Carolyn Dorant – Email Marketing Manager

Carolyn Dorant – Email Marketing Manager

CAROLYN DORANT

Email Marketing Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

What was Groupon like in 2010? What does an email marketer on the Coupons team do? Does Groupon Goods sell rockets? Carolyn answers all of the tough questions today on the blog.

What was your first impression of Groupon in 2010?

When I came in for my interview, there was a good-but-hectic energy in the air. The team was outgrowing the office on the 6th floor and the recruiters I talked to were picking up the pace of hiring––the editorial department was hiring a handful of people each week. It was clear from the beginning that I was about to become a part of a special, energetic community of talented people who were very dedicated to this weird new idea.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

A few years ago a group of us stayed in the office well past midnight building a toy rocket we bought on Groupon Goods. We took a video of the launch a few days later and I still have a printed gif of it on my desk.

Who inspires you?

People who solve complex problems with creativity and empathy.

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

I write and produce an email that reaches customers six times a week; we’re helping communicate that Groupon is so much more than just a “daily deal”–my team, Groupon Coupons, helps connect customers with discounts to major online retailers they’re already shopping. Think Amazon, Kohl’s, Home Depot, and basically any brick-and-mortar retail chain you’ve ever set foot in.

So what’d you do before Groupon and how’d you get here?

When I interviewed, I was fresh out of grad school and juggling a few freelance writing gigs. It suited my schedule when I was in school, but I really wanted to be part of a bigger team. When the opportunity to work in Groupon’s editorial department presented itself, I jumped at it. I accepted the job on a Friday morning and started the following Monday.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

I tend to be really efficiency-focused, so I’m really proud of scaling our email cadence from once per week to six times per week without having to hire any new people. I do it all myself with the help of a tool I created with a product manager (and his engineering team.)

I also feel really good about the work I did for Women@Groupon; I served two terms as the Communications Chair and was able to formalize a bimonthly newsletter. W@G does a lot of work at Groupon to provide networking and philanthropic events for all employees, but people have to know it’s happening!

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

It would be so fun to do Will Shortz’s job editing crosswords for the New York Times.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve eaten exactly 1 peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in my life and it was in 2016 on top of a mountain.

What does your dad think you do?

It’s actually pretty accurate, sadly, but my dad does think it’s necessary to tell me about every single thing he buys on Groupon. He’s a loyal customer!

Why do you participate in Women@Groupon?

Joining Women@Groupon helped me feel like a more engaged member of the community–it’s easy to forget that there are so many amazing people working here when you keep yourself confined to your team or department.

What’s your favorite local business?

Unabridged Bookstore in Lakeview. I’ve been buying books there since I was a little kid, and I am so relieved and happy that independent bookstores can still thrive in a community the way that Unabridged does.

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Laura Hicks – Corporate Recruiter

Laura Hicks – Corporate Recruiter

LAURA HICKS

Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2013

If you’ve interviewed for a role on our Coupons or Getaways team, you’ve probably met Laura. When she’s not busy recruiting for our “in-house startups” or modeling for the in-house photo studio, you can find her organizing volunteering events for the recruiting team or cheering on her alma mater Clemson from Chicago.

What Chicago teams or roles do you hire for?

Sales, HR, Operations, and Analytics

Do you have any advice for candidates interviewing at Groupon?

Be yourself! Groupon is full of unique personalities, backgrounds, and quirks so make sure that you showcase what makes you YOU throughout the interview process! Also, I try to be as straightforward and transparent as possible. Any questions? Just ask!

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Be prepared and ask questions!

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about your hiring team?

The Getaways and Coupons teams are true “startups within a startup” and offer a really unique opportunity to work with a tight-knit team and get in at the ground level of fast-growing, quickly-evolving groups.

What inspires you?

I’ve always had a passion for helping others and giving back. I’ve been fortunate to have been given awesome opportunities and experiences so far in my life, so I believe it’s important to pay that forward. Whether it be helping a candidate get their dream job or helping our local community through our volunteer efforts with the Employee Volunteer Program, I am inspired by the feeling of being part of something greater than myself and contributing towards the greater good!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When Groupon first opened its in-house photo studio, I was asked to participate in a few of their photo shoots. The next thing you know I’m getting texts from friends from college and people I grew up with who had seen my photo on local Groupon deals, asking if I was a model for Groupon! It was equally embarrassing and hilarious…and will probably be my only claim to fame.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I’ll never forget the energy I felt walking through the doors of our office for my interview. It’s my favorite thing about working at Groupon and still what keeps me excited to come in every morning!

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

As a Recruiter, I serve as a brand ambassador for Groupon and help to find and attract the talent that will join our teams and help Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

When I started with Groupon as a Recruiting Coordinator it was my first role out of school and I knew very little about recruiting. Flash forward 4 years: I’ve been promoted twice and have had the opportunity to recruit for a large variety of teams and departments. I’m so proud to have helped build two of our fastest growing channels at Groupon: Getaways and Coupons!

Why’d you get involved in the Employee Volunteer Program?

When interviewing four years ago, one of the most important things that drew me to Groupon was the opportunity to get involved outside of your “day to day.” I became a trained member of our Employee Volunteer Program right away and have been able to plan volunteer events for my team as well as volunteer as a mentor with the Spark Program. Mentoring with Spark has been a wonderful experience and I feel lucky to have a manager that not only allows but values the opportunity to give my time to this program!

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

I’m obsessed with Kathie Lee & Hoda from the Today Show! It would be a dream come true to fill in as a co-host on their show.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

Although I reside in Chicago, I’m an ACC girl at heart and love all things Clemson Football. GO TIGERS!

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

The Magnificent 7: Team TA Poland

The Magnificent 7: Team TA Poland

WOMEN @ GROUPON

The People Behind The People

Nisrine, Gosia, Ewelina, Marlena, Ola, Angelika & Olimpia

22 November 2017

Divided between our offices in Warsaw and Katowice, our Poland TA Team are responsible for sourcing and hiring hundreds of Grouponers each year and ensuring each candidate has an enjoyable and memorable experience. Together they comprise a force to be reckoned with. Meet our awesome Magnificent 7!

Nisrine

I have done quite a few things from psychology to marketing but recruitment has always been a passion for me. I moved from Casablanca to lead the Team in Poland and help build our brand new Katowice site. Hiring for senior technical positions is always demanding and you have to learn as much as you can about the job or the candidate might get offended that you did not do your homework and hang up on you. The challenge is enormous but this team is rising to it and delivering the best new talent to Groupon. I don’t speak Polish (yet) but it’s definitely on my list!

“An average day? Cup of tea, chat, emails, interviews, meetings… then rinse and repeat!”

Ewelina

I studied journalism, PR and marketing at the University of Warsaw, so my original plan was to become a journalist. I spent my Erasmus exchange in Finland and took up postgraduate studies in journalism. My previous roles all involved me building strong relationships and being partly responsible for recruitment.

At one point when I was being interviewed for a role – not in Groupon – I distinctly remember thinking that the recruiter was asking really irrelevant questions and that I should be doing her job. One thing led to another and so here I am! At Groupon I’m responsible for Corporate roles in Poland, which include Analytics, Finance and Sales, and I also help the Team with SSC recruitment every once in a while.

My super power? Remaining optimistic in the face of near-impossible challenges!

Olimpia

I am a graduate of Diplomacy – yes, Diplomacy! Of course becoming a Recruiter happened “by accident” when, during my last year of study, I started as an assistant for a recruitment agency where I worked with well-known brands like Google, 3M, Amazon and Volvo. Then I moved into HR in the gaming industry and, four years later, here I am at Groupon!

I’m a bit obsessed with planning. I’m kind of like Monica from FRIENDS 🙂

 

Gosia

I’m the Recruiter Dinosaur and the longest-tenured member of the team here at Groupon Poland. I started back in 2015 when we launched the Warsaw Shared Services Centre and since then our team has grown to join the wider EMEA Talent Acquisition Team meeting huge targets every month.

Moving to a brand new market like Katowice was an invaluable experience as a recruiter:  I’ve been able to gain insight into the  differences between there and Warsaw and I’ve also to had the opportunity to work on a brand new ‘green field site’ being built from scratch.

Believe in yourself: impossible is nothing!

Angelika

I am constantly looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow and Groupon has definitely provided me with plenty of them. My aim is to mix human resources management theory with hands-on experience in recruitment and, so far, all is going very well!

 

OLA

My first role in recruitment was in agency where I worked with the UK and German markets where I learned a lot about the SSC/BPO sector; experience which has really stood to me in my career at Groupon so far.

As the only German-speaking Recruiter on the team here, I support hiring for all German-speaking departments (Customer Service, Resolution & Merchant Services, Editorial, Risk and more) and I also work with IT roles as well as other languages.

Oddest TA experience so far? Well, we sometimes get asked really odd questions, like “have you a case for my laptop?” or “where is my delivery?”


Marlena

I’m Marlena and together with Angelika I’m part of the Katowice Team. I lived in Hertfordshire, England for the past 12 years but decided to move back to Poland recently upon receiving this amazing opportunity from Groupon in Katowice! I’ve been working within recruitment for 2 years and I’m very interested to develop my career in the area.

As one of the Recruiters for our lovely Katowice office, my role is to make the candidate experience as enjoyable and smooth as possible in order to find the right gems that will shine like diamonds in our company.

Think of me as a duck: calm and serene on the surface and hustling like crazy under water!

 

Courtney McDonough – Recruiting Manager

Courtney McDonough – Recruiting Manager

COURTNEY MCDONOUGH

Recruiting Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2009

As the 6th most tenured employee and the most seasoned recruiter at Groupon, you could say Courtney has seen and done it all…including record a German chorale with roughly 100 other Grouponers at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to send to merchants as a holiday card.

What teams do you primarily recruit for?

Operations, Analytics, Corporate Development, and Merchandising

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind while they’re applying or interviewing here?

I personally appreciate a cover letter, especially if it’s not overly clear how your background or experience aligns with the role you’re applying for. Also, be yourself during the interview. We can tell if someone is too rehearsed or is just using a lot of jargon or buzzwords. We want to get to know YOU during the interview. Also, be prepared to talk about your past work and experience. We’ll likely dig deep into specific areas, so being prepared to go into detail will be helpful!

Anything a candidate should know about how to work with you during the recruiting process?

Be yourself! OK, and I tend to talk too much…I get excited about topics and will go off on random tangents sometimes.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

Staying buckled in on this rollercoaster. It’s no surprise that Groupon’s had its ups and downs. Recruiting is great during the “ups” and really challenging during the “downs.” During those times—and even in-between—we’ve learned to adapt and have continued to recruit really amazing people. I’ve experienced a lot…a LOT here, and I consider each one of those experiences as a chance to learn. Learn from right, and learn from wrong. Also, remember when we were asked to hire 200 people in 3 weeks?

What was your first impression of Groupon…in 2009?

“Whoa.” Walking through these doors was a complete 180 from any job or company I had worked with, or even seen. Smart, casual, quirky, thoughtful, innovative, hilarious, energetic, and had the potential to be extremely impactful. Also, I get to wear jeans here?!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

In late 2009, the entire company (about 100 or so people at the time) went to the Lyric Opera House in Chicago, dressed in choir robes and recorded a German Chorale. We were all given the words (in German) and our “parts” ahead of time (alto, soprano, etc.) so we could practice. This was recorded and sent to merchants and vendors as a “holiday card.” I had only been at the company a couple months when we did this, and I remember trying to explain to my mom what I had done that day (that was a challenge). I LOVE these types of quirks of Groupon that make you scratch your head but are also super endearing.

Why do you participate in Groupon’s Employee Resource Groups and the Employee Volunteer Program?

I joined both to expand my skill set and my networks (both internally and externally). Through volunteering, I’ve been able to learn a lot more about Chicago, which has been fantastic. We’ve worked with kids, adults, and animals. We’ve cooked, planted, fed, taught, played, assembled, and so much more. I recently signed up to volunteer as a Wish Granter with Make-A-Wish — can’t wait to get started with that great organization!

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

On the recruiting team, we work hard to find amazing talent that not only has the right skills to drive our business’s growth, but also embodies the values of Groupon. We want people to care about what they do, how they do it, and how it affects other people, businesses, and communities.

What’s your favorite conference room name?

What’s your favorite local business?

Marie’s Pizza and Liquors. Very old-school pizza place with a liquor store attached. Not to mention, on Saturday nights they have a string quartet (comprised of old men) traveling around from table to table. All of this makes me very happy.

Who or what inspires you?

It’s a generic answer, but definitely my parents. Both worked really hard and overcame obstacles to go to college and develop really strong reputations within their chosen professions. I only hope they’ll be as proud of me as I am of them.

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

An astronaut. (Yes, I’m 7 years old.)

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I have a compulsory need to smell mustard if it’s on a restaurant table.

Groupon for Veterans

Pride@Groupon

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

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

Parents@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Keleigh Zolnierek – Software Development Engineer in Test

Keleigh Zolnierek – Software Development Engineer in Test

KELEIGH ZOLNIEREK

Software Development Engineer in Test – User Sessions
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Test Engineer Keleigh pays it forward by participating in programs and volunteer efforts focused on building, developing, and motivating women in Technology.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The first time I helped with Scout Out Engineering, I was so impressed by how much the scouts knew. It seems like schools have started teaching basic computer science concepts in elementary which is awesome!

What were you looking for in a company while you were job hunting?

Prior to joining Groupon, I interned at Thompson Reuters over the summer. It was an excellent internship program and the people who worked there were incredible. When I was looking for a full-time position, I knew that I wanted to move out of Michigan (which is why I did not choose Thompson Reuters) and that I still wanted to do Software Development. After that, I also focused on companies that would allow me to grow my career and further my programming knowledge. I was not sure that I wanted to work in Test Engineering, but decided based on other factors, such as location, benefits, and the people, that it would be the best fit at the time. I am happy with where I ended up and think it turned out well.

What does your family think you do?

Mom: “Test and fix computer programs”

Dad: “I really don’t know…..” (After telling him to guess.) “Responsible for the quality control for previously designed programs.” 

Brother: “Find mistakes.”

I’m very impressed with all of the answers! They are way closer than just making cool Powerpoint slides, which is what they thought for a while in college.

What’s unique about Engineering at Groupon?

There is always someone willing to explain a concept or process when you have questions about it.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

My very first impression of Groupon was at the career fair. They were one of the few companies that had t-shirts in women’s sizes and fits which impressed me. When I interviewed, I really liked how casual, yet knowledgeable the interviewers seemed. Also, it probably did not hurt that my interview in the Palo Alto office ended with fro-yo. 🙂

Can you tell us about your work promoting women in Tech?

I’ve recently started co-leading Groupon’s Lean In Circle, which is currently based in Chicago; however, we do have an engineer who joins from Palo Alto. We meet regularly to learn and grow together, specifically in the engineering space. There are three areas we focus on: professional, leadership, and technical development. We hope to grow our circle to include more women from different Groupon offices.

What’s surprised you the most about working at Groupon?

The random company things that Groupon does are awesome. Some of my favorite things were Halloween caramel apples and cider last year, laptop stickers, Women@Groupon handing out ice cream, the building’s ice cream social and rooftop doughnuts, and Geekfest weekly tech presentations (which are open to the public). These seem like small things, but I really appreciate them.

Tell us about the SDET team.

As an SDET there are a few different team setups at Groupon. For my team, I have two sections: my testing colleagues and my feature team. My testing team is made up of SDETs who are also doing front-end testing for Groupon. With that team there are different features—such as internal tools or frameworks—that we develop.

My feature team is the group of people who are responsible for testing the user sessions material. The people included in this are a team manager who makes sure our team stays on track for team goals, a product manager who decides what new features we will try out, a developer who turns the feature ideas to code, two Software Test Engineers who manually test features, and me who automates the testing process!

What’s your favorite language?

C++

What’s your favorite part of your team’s software development process?

I really like when we find a bug. If there aren’t any found, it makes me a little nervous and I feel like we may be missing something.

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

I make sure that the sign-in page is not broken so users are able to make purchases.

What are your favorite local businesses?

Doughnut Vault and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate.

Vim or emacs?

Vim, because it’s what I used in school.

Tabs or spaces?

Spaces

 

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Groupon @ European Women in Tech

Groupon @ European Women in Tech

WOMEN & TECHNOLOGY

Big Data, AI, Machine Learning & Stroopwafels…

8-9 November 2017

We look back over 2 busy days in Amsterdam!

The European Women in Tech conference took place in Amsterdam from November 8-9 and Groupon was there (with a not-so-subtle giant inflatable G) to meet fellow tech folks, learn more about the latest technologies and share some of our own insights on Big Data with the 1000+ delegates.

Team Groupon trying (failing) to behave 🙂

EWiT Amsterdam 2017

Groupon engineers from Berlin, Dublin and Palo Alto spent two days at the event, the largest of its kind outside North America, watching presentations and seminars on a wide range of topics from AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, Money Movement Modelling, IoT and Cloud.

Alla in Action

Big Data: Myths vs Realities

One of the most popular talks – and there really was standing room only – was delivered by our very own Alla Ivanova, Groupon’s Senior Director of Platform Data Engineering who presented on Big Data and how Groupon successfully manages the challenges of distributed data storage.

We’re already looking forward to the next one, particularly now that we have been introduced to Stroopwafels…

Honestly, you can’t miss us…

Subtle? Possibly not.

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

VOLUNTEERING

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

14 November 2017

Enjoying pink baked goods (for a cause)

From the Sydney Office

We all have a special woman in our lives, so let’s support them and each other at the Pink Ribbon Breakfast and Bake-Off Competition!

For winning the Global Volunteer-A-Thon, Groupon ANZ was provided the opportunity to not only celebrate but also give back. Together, we enjoied a cupcake, shared a breakfast and heard some important details around Breast Cancer.

Each Groupon team was invited to bring their best baked goods to the table and go head to head in the Ultimate Groupon Bake Off to find out just who is the Bake Leader once and for all!

It was a great event, organized by our staff, with personal stories shared regarding loved ones who had impacted by breast cancer.

Everyone loves a good “camera timer” joke.

From the Sydney Office

And Breakfast Tea in the Melbourne Office

A Note from the Melbourne Office

Just wanted to share our little Pink Ribbon Morning Tea we had this morning in Melbourne. Thanks for everyone who was involved!

Ryan and Craig outdid themselves in the baking department and there were plenty of tasty treats for a good cause to go round!

We’ve opened the morning tea up to the rest of The Hub office space and hope to raise quite a bit of money by the end of the day! I’ll loop back in with the final count tomorrow 🙂

Great to have Ryan and Steve T in the office as well (and our little celebrity Liam the Cavoodle!) – and what a morning to welcome Daniel to the Melbourne Office as well! Go Tea!!!

We Raised a Massive $1173.30!

Thank you to each and everyone of you who baked (or bought) in some items of food. Thank you to the Taskforce, Women@work (Tina, Amanda, Melissa, Naomi, Ryan, Ang, Kiera, Val & Cara) who organized it all, to Steve who judged the bake off & a massive Thank you to everyone who generously donated!

Rheannon Gerlach – Senior Sales Trainer

Rheannon Gerlach – Senior Sales Trainer

RHEANNON GERLACH

Senior Sales Trainer
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

From a fledgling idea to 350+ Grouponers participating, the Sales Mentor Program has Rheannon to thank for what it has become today.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory is one I’ll definitely never forget. It started as a quiet morning in May of 2014, I was here at work early catching up on emails. All of a sudden….I heard the loudest, scariest screeching noise – one that would make all the little hairs on your body stand straight up. I remember whispering to myself, that sounds like a dinosaur (and what an odd thought, right? I am fascinated by them and thoroughly enjoy learning about their evolution to birds today.) Sure enough, it was like a dream and a nightmare at the same time. A very life-like raptor was wandering the aisles of Groupon, chasing people and screeching like it was starving and we were its next meal. While I was thrilled—because this is something you only read about or see in movies—I was also quite startled.

 

What’d you do before Groupon and how’d you get here?

After college, I worked in the automotive industry and had a unique experience traveling throughout the US. After a few years, I wanted to move back to the Midwest and during my travels I fell in love with Chicago. Living in Michigan at the time, I accepted a sales position at a conferencing company in Chicago on a Thursday, moved over the weekend, and started that following Monday. After a few years, I was interested in this new local start-up, Groupon.

Before applying, I bought my first Groupon, (Skydive Midwest) and loved every minute of that experience. After interviewing, I was offered a Sales position. I’ll never forget my first day. At that time, all new employees had to draw a picture of themselves in a notebook at the front desk. I have no idea what I drew at the time; I’m guessing it was probably a stick figure (let’s hope we don’t find my drawing). Here I am, 7+ years later! I love my company and the people I get to work with, I’m excited about what’s to come, and I look forward to continuing to grow my professional career here.

Who or what inspires you?

My parents inspire me: 36 years of a happy, healthy marriage. They empower each other to be better people and growing up they always made sure I knew they were proud of me (and this continues today). My dad, literally, teaches me something new just about every week; he’s a very positive person. In fact, growing up my dad would make sure to write me something inspirational and motivational every morning before school. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.

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

I am a Senior Continued Education Sales Trainer for a variety of our Sales teams and verticals. There’s more to being a trainer than standing in front of a room and presenting a PowerPoint. Training Continued Education is a combination of skill and will. Reps have to see the value in what they do every day. Knowing that with each day, they should be striving to be better than the day before and closer to the next step towards their goal. Conducting call listening scrums, 1:1’s, product roll-outs, sales processes, facilitating war rooms, call certifications, initiative trainings, etc. are all important, however, it’s relentless repetition, learning from each other (even in different sales verticals), and getting out of the scope of doing what they’ve always done to evolve themselves. It’s working with DSMs to make sure management is aligned; it’s presenting new ideas and getting everyone on board because we see a vision. It’s realizing the opportunity to help willful sales reps grow to be more confident, innovative and enable them to take responsibility for who they are as Groupon advisors.

What’s your favorite local business?

My favorite local business is Aaron’s Apothecary in Lincoln Park. I love the old-fashioned feel of the place; classical and jazz music make it a relaxing and comforting space while beautiful scented candles fill the air. They have the best organic makeup and little gifts. I’ve never actually used their pharmacy, however, the staff is absolutely amazing. When I walk in, I feel like I’ve entered a welcoming home.

Your role probably exists at other companies, so what makes your role here unique? 

Groupon is a great place to work. I’ve had experience in other corporate environments and there’s simply no comparison. More openly speaking, I believe it’s all about what we (as individuals) value and what we look for in our company. If you don’t know what you stand for and don’t understand your “why,” then you will lack passion and drive in your work. My goal has always been to build and develop leaders. The great part about this is that I have the privilege to do this on a daily basis with mentors. As they continue to become even more influential leaders I hope that we will get to continue to work together to make Groupon even better than it already is.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Green cats and spaceships —

Evolution happening —

Positive vibes flow —

Tell us about why you’re involved with Women@Groupon and the Employee Volunteer Program.

For Women@Groupon, I love the speaker series, View From The Top. One particular speaker that really inspired me was Mellody Hobson. She was an incredibly empowering yet gentle speaker. From a young age she knew exactly what she wanted to achieve and would stop at nothing to meet her goals. I also enjoyed being a part of the facilitation process bringing in the two owners of The Bar Method Chicago. Their journey was so inspiring to hear on many different levels. I’ve also been a Mentor for Women@Groupon. I appreciated the opportunity to be able to work with someone and offering my perspective and guide them through their experiences.

In regards to the EVP, I had a ton of fun creating an eventful Movember in 2013. I was able to network with people all around the company, be as creative as I wanted, and pull off some exciting events.

 

What do your parents think you do?

From my Dad: A trainer, in short, educating new and existing employees ( different levels ) on best methods to help and improve their selling experiences. Continued support this process throughout with different programs you and maybe others have created and crafted. How close am I?

Mom: You develop and administer training for new employees and ongoing training for existing employees. You also developed and maintain a mentor program for existing employees. ***Let me know how close I am!!

What’s your biggest accomplishment here so far?

I’m most proud of the Sales Mentor Program. I’ve been developing it over the past 5 years, so it has become my child. Earlier on I was able to pilot this program with some smaller groups; after that, it felt like I was a door-to-door salesperson pitching this program to whoever would listen. When I joined the Sales Training Team a few years ago, our new director was impressed with my program and was ready to lead the way in helping me get this off the ground. His belief in my work and me was truly a turning point in my own belief in myself.

I take a lot of pride in my work and what is shown to the public eye. While the structure of the program represents my vision, insight, and creativity, it continues to grow and develop with each and every one of the mentors who are a part of it. They make the program what it is. It’s the gateway to whatever their next steps are. While at one point in time, I would have described myself as a perfectionist, along the way I’ve learned that mistakes are a part of the program’s growth. Perfection doesn’t exist, and going with the flow (while keeping vision) is okay as long as evolution and progress are happening. Developing this program has taught me more than I ever anticipated about myself and I’m beyond thankful for the support this program has received.  I like to think that I am helping to create the future leaders of this company, so that no matter what my career has in store for me, the impact I have on Groupon is long-lasting.

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

Marine Biologist or an Astronaut for NASA. We have only explored 4% of space and only about 5% of the deep sea. To me, venturing into these unknown areas would be exhilarating.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I’m a fitness freak. I’m an instructor at The Bar Method and have competed in a bikini fitness competition. I plan to take on a few more fitness challenges in the coming years and I appreciate that Groupon allows me to have a positive work/life balance to appeal to my ever-changing lifestyle.

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Jackie – Supply and Strategy Manager, BeautyNow

Jackie – Supply and Strategy Manager, BeautyNow

JACKIE

Supply & Strategy Manager – BeautyNow
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2012

From launching a learning series for employees to overseeing Groupon’s Latino-focused resource group to helping raise 20k for hurricane relief, we can sum up Jackie’s involvement in Groupon with one word: inspirational.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite memory is the dinosaur coming into the office and scaring people as they came out of the elevator!

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

I work on BeautyNow supply strategy. My goal is to ensure that consumers are getting the appointments they are searching for, when they want them. Because our value proposition is not price, it’s important for us to understand how we can build a product that gives people a robust selection of services that they’d prefer to book and conveniently pay for through a few clicks of a button!

Who or what inspires you? 

People who are not afraid of the unknown and who welcome calculated risks!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought it was such a fun company and a great fit for me professionally.

What are your biggest accomplishments here so far?

In my past life, I worked at Ernst & Young as an auditor. Although it was a great experience that allowed me to build a great professional foundation, I could not have done some of the innovative things I’ve done had I not decided to completely change career paths. At Groupon, I have worked on helping build the framework of what is currently our unstoppable beauty business; building out injectable service focus and training programs; a national launch of surgical offers; and some up-and-coming novel ideas in the BeautyNow space (stay tuned for those!)

I’m incredibly proud of the launch of my “Ongoing Learning Series” which truly stemmed from my undying yearning to learn and grow professionally and personally. We’ve had over 300 participants and over 12 sessions so far! I’m looking forward to continuing this program as well.

I’m also proud of the work I did with Matt Rolnick on our Hurricane Relief Auction. This all came about with a simple idea to bring our HBW (Health, Beauty, & Wellness) team together for a small auction where we could contribute in a small way with our crafts, skills, and time to a truly necessary cause. After Matt sent a few emails asking for donations, we got the ball rolling. I sent an email to our CEO, Rich Williams, asking if he’d be interested in offering something to the auction and he responded in less than 10 minutes! The kind of support we received for this auction from everyone around the office—including our incredible support functions—was astounding. Through this auction, we were able to raise over 20k to hurricane relief! Matt and I are also so humbled to have been nominated by the organization to receive a Groupon Green Award (Groupon’s internal award for employees) for exhibiting our core value of “Community” in light of our fundraising efforts for hurricane relief!

Jackie with members of Groupon en Espanol on Groupon Chicago’s roof deck

Also, my work as Chair of Groupon en Español has been incredibly rewarding. With only a year under our belt, GEE has been able to make huge progress across all diversity initiatives in the organization. We’re constantly trying to think of ways we can grow our marketplace, employee base, and continue to engage customers of all backgrounds on our platform. I love this aspect of my role because I truly get to see people who are passionate about what they do. My GEE team does not do the work for the pay (since it’s a volunteer effort), they do it because they truly care about inclusivity and diversity. I am so proud of my team and am inspired by them every day!

GrouponEnEspanol

Groupon World Headquarters

Megan Hammermeister – Corporate Recruiter

Megan Hammermeister – Corporate Recruiter

MEGAN “BACON” HAMMERMEISTER

Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2014

Fashion-forward Bacon sounds like a haute couture brunch spot, but at Groupon, she’s a clutch member of the recruiting team who focuses on hiring for Marketing, Goods, and Sales.

What Chicago teams do you recruit for?

Sales, Marketing/Editorial, and Buying/Merchandising

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind when applying or interviewing at Groupon?

I always tell candidates to remain professional while interviewing but make sure to let your personality shine through and to be yourself. Also, do research on Groupon! Search for some of the team members you’ll be meeting with on LinkedIn. That way, if you have an in-person interview, you’ll have some individualized questions and points of conversation ahead of time.

What should a candidate know about you as a recruiter?

I’m always willing to help and answer questions.

What’s something candidates are surprised to learn about while interviewing at Groupon?

That my hiring teams are great about mentoring and training new hires while still providing their teammates with the autonomy to make decisions, own projects, and get their work done.

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

I always appreciate when candidates ask questions. It shows they’re interested and invested.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Our holiday parties are always fun. Everyone in the office gets so excited to dress up and dance all night!

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by women in leadership who have really worked hard to grow in their careers. I try to watch and learn from the best!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Fun, high energy, the color green was everywhere. My team was (and still is) obsessed with food and snacks!

Are you involved in any extracurriculars at Groupon?

I’m involved with both Women@Groupon and the EVP (Employee Volunteer Program). The EVP is a great way to help the local community. My team always has great outings, but my favorite memory was cooking with elementary students here in the city. The kids were hilarious and we all learned how to make potstickers together.

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

I’m hiring passionate candidates who develop exciting campaigns & great deals that our customer can and (hopefully) will use every day!

What’s your biggest accomplishment here so far?

I started my career at Groupon as a Recruiting Coordinator through a staffing agency and knew almost nothing about recruiting. Over the last three years, I’ve worked with almost every part of the business and was promoted to a Recruiter along the way. It really speaks volumes to how much Groupon values employee growth and development.

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

My favorite show is What Not To Wear on TLC. I’d like to bring the show back and be a fill-in host. Shopping, makeovers, feel-good vibes…I’m all for it.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

Almost everyone I know (family, friends, coworkers) call me Bacon. I actually prefer it over my real name!

Groupon World Headquarters

Paige – Merchant Development Representative

Paige – Merchant Development Representative

PAIGE EGAN

Merchant Development Representative
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

If there are two things Paige is passionate about, it’s competition and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.

What do you love about working at Groupon?

I liked when they announced President’s Club (Groupon’s top sales rep competition) because no one was expecting it. The office was pretty quiet on this particular day (which is rare I know!) and all of the sudden there was Mexican music blasting and people were running around in sombreros and outfits to announce the winners of it!

Who inspires you?

Honestly, there are way too many people who have inspired me in my life to pick just one.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I kind of felt like I stepped into another world when I first went on my office tour. I absolutely loved everything about the office and I knew right away that it was going to be a fun place to work.

What’s your favorite Groupon story?

I’m not one to brag ever, but this story is too funny to pass up. My good pal Griffin & I were neck and neck for contracts in the GroupOnboarding program (the 12-week training program for Sales). Towards the last few days he was ahead of me and on the last day of the program, a merchant signed my agreement at 4:47 PM. Griffin was so mad that he went back to his desk and kept calling out in hopes to get another contract back! He didn’t and we ended up tied and we beat the old record and made a new GOB record for most contracts closed!

“I love the office environment and how friendly, outgoing, and laid back everyone is. It is a great, challenging job but we are all constantly being rewarded.”

Are you involved in any organizations within Groupon?

I’m a member of Women@Groupon. I love meeting new people here at work and being involved with a women-focused group. In college, I was able to meet a lot of people through my involvement with different clubs and activities, so I felt like this was a great way to get involved.

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

I would be a veterinarian. It was always my dream job and to be honest it still is. I just would be too sad on a daily basis if that was my job to help hurt or injured animals on a daily basis.

What makes Groupon a unique place to work?

I love the office environment and how friendly, outgoing, and laid back everyone is. It is a great, challenging job but we are all constantly being rewarded. I work with a lot of cool, young, and fun people. The office is a great place to be and I really like how there are no cubicles (yuck!)

Tell us something random about you.

I’m totally, completely, and utterly obsessed with dogs. Honestly, if I’m not watching dog videos on the internet, I’m either looking up future breeders, talking about my own dogs, or showing people pictures of my dogs. They are perfect.

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters