Grouponiversity Week 2: Chad and Caspar talk tech

at June 15th, 2012

(Caspar is the human)

Name: Caspar

School: Duke University MBA, Fuqua School of Business

Your first day was pretty crazy; tell us about it.

On day one, I attended the Product all-hands meeting in Palo Alto. Seeing both the Chicago and Palo Alto offices in my first 24 hours was awesome.  Being in both offices provided me with a high-level view of Groupon and its HUGE ambitions. During the all-hands meeting, we had the opportunity to meet and work with our counterparts, including the Berlin team, which was both fun and engaging. The best part of the trip was working on technology projects that will alter the way consumers interact with local commerce.  On another note, the Palo Alto office is sweet–snack stations, game room, lounge–enough said.

What are you doing?

I’m excited to be a part of the Merchant Center Products team!   During the summer, I will be defining the strategy for one of our new merchant tools. I will be working with both engineers and designers to develop a framework, outline the functionality and drive the development.

What is your perspective of Groupon as a tech company?

Groupon is a lot of things.  In addition to being a daily deals site, Groupon improves local commerce, has a great sales force, and is working on some of the most interesting technology problems today.  With the acquisition of Breadcrumb (a point of sale system), the roll-out of the Rewards Program and the development of in-house technologies, Groupon aims to change the way customers interact with local businesses. As a part of the products team, I am working on a number of features, which will improve merchant-customer interactions.  In my mind, Groupon is a technological company first.

Anything else?

At Groupon, everyone’s a valued member.  I have been given an incredible amount of ownership and leeway to make the tough calls.  If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to make an impact, Groupon is the place to be.

(Chad’s answers below in JSON)

Name“: “Chad”,
School“: “University of Waterloo”,
What are you doing?“: “I am a Software Engineering Intern working with the Deal Experience Team developing tools and conducting various A/B experiments that will help Groupon to better understand and bring value to its users. “,
What was cool about this week?“: “Our team met with Andrew Mason to discuss whether people will respond better upon seeing \”…a Groupon deal showing X versus Y .\” The result so far has been inconclusive, but I for one, am looking forward to finding out more.”,
What are you excited about?“: “Working with a top-notch engineering team on code that will have a huge impact on millions of Groupon users. Just wait ’till you guys see the work we’ve done on the new user-subscription flow!”,
Anything Else?“: “I’m also really excited about exploring the city with my co-workers and fellow interns. Everyone at Groupon is really laid-back and seriously fun to work and play with!”

Bike to Work Week Update: Day 4

at June 14th, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Strap On Your Helmets

This week Chicago commuters strive to be healthy, safe, and all-around-outdoorsy with Bike To Work Week.  The “Active Transit Bike Commuter Challenge” is brought to life by the Active Transportation Alliance, a non-profit advocacy group that is working improve conditions for bikers, walkers, cartwheelers, and the like.

Groupon won the challenge last year and is competing this year against various businesses and organizations such as the City of Chicago Department of Transportation, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the American Medical Association. Groupon’s biggest threat right now looks to be The Field Museum,currently in first place.  Despite our higher numbers in mileage (a whopping 4300 going into the final day), we’re behind in percent participating and in second place.

Jennifer Staben, group leader of one of the 28 Groupon teams, is not concerned.  Her team hails from the Customer Service department, and she says Groupon can easily trump the Field Museum. “However if Trump Towers is doing it,” she adds, “I don’t know if we can trump them.”

Wordplay aside, the company is doing more than climbing the scoreboard.  Staben says that commuting by bike has been great, and she says she “usually find[s] other bikers commuting to work and secretly race[s] them in [her] head.”

Are you thinking about biking to work? Here’s why you should try it!

“Chicago has an abundance of bike paths and streets and is relatively bike-friendly.” – Calvin,  Quality Assurance Editor

“I bike. Everywhere. The best thing about biking in Chicago is flying past gridlock.” – Brad, Marketing Designer

“Why not?” – Nicole, Account Executive

Lake Shore Drive is always a nice way to start the day.  I like looking at all those random lighthouses.  Have you seen the front of that Cloud Nothings album, Attack On Memory?  The lighthouses remind me of that.”  – Dan, Editorial Recruiter/Voice Editor

Groupicnic 2012: A Summer Outing

at June 14th, 2012

International news highlights from this past weekend included the flight of the world’s first zeppelin and the annual Chicago Groupicnic.  Editorial Interns Kevin Kapolnek and Leora Sherman chatted with recruiting coordinator Nicole Paripurana, one of this year’s picnickers, to get the inside scoop.

So what was this Groupicnic all about, anyway?

The Groupicnic is held annually on the UIC campus. There was kind of a Hawaiian theme and we handed out leis. Lots of employees brought along spouses and family members.  The weather was gorgeous; we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day!

Was there entertainment?

Yes – we had a band playing covers and people could go up and sing karaoke. There was also plenty of free food and drink, and people played beach volleyball. There was also a bungee apparatus that the kids had fun playing on.

How did the idea for a Groupicnic come about?

We’ve had them the last 3 years, and they are always a huge success.  Even though Groupon is a pretty chill place to work, office jobs can still be stressful.  The picnic is a great way for coworkers to get together, enjoy the summer weather and unwind from work.

What were some funny or memorable moments?

It was fun seeing the IT team playing games with as much focus as they use when fixing computers. They were pretty good.

Job Hunting tips for Generation Y (and pretty much everyone else)

at June 11th, 2012

Recently one of our recruiters, Lindsay, was interviewed by Kyle Lagunas for the Software Advice blog on various job hunting tips for the new workforce. We’ve included a few excerpts below and you can read the entire article here.

“One thing we’ve always valued at Groupon is a sense of humility, an understanding that you just pull up your bootstraps and do it–and that’s made us very agile.”

Do engage prospective employers.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter offer fantastic opportunities for you to build relationships with a prospective employer. Jump in anywhere. Search for industry forums or targeted Twitter chats, talk with people, ask questions–even if their company isn’t hiring. You may have more to talk about when you finally do land an interview, something many Gen Y-ers struggle with.

Whether in an interview, personal communications or an online forum, the key is to talk about yourself, not just the company or industry. What does Verstegen want to hear? “Talk to me about what you are looking for, and let’s talk about what this specific piece of the big puzzle is, what you could do here.”

Do find a mentor.

If you think mentorships are old school and not worth your time, think again. Having a mentor (or several) is a great way to gain the much-needed perspective of someone who’s been there, done that, and has something to show for it. A mentor can provide guardrails for your career path, and let you know when to hit the gas or slam on the brakes.

A lot of leaders aren’t asked to be mentors anymore, and unfortunately many companies no longer have formal mentoring programs. However, Verstegen says, “Leaders want their stories heard, and want to share their experiences.” It’s up to you to find them.

These are just a few of the many tips out there for job hunting. What advice do you have for Melinnials entering the workforce? If you are a new grad, what is working for you or what do you have questions about?


Grouponiversity Intern spotlight: Week 1 for Ben and Matt

at June 8th, 2012

Our weekly Grouponiversity series continues with a few intern spotlights.

Name: Ben
School: First Year MBA, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
What are you doing? I’m working in the Refunds team, where I believe I can have a huge impact over the summer. I’ll be working on automating reporting, and putting together tools to easily identify the root causes of refunds. I will then be using insights from these tools to generate and implement ideas for improvements to business operations.
What was cool about this week? On my first day here at orientation, I was amazed at how many people were starting, which reminded me how fast things move at Groupon—there were about 150 people at orientation including about 20 MBA and Legal Summer Associates and 20 Undergraduate interns.
What are you excited about? We’ve got lots of events—from happy hours to Cubs games to cruises on the river to cooking classes—planned for us over the summer. I’m also super excited about having the summer to explore Chicago. The weather has been beautiful, and I’ve been enjoying morning runs along the lake, and exploring all of the shops and restaurants in Lincoln Park (the area where I live).
Anything Else? After just three days here at Groupon, I feel completely part of the team, and am excited for the summer ahead. Groupon is a place where smart people are working hard and getting things done, but don’t take themselves too seriously and have fun.




Name: Matt
School: University of Michigan
What was cool about this week? On my first day as a Sales intern at Groupon, I walked into my division’s office to find photos of my head taped on a picture of a mariachi, a cat enthusiast, and other propaganda. Here I started thinking just how long this department had been anticipating the arrival of its first intern, and I got excited for what this experience would bring me.
Experience so far? The better part of my first couple days were not, as I expected, spent in a conference room listening to presentation after presentation introducing Groupon’s principles, but rather sitting next to sales reps and city planners alike to learn firsthand. Through this direct exposure, I learned about Groupon the way it made sense to the average employee, rather than through someone trained to talk about the company.
What are you looking forward to this summer? I’m looking forward to the ever-changing environment Groupon will provide me in the next eight weeks. I know I’ll be able to grow and learn a lot from the employees around me who have come from numerous different professional backgrounds.
Anything else? Go Blue!

Welcome to the Groupon People Blog!

at June 7th, 2012

Today marks the launch of our Groupon People Blog, and we couldn’t be more excited. Very soon we’re going to have regular posts about all the great things that happen inside the Groupon fortress. You’ll see things like Desk of the Week and What’s for Lunch?. We’ll give you a peek at the 100+ interns that are spending the summer at Groupon, show you videos and pictures of the team, and throw in a few tips and tricks while we’re at it.

Below are a few entries to start things off (some old, some new) and we’ll regularly be posting our Groupon People Blog updates on the GrouponJobs Facebook Page and Twitter handles. Please let us know what you’d like to see and please spread the word if you already like what you see.

Thanks for stopping by.


No Tags

Grouponiversity: Your Weekly Intern Digestive

at May 31st, 2012

Summer has started.

The anticipation has been building for months and the first round of interns has finally arrived! More than 100 bright-tailed and bushy-eyed students from top-tier universities will walk through Groupon’s front doors on Monday, double the number of interns from last year. The inaugural Tech Summer Intern and Legal Summer Associate programs will join the established MBA Summer Associate and Undergrad Internship programs. The students will embark on a summer journey full of group outings and Breakfast ‘n’ Learns that would make any fan of breakfast or learning jealous. In the event of a spontaneous solar eclipse, we have provided them with Groupon sunglasses (pictured here with your Grouponiversity recruiting team).

Stay tuned each week to get a peek into the life of a Groupon intern—including high-impact work in our two Chicago offices and our office in Palo Alto, events around the nation, and a 10-week intensive tryout for Groupon’s traveling trapeze circus. Check back next week for our first installment of Grouponiversity.

Desk of the Week: Someone got Bieber’d.

at May 22nd, 2012

Welcome to the first installment of Desk of the Week at Groupon. Each week, we’ll post a picture of someone’s desk and let you look at their desk for Desk of the Week. We’ve thought about this idea for a while now, and today seemed to be the perfect day to start things off.

This week, one of the members of our Merchant Escalation team came to work and found out that he’d gotten “Bieber’d”. Special care and attention was taken to cover all of the surfaces of his desk. A few highlights:

  • Signed pic of the employee and Bieber (lower left)
  • Bieber’s lips cut out and pasted to the mouthpiece on the phone
  • Hand sanitizer covered in Bieber for cleanliness and fashion
  • Pictures of Biebs strategically placed in the hallway to raise suspicion.

Stay tuned for next week’s Desk of the Week

FYI: Groupon Recruiters DON’T Want Your Facebook Password

at April 9th, 2012

There have been more than a few articles floating around the interwebs about employers asking for interviewees’ social networking login information and password. This is not just a bad idea and unnecessary for us, but also could be a violation of privacy.

As good recruiters, we will occasionally view your public information on social networks to get a better idea of your interests and web savvy, but we would never ask to read personal messages or look at private photos. Be smart and keep private things private and make public those things that will give us insight into your performance on the job, or knowledge in your particular space. As I said, we will look at your social profiles, but more as a supplement to your personality than something to weed you out.

A blood sample, SSN, and ATM PIN number are just fine for us here at Groupon…