Kalli – Business Development Manager- Things To Do

Kalli – Business Development Manager- Things To Do

KALLI

Business Development Manager – Things To Do
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2016

Forming authentic connections with local business owners is what keeps Kalli feeling warm and fuzzy inside. But you’ve been warned: one of the biggest hit songs from 1999 will be in your head all day after reading her story.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have way too many favorite memories but our team is kind of random and I love it! Whenever someone closes a contract we may do star jumps one day or break a dance move the next.

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

I work with learning and helping local businesses with their goals. What I love about is

a) I believe in the product and

b) I have developed a passion for working with certain industries because I have gained knowledge by working closely with them and learning about them through Groupon.

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

Work for the Chicago Blackhawks for one home game, literally even sitting on the bench. I would create one-time-only water girl for hockey so I could meet each player and Coach Q! GO HAWKS!

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

Stress. I stress a lot and it has been challenging to cope with it but it is so rewarding when you accomplish your goals…and not only the big ones, but the small victories, too. Sometimes it can be stressful getting a hold of someone but I will always find a new way to get creative!

Who or what inspires you?

Both of my parents. They are both such hard workers and I am grateful to grow up witnessing the work that they have done and continue to do for our family. I think it pushes me each day to continuously work as hard as I can to hopefully be more like them. Of course, there is also money that drives me 🙂

You’re a member of Groupon Volunteers. What do you enjoy about participating?

I joined Groupon Volunteers because I wanted a way to give back. The great thing is our head of volunteering has many different volunteering resources that we can choose from. My favorites to date were Habitat for Humanity because I never thought I was “handy” but when we worked as a team we did a fantastic job! We helped out a young family, which was super rewarding.

So where were you before joining Groupon and how did you get here?

I was a purchasing manager for an engineering company in Michigan. My husband and I decided to escape the snow and move to Phoenix. I found Groupon on LinkedIn. I applied online in 2010 and am SO glad I did!

What were your thoughts when you first walked into Groupon?

Is this real life?! I had never seen a culture like this before. From day one the training, management, colleagues, and Scrums were so informative and encouraging! Sales can be intimidating at any company, but the culture and the tools that Groupon provided made it the best company I have worked for.

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

I work for the Things To Do sales vertical. I love it because even before I started working here I always checked Groupon for new things to do when I was traveling. It gives me ideas on what is trending or popular and what I should go after from a business perspective. I love doing research and learning about these opportunities in order to give customers great experiences.

What’s your biggest accomplishment?

Since I have been at Groupon my goal has been to continue raising my GP each Quarter. So far, I have succeeded in accomplishing this goal! *Knock on wood*

What do your parents think you do?

Me: Dad, what do you think I do at work?

Dad: You work hard. Make calls. Why? Are you ok?

Me: Yes, thank you

Dad: I was sleeping

What’s your favorite local business?

Phoenix has a local business called Flip N Fit. It is kind of like Class Pass but just for the local Phoenix area. I love it because I do not have to stick with just one workout and I can do spin, yoga, barre, HIIT, or boxing. It’s amazing!

Why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work?

I strongly believe in our product, which makes it so much easier to talk with merchants. Also, I love the fact that the merchant takes zero out-of-pocket risks. I feel like I can build a stronger working relationship with my merchants, which makes me feel grateful. The leaders and colleagues in Phoenix also make me love coming into work each day: we’re truly is like a giant family!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Playfulness Groupon–

Making Fun Smiling Dials–

Creating Campaigns

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I am super obsessed with Lou Bega’s Mambo # 5 and I will stomp across the dance floor to it.

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Vrnda – Business Development Representative

Vrnda – Business Development Representative

VRNDA

Business Development Representative
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2017

We pride ourselves on helping local business owners achieve their goals, and Vrnda is proof of that…on both sides of the coin. After having partnered with Groupon to boost her small business, she’s now behind the scenes helping other business owners do the same!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? 

My favorite memory was during my initial training when I started at Groupon. I was shadowing a Business Development Manager and I got to observe her relationship with a merchant. It highlighted for me that I could share and not sell and that genuine interest and concern for the business owner had a place on the sales floor at Groupon.

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

I talk to my former self! I owned a small business and ran a Groupon. I talk to the people responsible for maintaining main street businesses. The people that keep communities strong and innovation alive. On really great days, I get to contribute to an individual’s dream of living out their passion and supporting that little shingle they were brave enough to hang!

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

Anything with math….so everything. It is always a challenge to translate the heart and soul of a business into numbers!

Who or what inspires you?

The right of every person to live the “American Dream” or have the fullest expression of their passion….too corny? Ok, the opportunity to get to be exactly who I am and know that every day I have the opportunity to share with one person that their skill, dream, service matters!

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

The fact that I owned a small business and ran a Groupon. I was a pretty new business owner and had literally worked every day that first year and was exhausted. The Groupon call came at a time when things could have gone either way. As a single mom (at the time) of two teenagers, the boost in income literally put clothes on their backs and food on our table. To have the opportunity to pay that forward is the accomplishment I am most grateful and proud of.

What do your parents think you do?

“You make those dooda thingies that are on my computer sight thingy right? Isn’t that just a lovely thing.”

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us!

Vrnda, my name, is a Hindu goddess. I used to hate my name because I could never just walk into a store and get a name keychain…and the list goes on. Now, I have a huge piece of artwork on my back that is a representation of the Hindu goddess Vrnda and I like my name!

You’re a member of quite a few of our employee resource groups. Why do you participate?

I’m a member of Veterans at Groupon to give back and support the 30 years my husband served in the Army before retiring. I’m also a member of Blacks in Groupon to support initiatives that are inclusive and support diversity. Lastly, I joined Pride at Groupon to encourage equality and safe free expression within the workplace.

So what were you up to before joining Groupon?

I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Dog Trainer. I was also a Mentor for Animal Behavior College and CATCH Trainer’s Academy. I owned a Kennel and Behavior Center that specialized in canine behavior issues that included aggression, separation anxiety, and destructive behavior within the home. I am also a 200 CYT with 100 additional hours toward my 500 RYT.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

CATS! CATS! CATS! My husband and I have modern Siamese and Sphynx cats (we were married on April Fool’s Day). I also enjoy yoga and puzzles.

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

Professional cotton candy taster…because cotton candy.

What’s your favorite local business?

Growing up on Virginia Blue Crabs, my favorite place is Lee Lee’s International Market because I can pick up 30 or so just for me any day of the week!

Sales roles exist at other companies, so what makes selling at Groupon unique?

I believe in the product! I’m not a salesperson but I’m a heck of a share person AND I get to play my music and dance around all day long while making the world a better place!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Merchants are talking–

Small businesses are growing–

Hometowns are thriving

GrouponForVeterans

Blacks In Groupon

 

Groupon World Headquarters

A happy hour fundraiser to benefit those affected by the North Bay fire

A happy hour fundraiser to benefit those affected by the North Bay fire

VOLUNTEERING

December 6, 2017

San Francisco & Palo Alto team up with local organizations

to help victims of North Bay fire

Following the North Bay fires affecting nearby communities—including the famous Napa and neighboring vineyards in October—Groupon’s Palo Alto and San Francisco offices organized charity happy hours the week of November 29th. We purchased wines for tastings from vineyards that were burned down and volunteers were asked to bring in baked goods as pairings. Donations collected were donated to support the Anova Center for Education, an autism school that was burned down, and Rebuilding Together, an organization that facilitates home improvements for those affected by natural disasters. In total, we raised $1,000The event had a great turn out and was an enjoyable event for employees to get together after a busy Black Friday week and contribute to a local cause!

Emily McLaughlin – Business Development Representative

Emily McLaughlin – Business Development Representative

EMILY MCLAUGHLIN

Business Development Representative
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2017

Ever enjoyed an Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl Groupon? You have Emily, Business Development Rep in Phoenix and pug aficionado, to thank.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory was watching Dave the manager throw 12 hard boiled eggs in the air and basically gulp them whole (he did some chewing).

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

I have the cool job of talking to merchants and chatting with them about how great Groupon is. I love being able to create rapport with business owners and help make their businesses even more successful than they already are.

Who or what inspires you?

My dad is my inspiration, seems cliche, but he is the most determined and hardworking man I have ever met. He did sales for over 25 years and has been a great asset in teaching me how to succeed even more at Groupon.

Sales roles exist at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

One of the cool things about Groupon is that it is an ever-changing company who makes work fun but also puts emphasis on working hard and doing the best that you possibly can. Groupon is a one of a kind product and it’s really funny when I tell people that I work here and they freak out and immediately ask me if I get an even better deal off the already great sell price.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I want a black pug and I want to name him Steve.

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

I think being able to work with local businesses and be able to highlight them in the way that they want to be perceived by subscribers is an awesome way to build local commerce and become a daily habit for all.

What’s your biggest accomplishment?

I was able to work with Ugly Sweater Bar Crawls and close locations all over the country. It was cool because it was an account that had been touched a couple times but nothing ever went through with the Decision Maker. I was able to chat with him and get there name and bar crawl more exposure. I also absolutely love Christmas and wearing ugly sweaters. One of the other cool things about this deal was that there was a location taking place by the Phoenix office, so some of my co-workers and I went and had a great time!

What do your parents think you do?

“You sell Groupons, which I love.” – Mom.

What’s your favorite view from the office?

You’re involved with both the Employee Volunteer Program and Groupon for Veterans. Why do you participate? 

I have always loved volunteering. I think its so important to give back to the community that you grew up in or the one you are surrounded by. Its a great perspective about helping others that I think we forget about sometimes and need to be reminded of.

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

I just graduated from college! Woohoo! I grew up in the Scottsdale area, decided to leave for school in Iowa, and then realized that it’s way too cold up there and that I should move back. I was a referral from an employee at Groupon and decided to make this my work home!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love to spend time with friends and family, explore, travel, eat, and take naps. Naps are my favorite.

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

I think if I could have any job I would want to be the Queen of England just to see what it’s like to be royalty.

GrouponForVeterans

Groupon World Headquarters

Mario Peterson – Desktop Support Analyst in Tokyo

Mario Peterson – Desktop Support Analyst in Tokyo

MARIO PETERSON

Desktop Support Analyst
Tokyo, Japan
Joined: 2016

After studying both Japanese and Information Systems at Loyola, the planets aligned perfectly for Mario when he met a Grouponer at a Chicago networking event who helped him land his current role in our Tokyo office. You can find him doling out life advice to coworkers from his helpdesk perch or slaying it in karaoke during work outings.

Spill the beans: what do you do and why do you love it?

I maintain and optimize the IT environment in order to keep things running smoothly and I also implement changes for improvement. On the local level, I maintain the Japan IT environment and assist users who are experiencing issues related to hardware, software, network, occasional life counseling, and so on. On the global level, I facilitate IT communications between Global IT and Japan, run the helpdesk, and look for ways to optimize helpdesk processes. My favorite part of my role is the satisfaction that comes from solving a complex issue and successfully assisting a colleague with any issues that they may be facing. If your monitor isn’t working, your computer burst into flames, or the network crashes, I am here to help!

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

The office relocation project was the most challenging and exciting thing I have had the opportunity to work on. It involved working closely with multiple global teams, strong communication between local departments and vendors, and close tracking of project constraints (i.e. deadlines, costs, and human resources). It felt great knowing that all of the planning, coordination, and work paid off as Tokyo had a successful go-live date. A bonus was that I was able to work with the Tokyo communications department in deciding the Tokyo conference rooms theme and names. After a fun brainstorming session, we decided to go with UNESCO World Heritage Sites since they are well known and serve as a daily reminder of our global impact.

What are your favorite Groupon memories?

One of my favorite Groupon memories was in the beginning of 2017 when we migrated Japan to the global network. Our incredible networking team in Chicago, a Japan-based coworker, and I spent a lot of time planning this out as to avoid any disasters and/or downtime. That meant doing the migration on Friday at midnight (JST), or Thursday morning (CST), when the office was cleared out. The thing about Japan is that the last train is usually around midnight, which meant we would be in the office until at least 5 am (if not later) depending on the migration.

In preparation for this all-nighter, I grabbed some dinner in the Shibuya area, took a quick nap at an internet café, stocked up on snacks and caffeine, and made my way to the office. The migration was a success, but we didn’t get out until around 8 am the following day; it was totally worth it though. Since it was the afternoon in Chicago, I decided to give my parents a call and felt very proud to share our accomplishment that weekend in a very slap-happy manner.

Regardless of the time of day, that was one of my favorite memories because 1) the execution was flawless; 2) my coworker and I deepened our professional and personal bonds (being the only two people in the office for ~7 hours at an irregular time of day does something to you!); and 3) it was a significant first step towards migrating our systems to Global. Overall, it was a unique experience, I learned a lot, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with our top-notch networking teams.

Another favorite memory was sometime in early 2017, local Japan IT received an alert that a chassis in our off-site server needed to be replaced. Naturally, these repairs would need to take place outside of standard working hours and preferably on the weekend in case something comes up and we need more time to repair the issue. I contacted both the vendor for repairs and vendor that housed the server to set up a maintenance and repair appointment. Due to scheduling conflicts, it ended up being on a weekday at 3 am but, that’s beside the point.

This was my first time at the data center and the security was awe-inspiring. Access lists, biometric hand-scanners, mantraps, badge readers, security cameras, and I am sure there was more in the background. After navigating through security we made it to the data rack storage area and I must say it was a very neat site. There were hundreds of rows and columns that stretched as far as the eye could see and each path was illuminated by blue LED lights and motion-sensor ceiling lights. I felt both lucky and inspired to be able to access an area like this in my first year at Groupon. Once we located the storage unit, the repair vendor got to work and my coworker and I began planning, coordinating, and scheduling the tasks that would occur over the next 6 months, which all branched from our biggest project, the Tokyo office relocation.

Who or what inspires you?

My family and best childhood friend serve as my bedrock of support and inspiration. Although we are spread out across the globe (Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Tokyo), we know that we can always count on each other to be there for one another.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Forever changing – Diversity is our strength — We stand as Groupon

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I leave it all on the floor at karaoke 😉

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

Technology is always changing and IT must continuously identify, integrate, and communicate these changes in order to remain competitive and relevant in today’s marketplace and provide employees and Grouponers the best possible experience.

What’s your proudest accomplishment here so far?

My favorite accomplishment was organizing and leading a street cleaning volunteer event at the previous Tokyo office. This enabled the Tokyo office to further contribute towards the local community and living out our Groupon values as well as build stronger relationships and communication between departments.

Have you won any awards in your time at Groupon?

Two Friday Awards! One for my part in migrating Japan’s IT environment to the global platform and one for my part in the office relocation project. It would not have been possible to complete these projects without the excellent teamwork, communication, and dedication from all teams across the board!

So you went to school in Chicago…how’d you get to Japan?!

I was a student at Loyola University Chicago studying Information Systems and Japanese whilst working part-time as a financial analyst at a small company. During my final semester, I spent quite a bit of time searching for jobs and attending networking events, which would eventually lead me to meet former Grouponer Trina Gizel. We immediately hit it off and Trina, knowing my IT background and keen interest in Japan, recommended me for the IT Helpdesk position in the Tokyo office. Following this, I had interviewed with the Tokyo IT manager and was brought aboard the month following graduation. It all happened really fast but I am glad to have taken the leap to work abroad in the Tokyo office.

Where can we find you outside of work?

Hiking, futsal, reading, karaoke, exercising, late-night talk shows; I am looking into testing out a new hobby each month beginning in 2018. The first on the list is ballroom dancing!

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

I would be an English and/or IT teacher for children. Children light up my day with their energy and provide a fresh outlook on the world, boundless creativity, and a reminder to live in the present moment.

What’s your favorite local business?

King Of System

 

Groupon World Headquarters

Cole Eggenberger – Merchant Development Manager

Cole Eggenberger – Merchant Development Manager

COLE EGGENBERGER

Merchant Development Manager – Health, Beauty, & Wellness
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

Cole is your go-to for all things beauty & wellness: botox, vampire facials, float therapy, and even “Kim K facials.” She’s also the 2nd Groupon hand model we’ve featured and is not afraid to drop a hand pun in her story, which we appreciate.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory is my team winning the department sales competition back to back the past two summers. We got to take a half day and go to the Cubs game for the afternoon! (Fingers crossed for round 3 this upcoming summer.)

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

I am in Groupon’s Health & Beauty category as a Merchant Development Manager. I work with about 300 local health and beauty businesses to help grow their sales, including adding additional deals to the site, getting old businesses back on the site, and making sure current promotions are running as successfully as possible. There are many, many things I love about my job, including the product I sell, the people I work with (both my merchants as well as co-workers), and how I am able to connect local businesses to their communities across the country.

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

Learning the ins and outs of health and beauty services is something I never thought I’d be doing. For example, Botox, PRP vampire facials, salt caves, body contouring, float therapy, and cryotherapy are just a few of the unique services we offer on the site that I work on every day. I had no idea about any of these prior to working here at Groupon. Now, I know way too much about each of them! If you want to know about the “Kim K facial,” I’m your girl.

Who inspires you?

My mom and dad inspire me every day. They are the most supportive parents, and I love getting to make them proud.

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

Hand Model of the Year, 2017. Groupon’s Product Photography team gave employees the opportunity to participate in modeling for stock images to be used on the site. I got to be a hand model and show off broken iPhones for screen repair businesses! ~Hands down~ a great experience. (See famous hands below.)

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

“Why does everyone here like cats so much??”

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

What I love most about my job is the product that we sell and how we can help connect local businesses and customers across the country. I’ve learned to appreciate and understand local businesses, including what they have to offer our communities and economy. The coolest feeling is seeing hundreds of thousands of customers purchase Groupons that I created myself.

What do your parents think you do?

My mom thinks “I work with the most beautiful high-end spas that make Groupon a ton of money” and my dad thinks “I expand profits on every business I work with without a doubt.”

Tell us about your participation in the EVP (Employee Volunteer Program).

One of my favorite programs I volunteer with includes WITS, “Working In The Schools” as a mentor. I go to Jenner Academy, a Chicago Public School, Tuesdays during lunch, only a 10 minute walk from Groupon, and mentor a 3rd grader. We practice reading and writing together and I love seeing my mentee grow throughout the school year. This is my second year participating!

So what keeps you busy outside of work?

I love everything fitness related, practicing Spanish, trying out new restaurants/bars and exploring new cities. I recently applied for the 2018 Chicago Marathon and also booked a Groupon Getaway to Peru in April!

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

I would be a flight attendant for a Spanish-speaking airline. I love traveling and Spanish, so it’d be a perfect combo!

What’s your favorite local business?

Parlor Pizza

Tell us something about you that would surprise us.

My real name is technically Nicole, but I’ve gone by Cole my whole life! It’s a nickname that stuck at age 2 and I’ve gone by Cole ever since.

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

Alex Lee – Senior Account Manager, Getaways

Alex Lee – Senior Account Manager, Getaways

ALEX LEE

Senior Account Manager, Groupon Getaways
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Alex talks autonomy in his job, ramen, working with hotel properties across the country, ramen, his experience working as a temp at Groupon, ramen, his biggest professional accomplishment, and ramen. Oh, and ramen.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The group of lovely ghouls, goblins, and bloody nurses that came to visit and terrify our building the day before Halloween this year. I don’t know that everyone on my team was quite as big of a fan as I was of the experience, but I got some pretty incredible snaps out of it.

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

I am an Account Manager for Groupon Getaways focused on finding new businesses to feature on our platform. I work primarily with hotels and property management groups to bring them Groupon guests during their off-peak seasons. I love the people, the incredible system of support in place, and how much autonomy I have over my days to make the most of it.

So what does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is one that is always different, which I love. Some days I have a lot of administrative, operational, and creative tasks to take care of to ensure that the travel promotions I’ve put together get created and launched accurately and attractively. This involves a lot of calls back and forth with my partners, as well as keeping on top of correspondence with all of the internal Groupon teams that I work with. Other days, I am on the phone calling new business prospects to introduce myself and attempting to get some time on their calendar to explain why Getaways is such a flexible, beneficial, and common-sense tool for hotels. I have total autonomy on how I spend my day, which makes every day exciting and a challenge.

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

I worked for nearly 9 months to close a master service agreement with a hotel management group that has close to 100 properties across the U.S. This involved getting to know and work with multiple executives and revenue managers, and a great deal of back and forth between legal teams to finally reach an agreement that was acceptable to both sides. It finally became signed and official in October!

What’s your favorite local business?

Ramen-San on Hubbard is what I dream about. I could eat there 5 days a week and still want more. It’s the best ramen in the city that I’ve found by far, and they also have a delightful playlist of music that I’ve guiltily Shazam’d on several occasions.

Where were you before joining here?

I worked in banking for two and a half years right after graduating from college, and actually started at Groupon as a temp for Goods, doing QA for the holiday season of 2015. After the position expired, I applied for several account manager jobs at Groupon and got a call from my recruiter about an opening in Getaways!

What was your first impression of Groupon when you started working here?

How well they treat their employees at every level. When I came in as a temp employee, my team lead and the head of our vertical devoted our entire first day to giving us an overview of the business and walking us through the specifics of our individual roles to get us comfortable. Throughout my time with them, they always included us and made us feel no different from the full-time employees.

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

I work every day to build and maintain a great supply of quality hotel partners whose properties we promote on Groupon in order to help sustain and grow our reputation as the market leader in the travel flash-sale space.

Tell us about your involvement with the Employee Volunteer Program.

I started volunteering with the Heartland Alliance’s youth mentoring program in 2015 as a way to get more involved in a volunteer initiative that was unique to Chicago, being a sanctuary city. I have mentored a middle schooler whose family was forced to flee from their home in Southeast Asia several years ago, and have had such a great time getting to know him. We’re both big fans of movies, soccer, music, and video games, and I’ve have had a great time exploring the city with him when I’m not at his house racking my brain to remember how to do geometry homework.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I got involved with improv three years ago and have taken classes and performed at both Second City and Improv Olympic (iO). I also play guitar and sing, and enjoy songwriting and doing open mics with my fiance, who also plays and sings. Additionally, I enjoy traveling and eating ramen.

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

I would want to be Tom Cruise for a day in order to truly understand how things went so, so wrong, and brought us maybe the nuttiest movie-star of all time out of what once seemed to be the talent/songbird/silver-screen gift of a generation.

Tell us something that’d surprise us about you.

I grew up as a huge choir nerd (my mom is a choir teacher) and got to travel to five different countries in Europe with touring choirs in elementary through high school. A highlight was definitely getting to sing for the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City when I was in 6th grade.

Groupon World Headquarters

Muhammad Rizvi – Business Development Representative

Muhammad Rizvi – Business Development Representative

MUHAMMAD RIZVI

Business Development Representative
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

Muhammad’s family may be in Pakistan, but he has formed his own close-knit work family on his Sales team and in the Mentor Program here at Groupon.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Winning Home and Auto rep of the quarter in Q1 2017; this was after I was out for a couple of weeks, so to see my hard work being paid of then was an amazing feeling.

So what brought you to Groupon?

Working at Groupon was one of the biggest snap decisions of my life. I interviewed in late May 2016 for an incoming team that was due to start in July. I was in a tough spot financially at this time and told the interviewer that I wanted to start sooner. A week after my phone screen interview, I was walking into 600 West Chicago for my first day.

What do you love about your job?

My favorite part of the job is the people who make me laugh and smile every day. I also love being a mentor and doing scrums for new hires.

What was the most challenging thing you worked on in 2017?

Watching goals go up at the start of 2017. It was quite challenging to adjust, but with hard work and teamwork, we had a great quarter. I think my biggest motivation was the collective success of our team. We were a closely knit unit, who worked hard together and collaborated to ensure success. The people around us make Groupon such a great place to work, and I think it was our mutual desire for each other’s prosperity that led to us being successful, together.

Personally, the biggest success driver for me was to work hard in order to become the best version of myself and try to live up to my potential. In the past, I have been known as someone who wasn’t necessarily working to their top potential, and I decided to change that and really work to a level where I was satisfied with my own inputs.

“The people around us make Groupon such a great place to work, and I think it was our mutual desire for each other’s prosperity that led to us being successful, together.”

What was going through your head when you were first interviewing at Groupon?

I remember walking around during a tour whilst interviewing, and thinking, “I could fit in here.”

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

I try to connect with all local business owners I talk to and work out how we can best create experiences for their community.

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

Watching my mentees graduate. The graduation ceremony for one of my mentees was especially special; I may or may not have teared up a little. She was a single parent in her 30’s, and really needed to graduate from the program. It was very close and she graduated on the final day, and in her speech, she thanked me personally. This moment made all the time I invested in her–the late evenings, the lunches, and the walks around the office to talk–totally worth it. It felt great helping someone older than me work on budget and strategy, and most importantly, feel emotionally supported.

So how many awards have you won during your time here?

Rep of the Month October 2016 and August 2017, Rep of the Quarter 2017

Let’s talk about that: what do you attribute to your continued success here?

I’ve been fairly successful during my time at Groupon, and this is due to a plethora of reasons. The biggest of these is no doubt the incredible support system I have found within the Groupon community. I have been incredibly lucky to make great friends, who in a way are mentors to me, and I always seek their advice. Along with that, I think being creative and working hard have really helped me get far.

And how do you apply all of that to your mentees?

I use a transformational approach in order to help my mentees grow. This is extremely useful because I help my mentees set goals for the short and long run. These are both personal and professional and bring both my mentee and me together. Once these goals are set, the process somewhat unveils itself, and the mentees see great results because they work toward an ideal future, every day.

And what do your parents think you do?

“Something with internet coupons, like the ones in the newspaper.”

What are you up to when you’re not at work?

Watching TV, playing Xbox, hanging out with the pals, pursuing an MBA degree.

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

I would like to be on Shark Tank, it would be fun to just invest massive amounts of money and judge other businesses.

What’s your favorite local business?

Elbo Room: it’s my local bar, where I am a local.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

I want to sell and–

Slang all of the Coupons and–

Make the G cat proud

Lastly, tell us something about you that would surprise us.

My whole family is in Pakistan. I came to America for school and just sorta stayed.

Groupon World Headquarters

Lauren ‘Lo’ Jozefat – Corporate Recruiter

Lauren ‘Lo’ Jozefat – Corporate Recruiter

LAUREN ‘LO’ JOZEFAT

Senior Corporate Recruiter
Remote
Joined: 2011

Sales Recruiter Lo values transparency and open communication during the interview process…and cake doesn’t hurt, either.

What teams and locations do you primarily hire for?

Sales in Phoenix and Chicago

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind while they interview here?

Don’t just tell us what you think we want to hear! We truly want to make sure you are a good fit for the role and that this role would be a good fit for you. Honesty is a policy that goes both ways when interviewing, and we might even find a position that could be a better fit!

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

I appreciate transparency and know that interviewing can be tough if you currently have a job. Make sure to communicate clearly so we can move things along quickly!

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

Accepted job offers to work with us!

What’s something that candidates are sometimes surprised to learn about Groupon?

The variety of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) we offer and how we encourage everyone to get involved outside of their day-to-day!

Time to brag a little. Tell us about your proudest accomplishment here so far.

I’m really proud of my career path at Groupon. I was a fashion major in college and if you would have told me I would be working for a tech company as a recruiter I would have balked. I was hired to help Groupon launch a fashion channel, which never came to fruition. During my first week of training, I was pulled aside and told that my job was now to help launch a project that “doesn’t have a name yet.” The project was Groupon Now, and while that endeavor isn’t around anymore, it was an incredible learning experience that took me from Sales to Account Management to Recruiting. I started recruiting for the positions/departments I used to work in and I can honestly say, I can’t see myself doing anything else now!

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

The employees I hire into sales are mainly on the front lines. By hiring the right people, we have an immediate effect on the local businesses that are featured every day. Without the amazing deals, our customers can’t keep shopping!

What are some of the most memorable things you’ve seen at the Groupon office?

I joined Groupon when there were a lot of crazy activities going on. I saw a mini horse in the lunchroom one day (I think they had dyed its mane green?), the return of “Groupawn” when one man lived off of only Groupons for an entire year, and a children’s choir walking around the floor singing pop songs.

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon and the Employee Volunteer Program.

I joined Women@Groupon to find a mentor. I always heard stories about women growing from the mentors they had, and I did not have that experience yet. I have participated as both a mentor and mentee a few times! I also have been a major participant and advocate for the Employee Volunteer Program; I even lead a team during our Volunteer-a-thon competition in 2015. My favorite volunteer organizations are Dress for Success, Anti-Cruelty Society, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

To wait for my interview to start, I was brought to sit in a lunchroom where there was a baby shower going on. Everyone was having so much fun eating cake and taking time to enjoy each other and celebrate. It was exactly the type of place I wanted to be [eating cake].

What’s your favorite local business?

Cooking Fools! I bought a Groupon for a pasta-making class with my mom and it was one of the best experiences EVER. We had so much fun that I ended up buying her a pasta machine for Mother’s Day and we now make homemade ravioli as a family for the holidays.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

My great-great (maybe -great?) grandma was Miss Norway. My family lives in Chicago because she participated in the Columbian Exposition “Chicago World’s Fair,” fell in love with the city and never went back!

Pride@Groupon

Women@Groupon

Alex Rose – Market Manager, Groupon Getaways

Alex Rose – Market Manager, Groupon Getaways

ALEX ROSE

Market Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

We’re not 100% sure, but we think we’ve met the world’s only former backup singer for a metal band who breathed fire while dressed as a clown…who now helps train Groupon Getaways teammates on best practices in the travel industry.

What did you do before you joined Groupon?

Prior to this position, I was an Account Manager for a steel company. It was interesting… I took this position to develop some skills in order to acquire the position I currently have. I had the hospitality experience but needed to sharpen my account management skills. Before that, I worked in the hospitality industry, mostly operations. Working in the travel industry has always been a passion of mine.

Tell us about what you do every day at work.

A majority of what I do is assisting the sales team with the onboarding of new partners and properties. I teach the properties about our tools and processes and ensure that they are fully prepared to work with us.  I also act as a liaison between the partners and multiple departments such as Accounts Payable, Customer Service, Dev, etc. We are also responsible for monitoring the live deals and ensuring they perform to their maximum capacity.  We do this by utilizing multiple reports to track performance and make educated recommendations to the properties, such as lowering rates for particular days, securing additional inventory for compressed dates, etc.

…so what do your parents think you do?

Basic account management, with a hint of analysis. The best thing is when they pump me for information regarding upcoming deals, and when my mom forwards me the local emails.

What sort of projects have you worked on?

Since I’ve joined the team I have been tasked with rolling out a new product and sharing my hospitality industry knowledge.  The first project I was tasked with was the rollout of “Bucks Back,” a platform that allowed hotels to run with us at no discount while still incentivizing Groupon customers to make a purchase.  When the customer purchased the deal they received $25 Groupon Bucks back for utilizing our site over a competitor. While this platform didn’t really take off, it was a great opportunity to work with multiple departments and learn how creative Groupon can be with their products.

A more recent project that I’ve been working on is helping my team understand some of the more subtle nuances of the travel industry. I’ve worked in hotels for over a decade and the ability to share what I’ve learned with my team has been very rewarding. I share this information with them through a combination of weekly “Industry Terms” to strengthen our jargon and through various on-the-spot training sessions. This started as a small ask from my manager but has now turned into a bit of information most of the Operations team requests on a weekly basis.

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

I get to help smaller local hotels reach a nationwide audience. It’s extremely fulfilling and a little humbling at the same time.

Who or what inspires you?

The cliche (but true) answer: my parents. To quote Fridtjof Nansen: “The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer.”

Why did you join the Groupon for Veterans Employee Resource Group?

I joined Groupon for Veterans to support my father, sister, and all Vets who sacrificed for me.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Come as you are, that’s the mentality that oozes as soon as you walk in. It’s pretty awesome.

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

Astronaut, definitely an astronaut. As to the why, why not and who wouldn’t?! I’ve always had a love for space and given the opportunity, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

When I was younger, I sang backup vocals for a metal band…dressed as a clown….who would breathe fire…

Groupon for Veterans

Groupon World Headquarters

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