Emily – Product Management Intern

Emily – Product Management Intern

EMILY PRICE

Product Management Intern
Chicago, IL
California University of Pennsylvania

40 bugs, 20 new features, 13 countries, 2 projects, 1 amazing summer internship: Emily shares her experience as a Product Management intern at Groupon (not as an exterminator, despite the bug work)

Tell us about the work you’re doing this summer!

At the beginning of the summer, I had two main projects: conduct a purchase funnel audit for EMEA/APAC and launch Welcome Cards on Mobile Web and Desktop. The audit spanned thirteen different countries and required coordination across multiple international departments. With the help of diligent Groupon employees from each country, over 40 bugs and 20 possible new features were identified. The Welcome Card project has transformed into redesigning the homepage. As the Product Manager for the re-design, I get to work with key stakeholders from different engineering teams, design, and marketing.

What’s your favorite memory from your summer here?

The group cooking class was spectacular! I hand-rolled noodles for about an hour, but who doesn’t love a good workout before filling up on pasta?

Describe your internship experience in 3 words.

Challenging, marvelous, and empowered.

What’s your biggest accomplishment this summer?

Although I will no longer be interning for Groupon when the new homepage design comes into fruition, my requirements and experiment sequence will help lay the foundation and that’s really exciting.

What do your parents think you do?

They’ve been telling people, “She finds bugs.” So now everyone thinks I’m some kind of exterminator.

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

Amazon Echo

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

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan (please don’t judge me!)

What’s your top place for eats in Chicago?

Au Cheval

What was the most surprising thing about interning at Groupon?

I was treated like a full-time employee from the start!

 

Groupon World Headquarters

Jennifer – Engineering intern

Jennifer – Engineering intern

JENNIFER BE

Software Development Engineering Intern
Chicago, IL
UC Berkeley

Who wouldn’t feel a little thrown off by a giant cat spaceship greeting them on the first day of their internship? Jennifer spills the details of her summer in Chicago as an Engineering intern.

What team are you interning for?

The Deal Management team!

And what does this team do?

We’re in charge of applications that support and maintain deals (user interfaces, APIs, and workflows) that both our internal staff and our merchants use. Any deal you see on the Groupon site has passed through one or more of the Deal Management services! So far I’ve had the chance to dig around and work on stories from three of my team’s services, primarily using Ruby on Rails with some Angular sprinkled in.

More importantly, what do your parents think you do?

They think I do “computer stuff.”

What’s the coolest thing you’ve accomplished this summer?

Just walking around the city, I’ve stumbled upon some really cool things! Like the Blues Festival in Millennium Park or the fancy rolled ice cream place in Chinatown!

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

I’d have to see VR. I once tried out this simulation where I was in a room and the floor around me dropped, so I was on a small sliver of ground and it told me to jump. I couldn’t stop shaking, and the only reason I eventually jumped is because the headset wasn’t fully on my head and I couldn’t see the ground below me.

Your Instagram is mainly photos of…

…very brightly filtered pictures from high school.

What’s your favorite restaurant in your current city?

It’s not a restaurant, but I fell in love with Mariano’s, the grocery store! It has everything you’ll ever need, plus lots of hot food, smoothies, and my favorite: fresh-squeezed orange juice!

What’s been the most surprising thing so far about interning at Groupon?

If you’ve ever been to the Groupon office, you may have noticed lines of black and green jackets on peoples’ chairs. The reason for this is because Groupon gives green Adidas track jackets to employees after they hit their two-year anniversary and a black track jacket after their five-year anniversary. It’s super cool to see that there are so many people sporting the jackets who have stayed at the company for so long.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

“Oh boy, what did I get myself into?” So keep in mind, I started my first day of work a day after arriving in Chicago for the first time, and all alone. I was still a little disoriented the next day, and saw this huge cat in a spaceship when I stepped onto the main floor of the office. That, along with a bunch more goofy designs and room names around the office, really help capture the Groupon spirit for me. My team especially has been really great at maintaining a good work/play balance for me.

Who or what inspires you?

Definitely my family. Early on, they instilled in me a sense of responsibility, and have always helped me see the bigger picture in everything I do!

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

I would work at a Gelato shop! I would probably be the one employee that gets fired for taking too many samples, but it would still be pretty fun. Also, it would be cool to have free reign to come up with new flavors.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Make life less boring,

There’s so much out there to do!

Groupon will help you.

Groupon World Headquarters

How is Groupon helping to empower women in Tech? Two Engineers share their stories.

How is Groupon helping to empower women in Tech? Two Engineers share their stories.

Coding Across Silos: What One Intern Learned at Groupon

The fastest way for any coder to grow is through mentorship, getting a guided and hands-on tour of real-life problems and solution development. Through its relationship with the Ada Developers Academy, Groupon is supporting the next generation of women engineers by teaming interns with experienced developers in a space where classroom learning is mixed with hands-on development.

Today Melissa—a former ADA intern and current Groupon Software Development Engineer—and her mentor, Karena, talk about why it’s crucial for organizations to invest in initiatives that encourage women to pursue careers in STEM.

Karena // Senior Software Development Engineer in Test (above left)
Melissa // Colombia native & Journalist-turned-Software Development Engineer (above right)

How did being an ADA intern at Groupon impact you?

 [Melissa] Being an ADA intern at Groupon was highly impactful for me, as both of these institutions cared about my success. This, in turn, helped invigorate my desire to become a stronger software developer and strengthened my commitment to help other women starting out in the tech field. It is fantastic that Groupon is committed to making the Tech industry more diverse. It has very practical improvements to the overall developer community but also makes Groupon a more attractive company to software developers who care about such issues.

Why is the partnership important to Groupon?

 [Karena] Of course we all know about the big gender gap in the Tech world. When the Groupon Getaways leaders heard about the ADA program, they were intrigued because it was working to address this gender gap while still maintaining an extremely high bar for the candidates in the program. Groupon loves to get involved in initiatives that promote diversity, and finding such a reputable academy focused on educating women in Seattle was amazing! We’re excited about our partnership with ADA so we can help connect women with careers in Tech while bringing new, diverse perspectives to our Engineering teams here at Groupon.  

[Melissa] In my opinion, ADA connects Groupon with a highly-qualified network of developers. ADA developers have had successful careers in other industries, have committed to becoming software developers, and are highly vetted. Groupon benefits not only by adding talent to their Engineering teams but in broadening the larger skill sets and world views of its engineering community.

Why is the partnership important to you professionally? Personally?

[Melissa] I have become an advocate for women in Tech and a role model for the success that can come despite the risks of changing career paths. I am now in a position to speak with other women about what the industry is like for women. More specifically to Groupon, I can dispel many of the myths about being a woman developer at a large company and promote Groupon as the pinnacle in the field of career choices.

[Karena] As we continue to see problems with the lack of diversity in the tech field, ADA is an extremely valuable partner for Groupon. It not only promotes and advocates for women in tech, but it also brings in women from diverse backgrounds with a variety of non-technical skills that are often lacking in the one-dimensional tech world.

What did you learn as a student or mentor?

[Melissa] As a student, I obviously gained a lot of technical knowledge. However, I was also trained on many of the other skills that are necessary to become a successful team-based software developer: project planning, communicating ideas, working cross-functionally, testing and debugging, and of course proper Git usage. Before Groupon, I mistakenly assumed coding was about coding all day in front of my computer. On a more personal level, I was born in Colombia and have been living in the U.S. since 2014; this background provides interesting learning opportunities for me such as noticing cultural differences, subtle nuance in language, and even office etiquette. One benefit of working at Groupon is that the team is already globally diverse, meaning that a number of my teammates have already gone through similar cultural assimilation and are happy to help me in my process.

[Karena] One of the things I love about mentoring is that I always learn at least as much as the person I am mentoring! Something I have definitely seen firsthand from Melissa is how to view learning and growing in a positive way. She is always excited to hear other people’s opinions about her code and is so open to feedback. Programmers sometimes take it personally when their code is criticized, but Melissa has been a great reminder of how to always view feedback in a positive and constructive way!

What about interning at Groupon impacted your decision to join us as a full-time employee?

[Melissa]  Having a very smart and supportive mentor was one of the primary reasons. To have that connection, admiration, and role model who was invested in guiding my career path as a software developer became an asset that Groupon had which other companies could not compete with. Another big incentive to returning to Groupon was that I would be able to rejoin the same team I had interned with. The Discovery and Demand (Getaways) team is filled with smart and committed developers, and it is exciting to work alongside them. Finally, I found the Groupon culture to be a great fit for me; they are serious about software, but also value work-life balance and team building. All of these reasons made my decision rather easy.

What differentiates Groupon Engineering from other Tech companies?

[Karena] One major difference in Engineering at Groupon is the openness of the culture. I love the way we open source a lot of our projects so other engineers can benefit from our efforts. Internally, I love how collaborative the engineering teams are and the way we are developing good processes for working in each other’s repositories. Many Tech companies are more siloed and it’s difficult to contribute to code repositories that your team doesn’t own.

Want to learn more about women in Tech at Groupon? Check out or aptly-named category to get more insight.

Self-Proclaimed Data Lover & Engineer

Self-Proclaimed Data Lover & Engineer

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2015! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s post features Sally, a data-centric Engineering intern from UIUC who has been working on the Fraud Prevention team in Palo Alto.

Who are you?

I’m Sally Zhang and I’m a rising 2nd year CS Masters student specialized in Information Retrieval and Text Mining at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I also received my BS degree in Statistics & Computer Science from UIUC in May 2014. I’m a data lover as well as a data-oriented engineer.

How did you get the internship at Groupon?

It was my first time presenting at Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) last year in Phoenix, and I was contacted by #GrouponU recruiters a month before the conference. First, I had a phone screen with a Technical Recruiter, followed by a technical phone interview with a Data Scientist in Chicago. I passed both. 🙂

Next, at Grace Hopper, I talked with several Grouponers about projects, teams, and life at Groupon. Props to Groupon for being a GHC Gold Sponsor and sending so many wonderful Grouponers in green jackets to the conference to support Women in Technology! After I flew back to campus, I finished a couple more technical phone interviews with Groupon. Although it was a thorough interview process that tested my coding, design pattern, project management, leadership and communication skills, I didn’t feel frustrated or tired at all! Everyone I spoke with was really friendly, helpful, and made me feel at ease. Three days later my offer from Groupon arrived, which made my day!

What do you do at Groupon? 

I’m a Software Engineering intern on the Fraud Prevention team in Palo Alto. My team and I strive to become “Fraud Busters.”

What happened in your first week?

Two days before my internship started, my manager called me asking if I’d like to join the team on a business trip to Chicago. I of course said, “YES!” So, on my first day, I received my work equipment, had onboarding and orientation, then booked my fight to Chicago. At Groupon headquarters, I spent the rest of my first week meeting with the Fraud Operations team! It was a great adventure because I learned more about Groupon’s architecture and teams, observed the team’s manual review processes, met more Grouponers, and had a lot of fun. I love my team; they’re always welcoming and patient when answering any questions I have. After successfully setting up the development environment, I was ready to start pushing code in the following week.

[At Lean{in}tern Summer Kickoff event with Groupon girls (Amanda, Bria, Kavya)]

What are you working on?

This summer, I worked on two data engineering projects. The first project touched the backend data infrastructure of the anti-fraud platform where I not only learned a lot about how fraud detection systems work at Groupon, but I also learned to work with Ruby on Rails for the first time. I was so excited to see that my code had been pushed to the production codebase and set a foundation being built upon by other members of my team. The second project was on the fraud data analysis side where I evaluated two models for classifying Groupon Local purchases as fraud/non-fraud. I used various kinds of ETL frameworks, tools and languages including Splunk, Hadoop, Teradata, Accertify, Python/Bash/SQL, etc. Besides my main projects, I also worked on a GeekOn project with several interns and full-time employees. Our project was one of the local finalists!

[Women@Groupon Volunteer Day at Sunnyvale Full Circle Farm]

What have you done outside of work?

Groupon had a lot of cool events for us interns this summer! We went to a Giants game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, visited California’s Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara, volunteered at Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale, went to ComedySportz in San Jose, etc. Aside from those events, I also hung out with other interns and participated in a lot of events for Bay Area interns, especially those supporting Women in Engineering.

In June, I went to the huge 2015 INTERNAPALOOZA event in SF and spent two days hacking at Summer Hack Day 2015 at Dropbox HQ, which was the first hackathon for women interns in the Bay Area. In July, I attended Lean{in}tern Summer Kickoff at LinkedIn HQ with three other interns to represent Groupon and show Groupon’s efforts in increasing workplace diversity. I also took part in Taking Flight: An Evening for Women in Engineering at Airbnb HQ where we listened to a really inspiring panel that highlighted the career paths of multiple women who had taken different routes in their technical careers. I had a really productive, inspirational and fun summer!

 

Your Non-Traditional Languages, Please

Your Non-Traditional Languages, Please

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2015! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s post features Shubhit, another mountain-conquering summer intern who thrives in the Groupon environment of open source, scalability, and non-traditional code.

Name: Shubhit Singh
School: Carnegie Mellon University
Office: San Francisco
Team: Universal Disbursement (Global Payments)

Current Project

I’m working on Groupon’s disbursement service. Groupon collects money from customers when deals are purchased, and we have to disburse that money back to the merchants. My team is working on a completely new system that utilizes this really cool open source payments platform called Kill Bill (no relation to the movie). Basically, we are extending this platform by writing a plugin that will be able to perform multiple functions, like onboard new merchants, store all the transactions that merchants have made with customers, calculate the amount of money to disburse to merchants, and provide a RESTful API so merchants can view their transaction and disbursement history. I’ve learned many different technologies like Jackson, Google’s Guice, OSGI, Jersey and Apache Maven. I’ve become much more comfortable with Java and I’ve learned a lot about designing a full-fledged project from scratch. It’s been exciting!

Previous Internship

Groupon Seattle, Display & Advertising team. I was working on a graph-search algorithm to match users to relevant deals and vice versa. It was cool being able to actually use algorithms I learned in school (BFS, Dijkstra’s, etc.) and try to optimize them.

Why did you decide to come back to Groupon? 

I really enjoyed my experience in Seattle. Groupon is at a unique position in the sense that it’s a large company but doesn’t really feel like one. The culture within each team is much like that of a startup. Teams are relatively small, and I’ve found that teams use very current open source technologies to hack together solutions to their problems. For example, my team in Seattle team had its entire codebase in CoffeeScript (not a traditional programming language at all) and Node.js. For my project, my manager let me experiment with different databases so that we could get a feel for how our existing ones compared to others in the open source world in terms of performance and scalability. In fact, I can say similar things about my current internship! The fact that Groupon tries to keep up with the latest and best technologies out there says a lot about its culture. It’s so easy for companies to recede into their own tried and tested ways of doing things as they get larger. Not to mention, as an engineer, its way more exciting to work with new technologies.

I also love the people here! Everyone is so open and available. One of my goals as an intern is to soak up as much knowledge and experience as I can from the people around me in the short period of time that I’m out here. I love having quick chats with my manager, mentor, and other engineers around the office. We’d go for strolls around the building (San Francisco is amazing, there’s so much to see/do/eat), or just chat in the kitchen or a conference room. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been incredibly keen to share and teach. It seems like they are almost as invested in my growth as I am. It’s a great feeling!

What’s been the best part about your summer? 

Going on adventures with other interns! A few of us interns from the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices organized a day hike to Yosemite. It was a really nice experience. We left Palo Alto at 4:30am, drove to Yosemite, hiked for about 7 hours, and then drove back at night. It was a pretty grueling hike because we had to cover a lot of vertical distance, but once we got to the top of the hike the view was breathtaking.

We also went on a trip to Santa Cruz and learned how to surf! It was really difficult but we had surf instructors out in the water with us helping us out. I managed to get up on the board twice and ride a wave all the way to the shore, which was a great feeling.