Veteran’s Day 2017

Veteran’s Day 2017

GROUPON FOR VETERANS

10 November 2017

Honoring the Grouponers who have served our country

This Veterans Day, we’d like to recognize a few of our veteran employees by sharing their journey from the military to Groupon. Continue reading to learn more about four Grouponers from our veterans employee resource group, Groupon for Veterans.

The mission of Groupon for Veterans is to educate the community on Groupon’s core values and desire to give back to those who have served and continue to serve. Our goal is to draw on the professional skills associated with military service through active marketing and community engagement. Groupon for Veterans has an open membership that includes veterans, those currently on active duty, their families, and anyone who supports those who serve our country.

 

Jake Coffman — Physical Security Specialist, Intel Analyst [Chicago]

I joined the Marines out of high school in 2001 following the attacks on 9/11, where I was forward deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as a Combat Engineer.  When I separated in 2006 from the Marines, I completed my ungrad in Political Science and International Studies from Northern Illinois in 2010.  Upon graduation, I began working in Aon’s Risk Solutions department on their traveler security management/crisis response team before moving to iJET Integrated Risk Management out of Annapolis.  This past January, the ultimatum of a move led me to look elsewhere — which lead me to an opening with Groupon that fit well with my professional experience and kept me in Chicago.  

 

Landon Starr — Network Systems Engineer [Chicago]

Growing up, I always wanted to be around airplanes — so naturally I joined the Air Force and was made a Network Engineer. I’ve spent the last 6 years serving between the active duty Air Force and the Air National Guard, with some of that time spent in Afghanistan, Qatar, and South Korea. Since leaving active duty in 2015, I spent time at two different schools, Illinois State University and Parkland College, where I studied Network Management and Aviation. The transition from the military to life as a full-time student wasn’t the easiest thing, and after a lengthy job search, I was fortunate enough to find my calling here at Groupon. I’m a Network Systems Engineer, and I work with a great group of people. My team, and Groupon as a whole, has been super helpful and welcoming and I look forward to working towards our 2020 goals!

 

Nicholas Rohr — Business Development Representative: Health, Beauty, Wellness [Chicago]

Most of my family was in the military at one point or another. My grandpa was in the Marines and went to Korea, my mom was in the Air National Guard, other aunts and uncles were in the Marines and Air force both active duty as well as in civilian roles. Needless to say, I also grew to like the idea of joining the military. After high school my grandpa gave me some words of wisdom which swayed my decision of joining the Army or Marines to instead joining the Coast Guard back in 2006. I was stationed in Kodiak, AK and Honolulu, HI with some training in Petaluma, CA. I ended up becoming a cook and that carried over into my civilian life after I got out. I moved to Portland and worked at Castagna Restaurant, before moving to Chicago where I worked at Little Goat and Lula Cafe. When my son was born, I wanted more stable hours and started selling meat to restaurant for a few years. Then I applied to Groupon for a sales role and have been having a blast learning a new industry in Health, Beauty and Wellness.

 

Sonny Sran — Business Development Manager: Health, Beauty, Wellness [Phoenix]

Ever since I was a little boy, I knew I wanted to be a United States Marine. My younger brother and I would buy fake camouflage and toy guns from the store and pretend to be Marines shooting at cars for hours until the Ice Cream truck would come. It was no surprise to my parents when I showed up to our home with two Marine Corps recruiters begging them to sign off on paperwork allowing me to enlist at the age of seventeen and go to basic training upon graduation. I did just that and after about a year of training all over the United States, I became an Aviation Ordnance Systems Technician for helicopters. Essentially, my job was building and handling missiles, bombs, and explosives — in addition to working on all weapons systems associated with attack helicopters. I was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in  2009-2010 with HMM-364, and I deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010 and again in 2011-2012 with HMLA-369. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA when I was not forward deployed. I completed my four years, and three weeks later, I became a full time student at Arizona State University where I majored in Political Science. Halfway through my senior year, I began working at Groupon because I thought my military benefits were going to run out and even after graduating I stuck around because I enjoyed the culture and excelled in the role I was in.

Natalie Vas – Business Development Representative

Natalie Vas – Business Development Representative

NATALIE “CaptaiNat” VAS

Business Development Representative – Things To Do
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2015

As aspiring guitarist CaptaiNat approaches her 3-year anniversary, she takes us on her Groupon voyage from the early days of our Phoenix office to now.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite memory is probably our grand opening party for the new Phoenix office. We had a photo booth where everyone had a blast dressing up for pictures, and a surprising amount of people in our office have killer karaoke skills. (Just not me!)

Who inspires you?

My DSM Grace inspires me! Anytime I’m frustrated or upset, she reminds me to stay positive, keep my head up, and believe in myself no matter what.

What’s your biggest accomplishment here?

The thing I’m most proud of about my time here at Groupon is how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown since first joining. I came from a customer service job (which I didn’t particularly enjoy), and when I first started at Groupon I didn’t necessarily have concrete sales experience. I was around before Groupon’s Sales training program was built out, so we only spent one week training before I made my first call. The training at that time was “trial by fire,” but it worked out for the best because that’s how I learned to be more confident on the phone! I was the prime example of “fail forward.” Our manager always encouraged us to “just do it” anytime we were afraid to call a merchant.

It can be really hard when people tell you “no” all day, but all of those “no’s” have helped me learn how to be more confident both on the phone and in real life, too! Fast forward to today: I’m coming up on my third-year anniversary, and I’m so proud I’ve been around to see this office grow from using iPhones to where we’re at today.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I love being on the TTD (Things To Do)  team because we are getting people to check Groupon first for really awesome and unique things like brewery tastings and festivals…..or even pole-dancing classes!

 

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I was in the third hiring class in Phoenix, so when I first started, we were all in this tiny room making calls on iPhones. My first impression was, “oh man, what did I get myself into!” But, I was blown away by how great everyone was, and how committed we were to building out the Phoenix office into what it is today!

What differentiates Groupon from other companies with Sales teams?

A bunch of my friends work at other companies doing very similar jobs, but at the end of the day, they don’t have the office culture we do! What makes Groupon so special is a little bit of everything. It’s not just the people, but all the crazy contests and spirit days we’re always doing! Cold calling businesses and sales, in general, is not always the easiest job, but playing Catchphrase, having our weekly Wednesday Breakfast Club, team outings, and all of my coworkers keep me sane during the harder days. Plus, our Halloween costume contest was pretty amazing.

What do your parents think you do?

A direct quote from mom: “you sell stuff to people, like on that show ‘The Office’ right?” – close mom, close.

Are you involved in any of Groupon’s ERGs?

Yes! I’m a member of PRIDE@Groupon.

Why do you participate in PRIDE@Groupon?

I joined PRIDE@Groupon because it’s a cause that’s close to my heart. I want to be a part of anything we can do to create more awareness and support!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

My personal goal for Q4 is to learn how to play one song on the guitar. I’m already halfway there!

Give us a glimpse of your workspace:

Natalie’s desk aka “organized chaos”

 

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would be a unicorn trainer, because who wouldn’t want to hang out with unicorns all day?

Pride@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Anita – Business Development Representative

Anita – Business Development Representative

ANITA MAZKOORI

Business Development Manager
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2016

If you ever come across a deal for a llama tour in the Phoenix area, be sure to thank Anita. She’s determined to win over a llama farm just as much as she wins in Catch Phrase.

What are you most proud of so far?

I worked on an account for almost a year before it closed and it was by far the account I’m most proud of! I built a relationship with this merchant, met with him in person, and waited as patiently as I could for him to come around. It was well worth the wait once it went live and I even bought the Groupon once (ok, twice)! Persistence is really half the battle.

How do you keep work fun?

CATCH. PHRASE. Totally bragging about my Catch Phrase team here….but we don’t joke around. It’s serious.

Who or what inspires you?

Obviously, my mom. She’s almost 60, smiles all of the time, and has a super positive outlook on life. She’s the most compassionate person I’ve ever met. Also, honorable mention goes out to Beyonce. Because, Beyonce.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

It’s so laid back, and there was so much LaCroix! At my last job, we had a $6 fee each month to be in the “water jug club,” so unlimited LaCroix was awesome. On a side note, there are tons of really pumped, incredible, and inspirational coworkers.

“I love the Groupon marketing platform. It’s really cool to work for a company that only makes money when the marketing works for the business.”

What do your parents think you do?

Our conversation via text:

Me: “Mom, what do you think I do at work every day?”

Mom: “Whatever you do in your life, do it with honesty, integrity, and best intentions. Love, mom.”

Are you involved with any ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)?

I’m a member of Women@Groupon. Whether it’s women in sales, leadership, or outside of G2, it’s been inspiring to see women play a vital role in the direction of the Groupon’s future. A few months ago, Women@Groupon’s Phoenix chapter hosted an event that brought women from various backgrounds and companies together for a happy hour. I really enjoyed learning about the goals and roles of local female entrepreneurs.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I was really lucky to have the opportunity to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia from 2011-2013 (a country in Southern Africa). I taught and managed an After-School program and learned so much from the resilience of the kids I worked with!

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be?

I’m a huge animal lover. If I could have any other job, I’d own a llama farm and do llama tours full time. I’m on the Things to Do Vertical, and I’m always chasing farm tours. It’s been my dream to close an account that does llama-walking tours. I think it would crush. I’m not kidding.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Smiling and dialing

I’ll call back in the morning

Objection overruled

Women@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Jabril – Sales Trainer

Jabril – Sales Trainer

Way back in 2015, Jabril was six months into his career at Groupon working as a Business Development Associate for our Memphis market. Fast forward to 2017, he’s now at Groupon’s newest office location in Phoenix, Arizona training the newest waves of southwest Sales Reps.

Since last checking in I’ve been promoted to Sales Trainer as part of our Sales Training and Development team. I’ve been training new Business Development Sales Reps as well as helping out with our continued education program. I was on the team in Chicago when I learned about the job opportunity to become a trainer for our Phoenix office. After understanding how they were utilizing the training program to develop reps and grow the new office, I decided I wanted to be a part of that.

The Phoenix office is slightly different from headquarters in Chicago; since it’s a much smaller office everyone is a lot closer and the culture has a family feel to it. Still, like Groupon overall, we have a very vibrant culture where everyone works hard and tries to learn from each other. Every individual has the ability to make a huge impact on the office camaraderie and I feel we all take advantage of that. I moved out here on January 1st of 2017, and just in that short window of time, I’ve seen the training program evolve quite a bit. We’ve been able to adjust the continued education program to support a wider range of more tenured sales reps, and we have made the new hire process more interactive and engaging for those who are just joining Groupon.