Title: Junior Visual Designer
Start Date: July 2014
School: Carnegie Mellon University
What do you do?
I primarily work on merchant-facing material: branding for new merchant products, email communication, packaging, etc. I interface with a variety of teams across the business in order to create, execute, and deliver on inspiring, compelling design projects for the company.
Why did you choose Groupon for an internship and what made you want to become a Groupon employee?
The campus recruiters were helpful in connecting me to Visual Designers at Groupon; I spoke to them on the phone. I got to ask them a lot of questions about the culture and how Design functions as a whole. It just seemed like the right fit for me with the playful, quirky brand and I thought it’d be a great summer experience.
(Obviously) my internship was great! I was able to work with so many different people on the Design team, and in turn was exposed to so many different parts of the company. Also, I was creating work that was actually shipping, not just working on internal projects or busy work that internships can often turn into. Most importantly, the people were so amazing to work with. I learned so much from both my teammates and manager, that it made the decision to want to come back full-time pretty easy.
What’s the best advice for the future Design employees of Groupon?
- Being able to present your work and being articulate with your ideas is very important. We’re constantly presenting to different teams and stakeholders, and you need to be able to speak to what you’re doing in a strategic way so you can get people on board.
- It’s good to have a strong point of view as a designer—letting yourself show through the work. I like work that is conceptually sound, but also feels original in its final outcome. That can be a trap a lot of young designers fall into—copying what else is out there because you know it works. Here, there are always so many new products that have a quick turnaround, so generating ideas quickly and executing is crucial.
- You thrive the most at Groupon when you like working with other people, because you are going to work with a lot of people. There’s a difference between being able to work with others and actually growing as a result of collaborating. At Groupon, everyone is elevating each other.
How have your design skills improved since your time as an intern?
I’ve definitely honed my skills more quickly due to the fast-paced environment, which in turn has also improved my workflow. Also, when you see an opportunity to do a project or do something different, you can really jump on it. For example, there was a time when we were doing a lot of email banners. I had talked with my manager about making the banners into animated gifs. I thought that’d be something cool to incorporate into the merchant brand as a whole. I always had an interest in motion graphics and animation, and I’ve really been able to dive into that and almost start an initiative in that way.
Since working here, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of Groupon’s greater missions and values, especially related to merchant relationships. I truly believe in the value of helping local businesses grow, which enables me to design from an empathetic lens and connect more with my audience in any project.