, I am inspired by my guru, Mahant Swami Maharaj. His humility, patience, and happiness leave me awestruck every day. I strive to emulate his qualities in all that I do so that I too can live a fulfilling and spiritual life. In terms of my career, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Sundar Pichai, Ben Horowitz, and the like keep me hungry for more. Reading about their ethic, focus, and grit shows me what I need to bring to the table if I want to see my product vision become a reality.

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Chicago interns outing to WhirlyBall

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

Going to school in Pittsburgh, I feel self-driving cars are no longer abnormal. Aside from the smart phone and the personal computer as hallmarks of innovation, I have to say the self-driving cars I see on a daily basis are one of the most innovative pieces of technology we have today.

Your Instagram is mainly photos of….

My failed attempts of landscape photos of the places I visit and portrait photos of the people I spend time with.

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What do your parents think you do? 

My mom thinks I code, my dad thinks I’m in Sales.

Favorite restaurant in your current city?

Bad Hunter in the West Loop.

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

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Can you write a Groupon haiku? 

Need something to do?

Find the best deals right near you.

Just download Groupon!

Read more about our interns here!


Sales rep today, Phil Jackson’s replacement tomorrow

By
at June 16th, 2017

Name: Miresh Patel
Title: Business Development Representative – Food & Drink
Location: Chicago
Started at Groupon:
July 2016

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What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are today? What do you attribute to your success?

I started in GOB (GroupOnboarding, Groupon’s sales training program) almost a year ago, and have been drafted to be a Business Development Rep on the Food & Drink vertical. I think persistence and a drive to make money and recognition continue to push me every day. I originally wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but my mother advised me to switch majors because I wouldn’t be able to afford my lifestyle with a teacher’s salary. I also think the fact that I try to get better every single day. I take full advantage of all the resources here and make sure that I’m actively working with colleagues to create new ideas and strategies to implement on a daily basis. Finally, I’ve got a pretty sweet playlist with a bunch of Migos, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, and DMX that get’s me pretty amped to attack every single day with an amazing attitude.

Favorite Groupon memory?

Closing a popular pizza chain in Chicago. It had been a franchise that we’d been trying to work with for a couple years,  but we hadn’t been able to get anywhere with. I was able to get in touch with the right people at the right time and put together an awesome campaign that went all the way up to the CEO’s desk and got approved. It feels really awesome to say that after being out of college for a year, I’m working with CEO’s of major corporations. I know a lot of my friends can’t say the same thing.

What’s your biggest accomplishment working here? 

I think my biggest accomplishment so far was being 484% to goal in my first quarter in my vertical. I was a new rep trying to make a name for myself and I immediately showed people that I was a big deal. I got to see my name at the top of the dashboard and GP tracker every week and I can certainly say that people know who I am now.

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Who or what inspires you? 

My motivation has been and will continue to be the chance to make my parents proud. My father passed away in college and every day I want to make sure I’m doing things that will make my dad proud.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

When I first started working here, my initial impression was that it was a fun, free-spirited place to work. There’s a cat in a spaceship when you walk in and everyone who works here has a unique personality. It’s a work hard, play hard environment that makes coming to work a blast!

What does your mom think you do?

My mom thinks I “call restaurants all day and annoy them until they finally agree to do what I want them to do” because that’s what I used to do to her.

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

I’d love to be the owner of the New York Knicks so I could fire Phil Jackson and throw the Triangle Offense in the trash so we can start to pick up some talent to play with Kristaps and bring the Championship back to The Big Apple!

Do you participate in the EVP (Employee Volunteer Program) or any of the ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)? 

For the last few months, I’ve been a part of the Spark Mentor program. Through this program, I was paired up with an awesome kid from a middle school here in Chicago. I’ve been able to work with him every single week to show him how to take something he’s passionate about and turn it into a business. I joined this program to get involved with the community and be a guiding light in this young man’s life. We’ve been able to come up with an awesome idea for a business and I’m excited to present it with him to his family and friends!

miresh patel groupon sales rep in chicago playing ping pong at the office

What’s interesting or unique about your role? What sort of impact does your work have on your team or the company?

I specialize in working with new businesses inside the restaurant industry. My role is awesome because I get to work with so many new merchants on a daily basis and help them achieve their goals by showing them the value of Groupon. Something that’s unique about my role is that many BDR’s can’t say that they’ve had the chance to work with so many important people who hold roles at large corporations and restaurant groups. The Restaurant vertical at Groupon isn’t necessarily the highest-profit vertical, however, restaurant deals are some of the most frequently purchased. Because of that, I get to connect restaurants with diners who are always looking for new places to go. There’s no greater feeling than when you put together a campaign for a business that does extremely well and helps the business owner achieve their goals. On my team, I’d like to think that I’m one of the more tenured reps and I love to not only make sure that I’m doing well but make sure that my teammates are, too. This means I go the extra mile to help them track down outstanding agreements and negotiate with business owners that aren’t giving them the time of day. This job is so fulfilling and fun when you and the people around you are doing well, so I try to create and maintain that environment on our team.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Many businesses —

All it takes is one short call —

Money starts to flow

What university did you go to?

Miami University (Ohio): RISE UP REDHAWKS!


Tyler talks P v. PC while daydreaming of pigeage

By
at June 6th, 2017

Name: Tyler Scott
Title: Merchant Development Manager
Location: Chicago
Started at Groupon: September 2014

tyler scott BDR groupon chicago

What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are today? What do you attribute to your success?

My first role at Groupon was an Inbound Sales Representative. It was my first job out of college and I didn’t have prior sales experience. I got to where I am today by having a balance of production and production cost. Production is the desired result (contracts closed, recognition, promotions, etc.) while production cost is the vehicle that will get you to the result (relationships you build with merchants or coworkers, your attitude, and your effort). Every day I strive to enhance both sides.

What’s your biggest accomplishment working here? 

Participating in Groupon’s mentor program! The mentor program is something I’ve invested a lot of time into; not only do we get to be a part of the beginning stages of a new hire’s career—whether that’s call shadowing or holding strategy sessions—we also have the opportunity to have upper management come and talk to us about their path to leadership, which is huge. Not only does participating allow me to help individuals who are new to Sales at Groupon, but it allows me to sharpen and build my leadership skills.

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What’s unique about your role? 

What’s unique about my role is the lifecycle management aspect. I’m able to grow healthy, long-lasting relationships with merchants because I have a hand in everything regarding their deal. Being able to structure a campaign that works for both parties and achieve previously laid out goals is extremely gratifying.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

One of my best memories was being present for Groupon CEO Rich Williams’ speech to the Mentor Group about his path in life and the obstacles he’s overcome in order to get to the position he’s in now.

What does your mom think you do?

She thinks I’m a “Coupon Engineer.”

 

tyler with big wet training room

Who or what inspires you? 

What inspires me every day is keeping the end in mind. Picturing myself in 5, 10, 15 years and making sure that what I’m doing now falls in line with the type of man I want to be in the future.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I was skeptical at first because there is a lot of flashiness that goes along with the office: conference rooms that have funny names, a giant cat in a spaceship, etc…and I’m a very low-key guy. However, I realized those things didn’t distract on the sales floor and that you’re recognized for the work you put in and not on artificial stuff which is more than I can ask for.

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

I would love to be the person who gets to stomp on grapes during the process of making wine. I honestly see no downsides with that job, only positives. (Editor’s note: stomping on grapes with your feet is referred to as “pigeage.”) 

What university did you go to?

Illinois Wesleyan University


Putting diversity hiring into action in Seattle

By
at May 31st, 2017

What’s one impactful way to connect diverse talent with tech companies? Put them in a room together and have deliberate conversations about diversity hiring.

The Tech Jobs Tour, formerly TechUP, is an organization that—in conjunction with like-minded organizations such as Lesbians Who Tech—focuses on promoting and supporting diverse and non-traditional engineers in order to diversify the tech scene. The tour recently had a stop in Seattle and Groupon was a sponsor of the event, which had over 500 guests in attendance. Throughout the evening at Impact Hub Seattle, engineers connected with companies who are prioritizing diversity hiring, such as Groupon. The schedule consisted of speed mentoring sessions, demos, a career fair, and a keynote address by the 3rd CTO of the United States of America, Megan Smith. In conjunction with sponsoring the event, Groupon had roughly 20 employees attend, volunteer, or mentor during the course of the evening.

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What else is Groupon doing to promote diversity and inclusion? Check out our recent I&D blog posts or follow us @GrouponJobs to learn about our upcoming diversity events! 


What’s the key to real progress for women in Tech? Anu explains.

By
at May 24th, 2017

Groupon’s Anu Gali, Director of Engineering & Silicon Valley Biz Journal “Women of Influence” honoree, says getting women interested in the Tech sector is only half the battle.

IMG_0752 (1)I was recently honored at the the 2017 “Women of Influence” award ceremony organized by The Silicon Valley Business Journal. Each year the magazine recognizes local business women, community leaders, and philanthropists who have made a difference in their workplace and in the broader Silicon Valley Community. I was one of the honorees this year for a combination of Engineering leadership, entrepreneurship, and volunteer work for various STEM and Women’s Leadership Incubator programs. I am passionate about bringing more women into engineering. I started off working with middle and high school girls through organizations like Girls Who Code and Technovation Challenge.

While these were satisfying, I also realized that the women who get into technology often find it hard to grow into leadership positions without the benefit of good mentorship. I felt that enabling these women to succeed would have a multiplier effect in having them help other women while also acting as role models for girls who want to get into the field. So, I started mentoring career women through organizations such as Grace Hopper and TheClubSV which is an Incubator of Women Leaders. I believe these help me make a bigger impact in the amount of time I have.

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The culture at Groupon—based on individual merit and equal opportunity to contribute and grow—is unique in the industry and I feel highly valued here. I cherish the strong, engineering-driven culture where I am able to take initiatives to influence the product direction while working with so many smart people. Women at Groupon as an employee resource group sponsors mentorship, talent development, and other programs geared towards career development. Groupon also sponsors Women Who Code and Grace Hopper through which the employees have access to external meetups, workshops and mentors. As a Director of Engineering, I am currently leading initiatives for voucherless redemption. This is an exciting project where we let customers buy a voucher, link it to their credit card, and enable them to utilize the voucher without any hassle. I strongly believe this will transform the user experience, enable them to use Groupon more often, and be a significant growth driver for our business.

Read more about women in Engineering at Groupon.


Commemorating UIC’s 2017 Latino Graduates

By
at May 22nd, 2017

UIC’s 31st Annual Recognition Dinner: over 600 attendees, 200 graduates, and one fiery mariachi band.

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Lauren Mullins – Campus Recruiter // Fernando Diaz – Divisional Sales Manager & Groupon en Español Chair 

Fernando: As the Chair for Groupon en Español, one of my goals is to create an inclusive work environment by making connections with Latino communities which will lead to recruiting opportunities. This event both helped solidify the partnership with UIC and start other partnerships with organizations within UIC. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the graduates. They were allotted 30 seconds each to say a few words. Many of the students thanked their families and friends who had done so much to help them achieve this milestone.

Lauren: UIC’s Hispanic/Latino undergraduate population increased to 30.7% this year, which continues their designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The Annual Recognition Dinner recognizes and honors the accomplishments of their Latino graduates among family and friends. There were over 600 guests in attendance, 200+ of which were graduating students. While this wasn’t a direct recruiting event and there was limited interaction with students (they were focused on celebrating with friends and family), Fernando and I were able to network in person with key members of several diverse campus organizations: Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES), Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), and Career Services, forging stronger relationships than we would have with cold outreach to these groups.

The goal of the event was to strengthen our relationship with and show our support for UIC as a whole and the hispanic/latino community. Our attendance aligns with Groupon’s inclusion and diversity values! It would be great to continue to build relationships with the campus partners we met and celebrate the recent grads and Groupon new hires! The best part of the night? The amazing student speeches when they were recognized for graduating AND the UIC mariachi band: Mariachi Fuego!

felicidades uicuic latino recognition dinner mariachi band

Learn more about our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and what we’re doing to foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace!


Parents @ Groupon Celebrates 1st “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day” in Chicago

By
at May 18th, 2017

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A typical Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day might entail kids shadowing their parents as they go about their day, maybe setting up a makeshift workspace for kids to doodle, tinker with desk decor, or play office. At Groupon, we decided to do things a little differently this year. In late April, a dozen kids over the age of nine alongside their parents had the opportunity to spend the day immersed in their area of choice, whether that was engineering, photography, recruiting, design, or even a Shark Tank-themed sales contest.

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“When planning the event, we really wanted to make sure we had a variety of departments featured and leading activities. We were excited that we had animation, engineering, and the photo studio, among a few other fun activities with great teams!” Katie Knox, Parents @ Groupon Talent Development & Recruiting Chair.

The National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation explains, “Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work program goes beyond the average practice of “shadowing” an adult. Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education and helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future, and allowing them to begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success.”

Later this summer, Groupon will host kids of all ages for Bring Your Kids to Work Day, but first, Parents @ Groupon has both Mother’s and Father’s Day events lined up to celebrate the hardworking parents of the ‘pon.

Want to learn more about our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)? Check out these stories to find out how our employees are getting involved.


Go West! Jabril Takes his Groupon Sales Training Experience from Chicago to Phoenix

By
at May 1st, 2017

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

Sales Trainer, Jabril, Stands in front of sign at Groupon Phoenix office

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

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

Interested in learning more about our Phoenix office? We have more employee and volunteer stories here!