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

Adam – Engineering Intern

Adam – Engineering Intern

ADAM SUSKIN

Software Development Engineering Intern
Palo Alto
Georgia Institute of Technology

Groupon doesn’t always have magician interns with us for the summer, but when we do, we make sure they’re secretly Engineers who create their own iPhone games at age 14.

Tell us about the team you’re interning with!

I’m working on the Platform Data Engineering team in Palo Alto. We’re focused on real-time metrics. By enabling real-time metrics for other teams as opposed to batch metrics, teams are able to reach conclusions faster. These results are what Groupon bases decisions on, so the speed of delivery and reliability of data is of paramount importance to the success of the company. I get to play a small part in that!

Describe your internship in 3 words.

Collaborative, caffeine-powered, and forward thinking.

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

I built a full-stack application that makes other teams’ jobs easier! What’s better than that?

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

My first iPhone really changed my life. Yes, being able to browse the internet anywhere you go in order to settle all of those little debates you have with friends is really handy to win a few bets, but my iPhone was how I got interested in developing. Publishing an app in 9th grade got me hooked on the computer science track, and ultimately is how I ended up at Groupon!

“When you’re immediately working on a project on day two and can see its plan being included in quarterly planning meetings and OKRs, it really does confirm that a Groupon intern’s work makes a difference.”

OK, back up…you published an iPhone app in 9th grade?!

I made a game called Sky Climber which is pretty similar to Doodle Jump, but I thought it was the next big game. It was pretty tough to make since I didn’t know about existing frameworks or APIs that were commonly used to build games (like Cocos2D). I had to write a bunch of code to simulate several principles of physics from scratch. Forgetting the cheesy plot and annoying 30-second disco music loop, the game was actually pretty fun to play. I also changed some of the code for when you beat the game but never tested it. Only after it was released did I learn that the game crashes when you win. The funny thing is that I know no one beaten it because I never got any crash reports!

Who or what inspires you?

My parents emigrated from South Africa in their mid-20s to a country with no family or friends, shared meals to save money, and positioned themselves to provide their children with the best education possible. My mom worked while pregnant, and my dad had to redo a lot of work to carry over his medical certification. They chose to leave in order to provide my older brother and me with opportunity, and now my job is to take complete advantage of the opportunities provided to me and prove to them that their big decision paid off. I’d like to think I’m on the right track, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

Speaking of your parents, what do they think you do?

Oh, man. My mom thinks computers work like magic, so I guess that makes me a magician!

What’s your favorite restaurant in your city?

It’s super touristy, but Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream is the best I’ve ever had.

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

I would love to play in just one pro soccer match with some of my idols (Iniesta is my #1). I wouldn’t even have to play in a match. I could just go to a practice. The team would probably (definitely) cut me before the day is up.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Groupon worships cats

I’m more of a dog person

I still love it here

Groupon World Headquarters

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

Preetam…senior at CMU & first-time west coaster

Preetam…senior at CMU & first-time west coaster

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2016! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience tackling challenging problems and working with our teams.

Who are you?

Hey! My name is Preetam Amancharla. I’m an Associate Product Management Intern with the Redemption team. I’m originally from Bangalore, India and currently a rising senior at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Electrical & Computer Engineering with a minor in Computational Neuroscience. Also, for the past 2 summers, I was part of a research group at CMU working on voice recognition for a tutoring app. Given my background, you might be wondering why I’m interning as a PM…

Why Product Management?

I like making decisions about various aspects of a product. When reflecting on my previous experience, I enjoyed leading and coordinating different elements of a team. Lastly, I wanted to see something that I envisioned come to life; being a PM allows you to do exactly that!

Tell us a little more about your team.

The primary goal of the redemption team is to encourage customers to use their Groupons. The mantra of the team is basically “Buy, Redeem, Repeat”. When a customer has a good redemption experience, they are more likely to buy a Groupon again. We also help customers with poor redemption experiences, such as expiration (when a customer misses out on redeeming their Groupon). My team works on several different products to solve that issue.

Redemption is the core value proposition when it comes to a customer’s relationship with Groupon. It is a critical aspect for the company. I truly believe in the importance of a good customer experience while redeeming a Groupon. This probably comes as a result of being surrounded by people who care about what they’re doing and want to make an impact.

(Preetam and Amrut presenting for an Intern Lunch & Learn session)

What specifically do you work on?

I can summarize my summer into two products:

First, I’ve been working on a pilot project which helps users with expiring vouchers get more time to redeem. When I joined Groupon, this product was already going through the initial testing phase. My main priority has been to optimize the product which means ensuring that more people successfully engage with it. In order to do this, I specifically focus on notifications and product placement to tell users about the program while making sure they have a seamless experience.

Second, I’ve been working on incorporating the Redemption signal into our Relevance engine based on the time of day and day of week. Without going into too much detail, this project thinks about optimizing redemption from the point of deal discovery. If you can use it now, why not buy it now? I’m really excited to be working on this because it involves building something from the ground up and the integration of my own ideas into a core part of the company!

What have you done outside of work this summer?

This summer is my first time on the west coast so I’ve been very eager to explore. After experiencing a wide range of activities, I am a now massive fan of the Bay Area. My favorite memories include visiting Dolores Park and Panther Beach (which is by far the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen!). Also, one of the best intern events was playing Bubble Soccer! Let’s just say that I overexerted myself, but ultimately it was a really fun time with fun people…which coincidentally is a also how I would describe my internship with Groupon – a really fun time with fun people!

Abby & Jinting: Michigan seniors on the Application Security Team

Abby & Jinting: Michigan seniors on the Application Security Team

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2016! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience tackling challenging problems and working with our teams.

Who are you?

Abby: Hi! My name is Abby Grobbel and I am interning with Groupon this summer! I will be a senior at the University of Michigan. I am studying computer science engineering with a minor in German language.

Jinting: Hey! My name is Jinting Hayter.  I am also a senior Computer Science student at the University of Michigan. This summer, Abby and I are on the Application Security (AppSec) team in Chicago.

Tell us about your team!

Abby: The AppSec team focuses on reviewing code and conducting tests on Groupon’s site to ensure secure implementation, as well as handling security threats and researching better ways to implement security. AppSec communicates with the rest of the engineering teams throughout development.

Jinting: I couldn’t have said it better myself. You might not typically hear that much about the security teams within Groupon, but we’re here and we’re important! There’s also this thing called ‘Red Team,’ which is where the security team does penetration testing and tries to exploit security flaws in Groupon’s website. Abby and I have been familiarizing ourselves with some hacking techniques over the past couple weeks in preparation for that.

What are you working on this summer?

Abby: I’ve been involved in building a web application to manage the security status of all of Groupon’s internal applications. Rather than manually sorting through over 500 applications, it gathers data from Groupon’s central repository and presents the team the most crucial applications that need security audits. Each application can be ‘grabbed’ by a member of the application security team and when the security check is done, marked as secure. Not only does this streamline the workflow for performing security audits within Groupon, it also allows the team to better visualize the scope of all vulnerable applications within Groupon and the team’s progress over time. It integrates a few different tools the team currently relies on, primarily a tool called Codeburner, which runs each application through a pipeline of tools to reveal security risks. Beyond just this project, discussing ways to remediate vulnerabilities and being included in the team’s discussions of new ways to improve security has been a great learning experience.

Jinting: I’ve also been working on the project Abby described in detail above. My role has been primarily integrating Codeburner into the dashboard, receiving burn data for a given service and sending it to get scanned for vulnerabilities by the Codeburner application. Another really cool project I’m starting to get  involved with is the Groupon Online Defense dashboard. Very simply, Groupon Online Defense manages web traffic to identify abusive actors by IP address. The dashboard is actually only one of three parts that make up the system – the other two parts being Behavioral Modeling and Repsheet. AppSec is mainly responsible for maintaining the dashboard, the UI component of the system, which allows users to view the status of the system in addition to manually submitting actions. It’s a very sophisticated and complex piece of software and I’m super excited that I have been given the opportunity to work on it!

What is it like working at Groupon?

Abby: So far everyone at Groupon has been extremely welcoming and willing to offer help and guidance when I need it. The quirky atmosphere makes coming to work everyday exciting and all the different events for engineers throughout the week definitely encourage a learning environment. It’s amazing being able to work for a company which consistently invests in the development of its employees.

Jinting: Ditto to what Abby said. Working at Groupon has been really awesome so far! Everyone has such a great attitude all the time and treats the interns like they would treat anyone else who works at Groupon, nothing less. I really enjoy working with my team as well. We all have great chemistry and help each other out when we see each other struggling, all while making sure we’re still having fun and not taking things too seriously!

Any highlights this summer?

Abby: For me, my summer highlights have been our architectural boat cruise of downtown chicago, attending the Pride Parade with Groupon’s float, and enjoying the many amazing places to eat in the city with the Groupon Chicago tech interns.

Jinting: So many! Getting to know the other interns and goofing around in the city has been really fun. Just a couple days ago, a bunch of us went to Taste of Chicago, and a couple weeks ago, we marched in the Pride Parade. P.S. 10/10, highly recommend. It was truly an amazing experience.

I recently started a program with the mission of getting the engineers in the Chicago office to get to know one another a bit more, in a casual setting. Essentially, teams are paired each week and are encouraged to grab lunch together, have interesting conversation, and maybe even learn a thing or two about how the other team operates. I was given the opportunity to pitch my idea to all the engineers at one of the weekly ‘Hello, Chicago!’ tech all hands meetings, and I got an overwhelmingly positive response. Over 24 teams have signed up so far! It began as a little idea, but with the help of my manager, I was able to reach out to the right people and the rest is history. My advice for future interns is just to be loud with your ideas and visions. You never know, it could really take off!