Umang – Engineering intern

Umang – Engineering intern

UMANG BHATT

Software Development Intern
Chicago, IL
Carnegie Mellon University

New Jersey native Umang talks about how self-driving cars in Pittsburgh are NBD and how he slowly came to accept Groupon’s weird obsession with cats.

Tell us about the team you’re interning for.

I’m working on the Supply Intelligence and Dynamic Pricing team. On the supply intelligence team, we work to decide which merchants Groupon should target to onboard next. Using our proprietary machine learning model, we automatically curate calling lists for every Groupon sales representative around the world. On the dynamic pricing side, we are building a pricing engine that handles price changes for Groupon deals based on demand forecasting and deal performance. Intelligent prices drive value for merchants as well as keep customers engaged; our goal is to continuously iterate to derive the optimal price of a Groupon deal.

Describe your internship in 3 words:

Satisfying, eye-opening, Jabber-filled.

What was your first impression of Groupon? 

“Groupon rhymes with coupon; well, this ought to be an interesting summer.” My experience here has been much less interesting/mundane and much more fascinating/demanding. How can Groupon strategize to stay at the forefront of its niche? How can Groupon become a daily habit for all users? These are questions I toil with every day with my manager and mentors, who help make my every day at work intense yet rewarding. An aside: the cat obsession really confused me for the first week or so, but then you become immune to it, don’t worry.

“It’s awesome to see how open everyone is to meeting 1:1 to talk about their work and to get to know you on a personal level. Be it a first-year engineer or a senior director, everyone is welcoming and ready to grab coffee or lunch. All they will say when you ask is ‘toss time on my calendar’.”

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired in two ways. In regards to my personality and character, I am inspired by my guru, Mahant Swami Maharaj. His humility, patience, and happiness leave me awestruck every day. I strive to emulate his qualities in all that I do so that I too can live a fulfilling and spiritual life. In terms of my career, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Sundar Pichai, Ben Horowitz, and the like keep me hungry for more. Reading about their ethic, focus, and grit shows me what I need to bring to the table if I want to see my product vision become a reality.

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

Going to school in Pittsburgh, I feel self-driving cars are no longer abnormal. Aside from the smart phone and the personal computer as hallmarks of innovation, I have to say the self-driving cars I see on a daily basis are one of the most innovative pieces of technology we have today.

Your Instagram is mainly photos of….

My failed attempts of landscape photos of the places I visit and portrait photos of the people I spend time with.

What do your parents think you do?

My mom thinks I code, my dad thinks I’m in Sales.

Favorite restaurant in your current city?

Bad Hunter in the West Loop.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Need something to do?

Find the best deals right near you.

Just download Groupon!

Groupon World Headquarters

Lily – Engineering intern

Lily – Engineering intern

Lily FulopHi there! My name is Lily Fulop. I’m a rising junior at Carnegie Mellon University studying Communication Design. This summer, I’m a visual design intern at Groupon in the Chicago headquarters. I currently live in southern Virginia, but I’ve lived in six different states, so anywhere feels like home. I have a lot of family in the Chicago area, so I really love being here for my internship this summer, and might try to stick around once I graduate!

At Carnegie Mellon, my primary focus is design. In my classes I learn about fundamentals like color, typography, grids, and composition, as well as higher-level concepts like information visualization, systems design, human factors, and user-experience. I love illustration, photography and telling stories through the things I create.

I love design for several reasons. First, I can’t stand it when things don’t make sense. I’m the kind of person who needs answers and clarity. Through good design, I can provide those things to others. Design has the amazing capability of conveying complex messages with simplicity. A user should never have to work too hard or be made to feel like they lack common sense due to clumsy communications or designs. They should be able to trust their intuition to navigate information with confidence. Second, I get bored really easily by convention and routine. I love color, pattern, excitement and surprise. I believe in the power of beautiful and clever design to bring joy and meaning to people’s lives. Finally, I’m a perfectionist. I need things to be done right. I appreciate things made with quality, time and those little details that show that someone cares.

This passion for design led me to my internship at Groupon this summer. At Groupon, I work on visual design and branding for the Food & Drink division. Food & Drink has three sections: Deals (everyday discounts), Card-Linked Offers (a cashback program), and Groupon To Go (a food delivery service). I work on email campaigns and marketing for these products which involves designing across platforms (i.e. desktop vs. mobile and internal ads on the Groupon website vs. ads on affiliate websites). This summer, Groupon has been undergoing a complete change in brand– a new aesthetic, a new typeface, a new message. We’re focusing on bold, fun experiences; like our new commercial says, we’re valuing the “have-dones” over the “haves” and encouraging our users to “own the experience”. It’s been really exciting to have a say in how this new brand direction is implemented in our designs. In addition to working on brand consistency across platforms, I’ve also been faced with the challenge of creating brand nuances between products. For example, the Card-Linked Offers service ought to be differentiated from Groupon To Go aesthetically, but similar enough so that both services can be recognized as a part of Groupon as a whole.

From day to day at Groupon, you can catch me refining typography and composition on Illustrator, searching stock image sites for the best pictures of pizza, helping with in-house photoshoots (a.k.a. launching my hand modeling career!), critiquing designs and discussing strategy. I’ve learned so much here already! My eye for detail has developed, my workflow is much faster and I have a deeper understanding of branding. I know so much more about local commerce and how Groupon operates. It’s been great to see how design functions within such a large company and to learn how to communicate across teams here.

Outside of work, I’ve loved exploring Chicago and hanging out with the other interns. As the only non software engineering intern, I’m having a bit of a different experience than the others at work, but we’re having a great time together outside (and inside!) of the office. Groupon has sponsored some really fun events for us, like going on an architectural boat tour of the city and doing a cooking class with our mentors. A bunch of us also walked in the Chicago Pride parade with the Groupon float, which was an incredible experience. We’ve had fun exploring different neighborhoods and trying to taste all of Chicago’s best food (Jeni’s ice cream in Wicker Park is a favorite!)

This summer has been amazing, and I’m sad to see my internship come to an end, but grateful for the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned!

 

Lily Fulop_pride paradeLily Fulop_other interns