Commemorating UIC’s 2017 Latino Graduates

Commemorating UIC’s 2017 Latino Graduates

UIC’s 31st Annual Recognition Dinner: over 600 attendees, 200 graduates, and one fiery mariachi band.

Lauren Mullins – Campus Recruiter // Fernando Diaz – Divisional Sales Manager & Groupon en Español Chair 

Fernando: As the Chair for Groupon en Español, one of my goals is to create an inclusive work environment by making connections with Latino communities which will lead to recruiting opportunities. This event both helped solidify the partnership with UIC and start other partnerships with organizations within UIC. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the graduates. They were allotted 30 seconds each to say a few words. Many of the students thanked their families and friends who had done so much to help them achieve this milestone.

Lauren: UIC’s Hispanic/Latino undergraduate population increased to 30.7% this year, which continues their designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The Annual Recognition Dinner recognizes and honors the accomplishments of their Latino graduates among family and friends. There were over 600 guests in attendance, 200+ of which were graduating students. While this wasn’t a direct recruiting event and there was limited interaction with students (they were focused on celebrating with friends and family), Fernando and I were able to network in person with key members of several diverse campus organizations: Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES), Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), and Career Services, forging stronger relationships than we would have with cold outreach to these groups.

The goal of the event was to strengthen our relationship with and show our support for UIC as a whole and the hispanic/latino community. Our attendance aligns with Groupon’s inclusion and diversity values! It would be great to continue to build relationships with the campus partners we met and celebrate the recent grads and Groupon new hires! The best part of the night? The amazing student speeches when they were recognized for graduating AND the UIC mariachi band: Mariachi Fuego!

Learn more about our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and what we’re doing to foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace!

Lila Talks Groupon Design

Lila Talks Groupon Design

Name: Lila
Title: Junior Visual Designer
Start Date: July 2014
School: Carnegie Mellon University

What do you do?

I primarily work on merchant-facing material: branding for new merchant products, email communication, packaging, etc. I interface with a variety of teams across the business in order to create, execute, and deliver on inspiring, compelling design projects for the company.

Why did you choose Groupon for an internship and what made you want to become a Groupon employee?

The campus recruiters were helpful in connecting me to Visual Designers at Groupon; I spoke to them on the phone. I got to ask them a lot of questions about the culture and how Design functions as a whole. It just seemed like the right fit for me with the playful, quirky brand and I thought it’d be a great summer experience.

(Obviously) my internship was great! I was able to work with so many different people on the Design team, and in turn was exposed to so many different parts of the company. Also, I was creating work that was actually shipping, not just working on internal projects or busy work that internships can often turn into. Most importantly, the people were so amazing to work with. I learned so much from both my teammates and manager, that it made the decision to want to come back full-time pretty easy.

What’s the best advice for the future Design employees of Groupon?

  1. Being able to present your work and being articulate with your ideas is very important. We’re constantly presenting to different teams and stakeholders, and you need to be able to speak to what you’re doing in a strategic way so you can get people on board.
  2. It’s good to have a strong point of view as a designer—letting yourself show through the work. I like work that is conceptually sound, but also feels original in its final outcome. That can be a trap a lot of young designers fall into—copying what else is out there because you know it works. Here, there are always so many new products that have a quick turnaround, so generating ideas quickly and executing is crucial.
  3. You thrive the most at Groupon when you like working with other people, because you are going to work with a lot of people. There’s a difference between being able to work with others and actually growing as a result of collaborating. At Groupon, everyone is elevating each other.

How have your design skills improved since your time as an intern?

I’ve definitely honed my skills more quickly due to the fast-paced environment, which in turn has also improved my workflow. Also, when you see an opportunity to do a project or do something different, you can really jump on it. For example, there was a time when we were doing a lot of email banners. I had talked with my manager about making the banners into animated gifs. I thought that’d be something cool to incorporate into the merchant brand as a whole. I always had an interest in motion graphics and animation, and I’ve really been able to dive into that and almost start an initiative in that way.

Since working here, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of Groupon’s greater missions and values, especially related to merchant relationships. I truly believe in the value of helping local businesses grow, which enables me to design from an empathetic lens and connect more with my audience in any project.