Fabian Angulo – Enterprise Relationship Manager

Fabian Angulo – Enterprise Relationship Manager

FABIAN ANGULO
Enterprise Relationship Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2012
As skillful as a race car driver and as useful as a good mechanic a block away from home, Fabian is the Grouponer you need to talk to when your mode of transportation is compromised.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I would say there are a couple of experiences that are very “Groupon.”  Starting with the random superheroes we would see roaming around the office, the raptor roaming around the halls looking for someone to eat, and when Groupon had a Halloween zombie infestation in the elevator bank and everyone ran for their lives when trying to get to work. Most recently, Darth Vader was roaming the halls looking for rebel spies. Oh man, I thought I was a goner!

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

I’m an Enterprise Relationship Manager and I manage enterprise-level accounts for the automotive maintenance category. I’ve always been into cars and motorcycles, so managing this category is a very good fit and I love that I work with something that I’m passionate about.

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

Due to Groupon’s ever-evolving platforms, there are always new challenges and each one is more challenging than the last. I love it! It keeps things interesting and new.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by reaching the next level. The possibility of getting to the next stage in my career is what motivates me to continue to work hard and lay the foundation for what my future can become.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I was very happy to be here and I could immediately see the culture and pace were more my speed. First impressions count and I’ve been here almost five and a half years, so Groupon’s first impression was a very good one for me.

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

I manage the automotive maintenance category which brings inventory to the site for services that consumers need for their vehicles on a regular basis. By having these deals listed on Groupon, it gives consumers the ability to find great merchants in their backyard that they might not have realized were there. In a sense, it’s changing how consumers find businesses. And those merchants can provide them with the services they need for their vehicles which they rely on every day.

Have you won any awards?

President’s Club 2014 and President’s Club 2017.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

The proudest moments I’ve had were when I won President’s Club. I’ve won twice and my second time winning was a feat in and of itself. I was a runner-up in 2015 and 2016 so I’m hoping I can win it for the third time this year.

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

Groupon is unique as it embodies the culture that it claims to have. The people are truly what makes this place great. It also helps to work and stand behind a marketing platform that is as effective as it is. There is nothing else out there that drives the results that Groupon drives and it’s amazing being a part of it.

You’re a member of Groupon for Latinos and Groupon Volunteers.  Why did you join?  Any memories you’d like to share?

I’m involved with Groupon Volunteers as it is a good way to get connected with organizations that give back to the community. My first time volunteering was for Tutoring Chicago at a picnic and I just loved getting to hang out and show the next generation of Chicagoans, teaching them how to play games and sports. I also volunteer for the Figueroa Wu Family Foundation UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry which provides groceries to lower-income families in the Chicago Pilsen neighborhood.

Join my team!

What do your parents think you do?

My dad isn’t too sure about what I do. He just knows it’s for a company that is on the interwebs. My mom has a better idea and knows it has something to do with online coupons and vouchers.

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 either working out to get those endorphins up, planning my next trip, traveling, or working on my car. I’m pretty handy when it comes to cars and it’s my favorite past time.

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

I’d be a race car driver! I’ve been on a race track a few times already and as a kid, I always wanted to become a driver.

What’s your favorite local business?

Kawa Sushi in Bridgeport.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve traveled to eight different countries but I’ve only visited eight different US cities. I’ve also traveled to Milwaukee by bicycle which was around 100 miles and it took about 8.5 hours to arrive.

Carina Coss – Business Development Representative

Carina Coss – Business Development Representative

CARINA COSS

Business Development Representative
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2018

A globetrotter to her core, Carina loves going to distant lands as much as helping out local businesses.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? 

My favorite Groupon memory definitely has to be my team’s volunteering event at The Night Ministry. It was so awesome to both bond with coworkers while helping out the homeless community in Chicago. I think events like that really bring people together; I loved seeing everyone so excited to help out!

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

My job is pretty cool! I get the chance to talk to some really great business owners who entertain us with activities like kayaking and horseback riding. It makes me more aware of the things I should be enjoying during my free time. But ultimately, I love that I am able to connect with so many people across the US.

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

One of the most challenging things that I’ve had to work on thus far has been graduating from GOB. I was constantly challenged to get better at “the process” while also hitting mandated targets. With the help of so many people on the floor as well as the training team, I was able to push through and graduate! PHEW!

Who or what inspires you?

My inspiration definitely begins with my mom. She is so hardworking and humble. She constantly inspires to reach my dreams and never stop believing that they are achievable! Besides my mom, I love Beyonce and Camila Cabello. They are strong, lovely women that show me dreams can be reached as long as you never stop trying. Fun fact: I just saw Camila in concert and I’ll be seeing Beyonce in August! 😍

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I fell in love with the atmosphere. There’s so much liveliness just walking around the floor from a spaceship with a cat trapped inside to inflatable palm trees and bananas around the office! It’s so fun to come in to work and be in such a cool, innovative environment.

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

I am constantly pushing to engage both merchant and customers to experience and ultimately enjoy Groupon and the perks of working with us.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

Oh, goodness! Alright, since you’re asking…the proudest moment I’ve had so far at Groupon has been graduating Valedictorian of my GOB class. Go Fishsticks! GOB was a particularly tough challenge for me since I was put out of my element quite a few times, and finishing the program like that was such a wonderful feeling. It definitely has been a highlight of my experience here so far.

We see that you’re a member of Groupon for Latinos.  Why did you join? 

I joined to get more involved in the Latino community here at Groupon. I love seeing the approaches everyone takes and how they involve their culture and heritage in their daily life at work.

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

I joined Groupon because I believe in the mission of connecting local business with locals. I know that what we do has a huge impact on businesses and the people who go to them.

What do your parents think you do?

Ha! My parents think I work, sleep, and travel! “Carina is always running around doing things, I can’t keep up with all her adventures and crazes.”

Where were you before you joined Groupon? How did you get here?

Before I joined Groupon, I worked at the Nike sports emporium and also had a few other internships. I got here through networking and wanting to work for a company that embraced the millennial world as well as a company that works on a global platform.

Want to grow local?

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

My life outside of Groupon is filled with travel. I traveled last to Havana, Cuba. Other than planning my next trip…I am busy enjoying the company of my two beautiful dogs Pebbles and Sophia while enjoying amazing food in Chicago with all my friends.

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

I would love to be a travel blogger! Traveling brings me such joy.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

At 20 years old, I ran my first marathon while working for Nike Running while pacing celebrity entrepreneur Bill Rancic!

Celebrating Juneteenth with Blacks in Groupon & Allies

Celebrating Juneteenth with Blacks in Groupon & Allies

BLACKS IN GROUPON
June 19, 2018

Celebrating Juneteenth 2018

with Blacks in Groupon & Allies

Blacks in Groupon honored Juneteenth by sharing food and history with our members and allies across the organization in Chicago. Everyone came together to learn about the history of Juneteenth and the significance of the food and drinks that were chosen, specifically as an honor to our ancestors, their perseverance, and strength. We were joined by members across all the ERG population including Groupon for Latinos, Pride@Groupon, as well as several members of the recruiting and human resource teams. Rounding up the evening, we also were visited by COO Steve KrenzerWe are thankful for all of the support we received for this event and look forward to bringing more inclusive and diverse energy to our Groupon family!

So what is the story of Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a celebration held every year on June 19th to acknowledge the Emancipation of the slaves of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Though President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the enslaved of those states were not told until June 19, 1865. With their newfound freedom, those who were formerly enslaved celebrated with certain foods, drinks, and clothing that had been restricted from indulging in as slaves. The celebratory food included barbecued meats, collard greens, red sugar water, etc. It was important for them to be allowed to gather and break bread as a family.

These celebrations continued for many years until those free of enslavement were harassed and killed when they tried to come together for a joyous occasion. However, times have changed and descendants are able to freely acknowledge the freedom of their forefathers. Many people don’t know what Juneteenth is or why it’s an important historical event which is why Blacks in Groupon & Allies wants to bring awareness to this holiday. It’s important for us to celebrate the great works and enduring strength of our forefathers by keeping the tradition of Juneteenth alive with traditional food and music; enlightening others with critical past events so we may all have a better understanding of how we—as dignified human beings—should move forward to ensure and promote growth and humanity for this country overall.

Written by BIG members LaTierra Randle and LaTrice

Groupon for Latinos Celebrates a Successful Mole de Mayo in Chicago

Groupon for Latinos Celebrates a Successful Mole de Mayo in Chicago

GROUPON FOR LATINOS

30 May 2018

Groupon for Latinos Celebrates a Successful Mole de Mayo in Chicago

Groupon for Latinos & Allies and the Groupon Social Responsibility teams had a blast this past weekend at the Mole de Mayo Festival in Pilsen! The teams were able to connect with thousands of loyal Groupon fans and build interest amongst new users that downloaded the Groupon app at the event.

Attendees of the event received special offers including:

  • 25% off promo codes
  • Fun swag and giveaways
  • Hotzone Push Notifications for the area that showcased our Pilsen offers

Coming this June, Groupon is partnering with the Eighteenth Street Development Corporation to launch ¡Bienvenidos a Pilsen! which will celebrate the culture and merchants of the Pilsen neighborhood. In the Discover Downtown program that is led by Groupon’s Social Social Responsibility team, we collaborate with local business organizations to highlight a curated selection of the best things to eat, see, and do in distinct neighborhoods. For each campaign, Groupon offers a bundle of services that help drive customers into featured businesses and revenue into the community.

We’re excited to highlight Pilsen as our 6th Discover Downtown campaign. Previous campaigns highlighted Beverly, Uptown, Bronzeville, Lincoln Park, and Edgewater. Special thanks to all of our Groupon for Latinos chairs, members, and volunteers for helping us stay staffed over two full days (15 hours!) and for the hours spent planning every detail of the event. Together, the team made our Mole de Mayo debut an amazing success!

Written by Giselle Gonzalez: Communications Chair | Groupon for Latinos

John Kasang – HR Business Partner

John Kasang – HR Business Partner

JOHN KASANG

HR Business Partner
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011

John has lost count of the number of roles he’s had here. He’s a shining example of career mobility at Groupon, starting off as a temp in Editorial and making his way into HR by way of Recruiting. What’s next? Maybe blueberry farmer.

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

I coached swimming at my local pool and one of the parents whose children I coached worked for a temp agency that had a position at Groupon. Diving for pennies was pretty fun, but I thought I’d give an office job a try!

What positions have you worked here?

I was hired as a temp to be a Merchant Center Creator and my full-time offer in March 2012 was for Quality Assurance in the Editorial department. From there I moved into an Associate Site Editor role and then I moved into HR.

Can you explain a bit about what each job entailed?

  • As a Merchant Center Creator (MCC) I opened up a central repository for merchants that would host their data from their deals. In Quality Assurance, we checked the facts! I was part detective, part internet troll, and part mathematician as we wanted everything on the deal to be correct. Finally, as an Associate Site Editor, we made edits to deals that were live on the site.
  • Jumping into HR, I started off as a Recruiting Coordinator. I scheduled interviews, gave tours, booked travel, created offer letters, and partnered with a recruiter as their right-hand man. I eventually was promoted to Recruiter, Recruiter II, and then a Senior Recruiter leading our Customer Service, Risk Management, and Consumer Fraud talent acquisition. It was fascinating, fast-paced, and I was able to not only able to hire in Chicago but throughout the country.
  • Now I am the HR Business Partner for our Finance, Communications, and Legal Department. As an HRBP I am here to formulate partnerships across HR functions to drive initiatives and help with things like Benefits, Compensation, and Talent and Development. I am here to support & champion our employees!

Why did you want to jump from Editorial to HR and how did you go about doing that?

I toyed with the idea of working in the non-profit sector before coming to Groupon. I enjoy the complexities of people; we all have big goals, some problems, and challenges in our life and HR seemed to be the place to marry that in the public sector.

I'm moving to London.

How did each job prepare you for the next one?

I had some incredible managers who fed my hunger to grow and let me fail forward.

How many jobs have you had?

Gosh, I don’t know…about six or seven. I lost count.

How have you navigated your career moves at Groupon?

I live by the motto, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” Relationships are a huge part of building your career. Taking the extra step to recognize efforts and intentions along with life events goes a long way in creating open communication and opportunity.

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

Our business exists in a diverse world, and our employees mirror that! We want to build a diverse and inclusive workplace and give that population the means to grow and become better suited to serve that community.

Have you won any awards?

Does Best Beard count?!

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

Working with a global team always keeps me on my toes because employment laws and regulations vary country to country, state to state, even sometimes city to city. It’s important to be detail-focused so nothing slips through the cracks.

Can you talk about what your global work entails? What teams and/or teammates do you work with and where are they located?

Finance, Legal, and Comms have folks all over the world: Chennai, Bangalore, Warsaw, Milan, Dublin, London, and more. I partner with the business and local HR support on a variety of topics.

Are you a member of an Employee Resource Group?

I’m the Professional Development Chair for Groupon for Latinos.

Can you talk about what it means to be the Professional Development Chair for Groupon for Latinos? Why are you involved? Why is it important to Groupon?

There are so many intersections of diversity and inclusion and part of that is understanding that they exist and how to embrace and celebrate them. Personal and professional development stretch our horizons and drive us to be life learners. With that, I want to bring more to our Groupon for Latinos community along with other amazing ERGs. We are better, more imaginative, and inventive with more knowledge in our back pockets!

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

I’m an avid kombucha brewer, plant whisperer, competitive walker, non-competitive rollerblader, and lover of all vegetables.

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

I kind of want to be a blueberry farmer, though I’m not really sure why…

What’s your favorite local business?

Adams and Sons, best plant store in town!

 

 

Megan, Senior Reconciliations Specialist

Megan, Senior Reconciliations Specialist

MEGAN

Senior Reconciliations Specialist
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2012

Today, we talk with Megan about the women at Groupon who have helped grow her career, what it’s like to work in Risk, and how her team supported her in a recent quest to snag Demi Lovato tickets via a radio contest.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What does a typical day look like?

I work with merchants to reconcile and negotiate payments owed to Groupon. My team takes on a lot of projects, so I appreciate getting to work on ever-changing issues. My typical day usually consists of following up with merchants, checking payment logs, and responding to in-house tickets with requests for tax validations and account status updates. I usually drink two cups of Earl Grey tea while working on these tasks.

And what’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on here so far?

I worked on a project that dealt with tax indemnification for a subsidiary company and prior to that, I didn’t know that was a thing. I was able to team up with members of the Tax and Legal teams to get the accounts reconciled.

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

I work with companies that use Groupon as a marketing tool. When I’m able to reconcile accounts, Groupon and local merchants are able to continue working in harmony to establish the daily habit.

What are you most proud of in your time at Groupon?

I’m most proud of how my contributions to my team have grown over the past few years. Last year, I was able to recover and reconcile more than $6.5 million for my team. The entire team goal for 2017 was $3 million.

You’ve been here for a while now – what keeps you excited to come to work every day?

I’m still at Groupon because of the people, particularly my managers. They have been completely supportive of my professional and personal goals. I’d especially like to give a shoutout to two of my managers, Martha Szatkowski and Christy. They have been with me since I started on Risk. I interviewed with them both in order to get the temp position in ’14. I was honest with Martha about my desire to stay at Groupon on the Risk team and she took steps to make sure that I had a place. Christy has been a great direct manager in terms of allowing me to explore and grow my role within the team. We’re able to have “radical candor” which allows us to communicate in a way that is productive. Martha and Christy have both been supportive of my leadership goals within Groupon with W@G and with my outside leadership goals of becoming more involved in the mental health community. I currently volunteer with NAMI Chicago and DBSA – an opportunity I found through VolunteerMatch!

What’s your favorite spot in the office?

What’s your favorite local business?

Hazel—a boutique in Ravenswood. If you get a gift from me, there’s a 90% chance it came from this store.

Tell us about your involvement with Groupon’s Employee Resource Groups. Why did you join PRIDE@, Women@, and Groupon for Latinos?

I joined to get to know my co-workers from other departments. I also really enjoy the community service that each organization does. I’m currently a co-chair of Community & Volunteering in Women@Groupon. I’ve really appreciated the individual contributor panels that W@G presents. In those panels, we’re able to hear from employees who have been able to grow and develop their careers within Groupon. For example, one panelist started in inbound sales, then moved to Risk, and is now on our Corporate Counsel. (Her name is Danielle Cary, and she’s awesome!)

So where were you before joining Groupon?

I was a student advisor and event planner at the Wichita State University Alumni Association in Wichita, Kansas. In late ’11, I read an article in Vanity Fair about Andrew Mason and Groupon. I applied the next day. My first position at Groupon was with Customer Support.

How did you go from Customer Support to Risk?

I transitioned to Risk in the Fall of ’14. I submitted for a temp position to fill in for a member of the Reconciliations team who was going on medical leave. During my time filling in, I got to know the people and managers on the Risk team and when my temporary tenure was up three months later, they offered me a job on the Fraud team, which used to be in Risk. I worked on that team for about six months before transitioning back to the reconciliations team in July ’15. Because of my prior experience filling in as a temp, I entered the reconciliations team as a tier II specialist.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I never know what I’m going to see roaming around the office on a day-to-day basis. My faves have been a Mariachi band and a full-size Yeti. My favorite Groupon memory is cheap, but I think it’s meeting my friends. When I moved here, I only knew 3 people in the city. Through Groupon, I’ve met some of my best friends. Most recently, my favorite memory was recruiting my entire team to call a radio station to help me win Demi Lovato tickets.

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

I thought it was wacky and I appreciated how much free La Croix there was.

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

Staff Psychologist for a reality TV show.

Who inspires you?

Dolly Parton

What keeps you busy outside of work?

When I’m not at Groupon, I can be found watching The Real Housewives of whatever city is on at the moment, singing with The Mashed Potatoes – a soul cover band, or reading psychology books.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

In college, I had an internship at a small tv station, where I hosted a public access talk show.

Mike Randolfi – CFO

Mike Randolfi – CFO

MIKE RANDOLFI

CFO
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Mike Randolfi—CFO and the executive sponsor of Groupon for Latinos—talks about the excitement of working in the e-commerce industry and how he pays it forward outside of Groupon.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Going to NASDAQ and watching the excitement from merchants as we rang the bell!

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

As part of the role of CFO, I am involved in the investment decisions we make as a company. This involves making sure key initiatives such as Groupon+, BeautyNow, building supply, and supporting our marketing have the necessary investments which are required to create a more enriching customer experience and thus supports making Groupon a daily habit.

Tell us about what you do!

As Chief Finance Officer, my role is to lead the Finance Team at Groupon which includes financial planning, accounting, tax, corporate development, procurement and investor relations. In this role, I have the opportunity to see the great work people do across the company which may involve cool new product enhancements, marketing campaigns or business developments. I really get a cross-section of interaction with business leaders and people throughout the company which I love.

Who inspires you?

The team overall. I am amazed every day by the incredible people that make up Groupon. I see an inspired group of people across the company who want to offer great experiences to both customers on our site/app and merchants. I see our team always striving.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

It is fun and dynamic…the work environment is great and we operate in an innovative space where our business continues to change and evolve. I knew from the moment I walked in the door working at Groupon would be awesome!

Where were you prior to joining Groupon?

Prior to Groupon, I worked at Orbitz Worldwide as CFO and prior to that, I worked at Delta Air Lines for 14 years in various finance roles.

What are you most proud of in your time here so far?

For me, I am most proud of building a great Finance team that partners with business leaders. These deep relationships are critical to ensuring that we as a company are able to focus our investments toward that which will have the most impact.

So what makes Groupon unique compared to other companies you’ve worked for?

Our business is always changing and evolving. E-commerce is dynamic!

You’re the executive sponsor of Groupon for Latinos, our employee resource group focused on empowerment and networking for Latino and Hispanic employees as well as their allies. Talk about what leading this ERG means to you and how it reflects our values.

First, I am passionate about Groupon building a diverse and inclusive work environment that reflects the customer and merchant base we aspire to have. Also, I think Groupon for Latinos has a great mission, which not only focuses on recruiting great talent but also supporting the development of our marketplace with an emphasis on reaching out to great Hispanic and Latino-based businesses. This makes our offerings richer for our customers and helps support great small businesses. I also love the great events that I have had the opportunity to be part of such as ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America).

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

I would be captain of my own sailboat.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

I could live on Chick-Fil-A.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love to boat, bike, ski, and travel. I also volunteer as crew advisor for Venturing Crew, which is a co-ed group (that is part of Boy Scouts) of high school kids who go on high-adventure activities. Last year I led a group of high schoolers that canoed and portaged through the Quetico and this year we’ll be hiking through Philmont, New Mexico. It’s hard, challenging, and character building.

What’s your favorite local business

Homer’s Ice Cream in Wilmette.

Carlos Vale – Head of Diversity Recruitment

Carlos Vale – Head of Diversity Recruitment

CARLOS VALE
Head of Diversity Recruitment
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

Rainbow Flag on Apple iOS 11.3

If you see Carlos, give him a high five for snagging a spot on the Latinos 40 Under 40 list—an amazing accomplishment! We’re proud of the work he’s doing to make Groupon a more inclusive work environment. 👏👏🏾👏🏿

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

Pride gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what we can do for ourselves, and for others. It’s a celebration of not only the LGBTQ community but just community, in general.

How does it feel to work for an organization that embraces the LGBTQ+ community inside and outside the office?

As a gay man, it feels amazing to work for a company that embraces the LGBTQ+ community–it’s one less thing for me to have to worry about, which gives me more time to focus on impact and results. Part of why I do what I do is because I know that there are people out there in other parts of the world that are looking for a place to belong–a place that will accept them as who they are; I want those people to know that there are places and that Groupon is one of them.

How will you be celebrating Pride Month?

I’ll be supporting by attending a variety of Pride-focused events, and of course, attending the Pride parade here in Chicago.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory so far?

I think my favorite Groupon memory so far would have to be going to the Arlington Park Race Track with the Talent Acquisition team. I think I had been here for about two weeks, which provided a perfect opportunity to connect with everyone–it was a blast!

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

In short, I lead Groupon’s global diversity recruiting strategy in order to build robust pipelines of diverse talent for critical positions across all levels. As an ambassador of Groupon’s dedication to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, my role requires a highly relationship-driven approach to building and sustaining a deep and broad network of connections both inside and outside Groupon. Finally, through working cross-functionally with Recruiting, HR, and Talent Development while driving deeper collaboration with Groupon’s Employee Resource Groups, my role helps provide the framework for all business groups to embrace diversity.

No small feat, we’re sure! What’s challenging about your work?

In this field, building, assessing, and reworking strategy is always challenging no matter how supportive the organization may be. There isn’t a magic solution to this, and sometimes it feels like a shape-shifting puzzle–you think you’ve found the right piece, and surely, it changes shape right before your eyes; now, you are trying to figure out where the new piece fits. I love it, though–I’m a person totally driven by solving challenges!

So what makes your role at Groupon unique?

Although some iterations of my role exist outside of Groupon, the reason why I’m here is that I feel like I am generally given the opportunity to identify challenges/opportunities and come up solutions that are heard by many across the organization, including the CEO and other senior leaders. Most people wish they could have the opportunity to meet with their CHRO on a weekly basis, and possibly meet with their CEO and General Counsel on a monthly basis, but all of those things have been quite normal during my first months here.

Tell us about your first impression of Groupon as an employer.

My first impression…was that this is a great place to build things, as well as build on things. Here, I have the opportunity to create new things as well as build on some of the amazing things that have been previously started/accomplished.

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

I would probably want to be the CEO of Groupon for a day, just to see what a day in their life is like. How early do they get up? How many meetings are they in? How do they find balance during the day to eat, or chat with their family? These are all questions I would love to know!

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

Our customers, employees, merchants, and investors come from many backgrounds. Through diversity recruitment, we are able to bring in diverse top talent that can help in the areas of talent, culture, and marketplace–all of these areas help us be better equipped to identify additional opportunities and resolve challenges more quickly through the diversity of thought.

Talk about our ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) and your experience working with them.

ERGs are central to our I&D mission of making Groupon a great place to work for every employee. In my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things with and through our ERGs–I’ll keep it to one example, though. When I first started, I wanted to put together an on-site event where we could invite diverse top talent to network and learn more about Groupon, while also ensuring that they were able to walk away with something. Once going through initial negotiations, I brought it to our ERGs to see if/how they could help–the results were great. In November, we co-hosted an event with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), attended by almost 100 professionals of all levels that were able to engage with our CFO, folks from our Talent Acquisition team, and employees from multiple departments. The coolest thing is that this was coordinated by Groupon en Espanol, and supported by Groupon4Vets and Women@Groupon!

Who or what inspires you?

I’m definitely motivated by visionary leaders who have overcome odds and have helped to make a difference in some way, shape, or form. I’m also motivated by the desire to be a good role model for my nieces and nephews. Finally, I’m motivated to pay it forward to others by providing and exposing me to opportunities, just as many have done for me.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I looooove playing volleyball–indoors, outdoors, and anything in between!

What’s your favorite local business?

I would say King Spa is my favorite local business. It’s nice to be able to feel like you can get away, locally. Also, it reminds me of my year in Japan in 2000, and that alone is worth the Groupon to get out to King Spa!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Different people, all coming together here, supporting local

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I lived in Japan for a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student and absolutely loved the experience!

Leandro Ariel De Oto – Engineering Manager, Consumer Web

Leandro Ariel De Oto – Engineering Manager, Consumer Web

LEANDRO ARIEL DE OTO

Engineering Manager at Consumer Web
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2012

Rainbow Flag on Apple iOS 11.3

When he’s not leading an Engineering team that builds solutions for a frictionless customer experience, you can find Leandro practicing his dance moves in the gym…channeling his love for the Backstreet Boys.

Why did you join Pride? What do you get out of it? Any notable highlights or memories?

I am very passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and I felt this could be a great opportunity for me to contribute to the community. I led Pride Latino at Groupon LatAm a few years ago and I wanted to bring my experience to the US by actively working with the group and learning new things from them. Pride@Groupon gives me so much energy every day because they remind me how much we can achieve if we all work together by leveraging the values and principles we all share. It’s fantastic to have an email or a chat from them every morning where each member gets to be who they want to be.

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

Innovation is key for any company to survive in their field. A company that supports not only the LGBT community but diversity, in general, will be more likely to succeed. Exploring new segments of the population that may have a different vision of the world, of the business, and our customers will bring the company a new spectrum of opportunities never discovered before.

Have you ever worked for a company that accepts, champions, and supports the LGBTQ+ community before? 

Groupon is definitely the first company that takes concrete action on the matter. I worked for other companies that were ok with it but I never had the chance to speak up my mind in relation to diversity and non-discrimination the way that I do here. Not that these other companies didn’t support it, they just didn’t talk about it. At Groupon, we have a dedicated space for this and full support to bring these type of topics to the table.

What makes Pride@Groupon unique?

Authenticity, passion, and respect. Pride@Groupon truly believes in changing the world. We truly understand the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces every day and that many people just don’t notice. Every person in the group has a unique strength that we leverage to make an impact. We respect each other and everybody gets to be themselves 100%.

How are you celebrating Pride Month this year?

Personally, I am still deciding whether I want to celebrate in San Francisco, Chicago, or Seattle. All their Pride parades are so fantastic that I haven’t decided yet which one I want to go. Such a hard decision! Professionally we are working on multiple initiatives within Groupon to make June a very colorful month.     🙂

Who are some notable figures you’d like to recognize for Pride Month?

I have to say, Freddie Mercury. I wish he could have lived his short life more openly and freely as we all deserve. I love his music (as we all do) and I wish I could sing like him 🙂 #GodSaveTheQueen.

What was your first role at Groupon?

My first role at Groupon was as a front-end developer back in Chile. I was hired to be a front-end developer for the LatAm countries and after a year or so I joined a global team to maintain the front-end for Checkout and My Account web apps worldwide. After a few years in that position, I was promoted to Engineering Manager of the same team. In 2016 I moved to Palo Alto. I have been managing the Checkout and User Sessions web teams for about 3 years.

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

My teams and I are responsible for optimizing the login and checkout experiences for the web platform. We have to build solutions that provide our customers with a frictionless and usable interface customized to their needs so that they can proceed to log in and purchase their favorite deals with confidence and no confusion when using a web browser. I love being a manager because it gives me the opportunity to work on building teams who build great products for millions of users. What I love about my teams is that we all share the same passion for front-end development aimed to solve common problems in the e-commerce industry. Having an impact on so many people is sincerely rewarding. We truly want to build a daily habit for our customers and make local businesses accessible to them.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

2012 Groupon holiday party contest: Made a Gangnam Style-like video and we won 1st place.

What’s been most surprising about working at Groupon?

How flexible a big company can be to promote career opportunities among its people. I learned this from my own experience too. I’ve spent half of my professional career at Groupon 🙂

Are you involved with any Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)? 

I am an active member of Pride@Groupon. I led Pride Latino back in Chile before moving to the US. It’s great to see so many colleagues and leaders fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion among our people. That definitely makes us stronger. I have also recently joined Groupon en Español.

What’s your favorite programming language?

Javascript and its allies.

How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of being the daily habit in local commerce?

If your checkout and login experiences are full of blockers and rocks in the user’s road, there is no e-commerce platform that can survive. We work every day to implement new solutions that would streamline this process based on rigorous analyses and customer feedback. All of these using modern technologies to improve the overall website’s performance so our customers can get their favorite deals with just a few clicks.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I like taking hip-hop classes and using the gym’s studio to practice some moves.

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

In 2013, we had to redesign the whole web platform to improve the usability and user interface for our new online marketplace. It was the first redesign since Groupon’s launch in 2008. We had to learn new technologies, work with a lot of new people, all this in a language that I wasn’t too familiar with (no, not Javascript but English!). I learned so much during those days and we worked really hard to deliver a project that millions of users would face. The results were successful and very well taken by our customers and merchants.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

“Will I be able to make an impact in such a big company?”

What do your parents think you do?

According to my mom: “You program the operation of the website using codes” and I can also “remove viruses from her computer.”

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

Authentic diversity. Groupon Engineering culture is very diverse and that’s what makes us different because we truly believe that our multiple nationalities, cultures, genders, styles, and accents make Groupon a better place to work at where we all can learn from each other.

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

I worked for some media companies as a front-end developer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One day I got an email from a Groupon recruiter to interview me for an open position in Chile. I had my interviews but my profile didn’t fit the back-end positions available at that time. Three months later, they contacted me again with an offer for a front-end position. I accepted and I moved to Santiago de Chile three weeks later.

What’s your favorite part of your team’s Software Development process?

When we deliver our features to Production is when I feel most proud about my team’s work and impact in the customers. We call our new features “our little babies.”

Tabs or spaces?

Tabs

What’s something about you that’d surprise us?

I am a big fan of Backstreet Boys.

Meet the Wonder Women of Groupon

Meet the Wonder Women of Groupon

We recently celebrated the wonder women of Groupon with a panel featuring some of our most inspiring leaders in our Health, Beauty, and Wellness vertical. Groupon en Español and Women@Groupon teamed up to host the event at Groupon’s Chicago office, which also streamed live. Vice President and General Manager of Groupon’s Health, Beauty & Wellness division and Crain’s Chicago 40 under 40 finalist, Silvija Martincevic, moderated the event.

COCO MEERS, General Manager for BeautyNow

Superhero Talent: Beauty-Booking Master Creator

How do you find your career niche?

I joined L’Oreal and I also loved French; I thought the beauty industry would be a really creative place where verbal and visual cues can change the course of things in a consumer’s mind. Little did I know, the seeds were planted for me in that first career choice. The biggest takeaway is that I didn’t know what I was looking for and sometimes you have to trust that you do the best that you can where you are and you position yourself as well as you can. Then, you take the best of all situations. For me, that’s what I did with L’Oreal’s rotational training program, which basically trained me in general management. Not being an expert in one functional area, but instead being a jack-of-all-trades. More than anything else, it’s the experts who are the real change-makers. To facilitate, coach, keep people accountable, mentor…those are the parts of my job that I love.

KEEGAN CHAPMAN, Head of Sales for BeautyNow

Superhero Talent: The Sales Whisperer, preparing hundreds for Sales Battle

What do you do every day to fulfill your commitment to Groupon?

I believe there are three things that I check in with myself about all of the time. Did I come in with a positive attitude? Did I complete the daily behaviors that I believe make me successful everyday? Did I work on anything to make me better at my job or the next job I want? If I am missing one of these there is no way for me to grow and improve and feel that I am giving this job everything I’ve got.

JACKIE RODRIGUEZ, Supply & Strategy Manager for BeautyNow

Superhero Talent: Career Chameleon

What was your biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your career and how did you overcome it?

Completely changing my path from accounting to now Supply Strategy (and in past City Planning, Merchandising, Sales Strategy – the list goes on!). I had to make some sacrifices to make that change, but the reward of making significant business impact now through the calculated risks and innovations that I’ve helped lead, the opportunity to be creative, being on a team that supports me and understands that our personal lives should not be sacrificed, and being on a team full of incredible inspiring female leaders is so much more fulfulling!

MADDI HURD, Head of Business Strategy and Operations

Superhero Talent: Herding Cats (or cross-functional projects) for 7 years and counting!

How do you structure your time to ensure you are meeting your goals?

It’s not something that I do well everyday and at Groupon, goals changes so often, so my best practice is to frequently stop and evaluate what my team or I am working on and say “is this still value-add for the business? does this align with what is making the biggest impact?” asking myself these questions helps me ensure I’m focusing on is making the greatest contribution to the business

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.

Want to work with me?

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.

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.

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!

Why do you participate in Groupon for Latinos?

I just joined Groupon for Latinos, 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.

ALPFA

ALPFA

I&D
Empowering Latinx leaders in Chicago via Speed Networking at Groupon HQ
14 November 2017
ALPFA Chicago + Groupon

90 attendants
26 Grouponers
1 night of networking

Our speed networking event in partnership with ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America) brought in almost 90 diverse professionals from the Chicagoland area. The event was aligned with Groupon’s corporate goals of building community with professionals across the city, fostering an environment that welcomes respect, integrity, and inclusion while encouraging everyone in attendance to continue to build themselves professionally. Groupon en Espanol worked together with ALPFA to educate business professionals on how to network using best practices developed by ALPFA on follow up, recommended questions you might ask during an event, and other great insights on how to continue to build your network to create more opportunities for you and others.  

As an added bonus, Groupon CFO and Groupon en Espanol executive sponsor Mike Randolfi opened the event by speaking about the importance of inclusion and diversity as well as the work our ERGs have done to move the company forward. Grouponers and ERG chairs Jackie and Milan also added insight into their personal experiences working to build a more inclusive environment at Groupon.