Wendell – Business Development Representative

Wendell – Business Development Representative

WENDELL WALKER

Business Development Representative – Health, Beauty, Wellness
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

Teammate Superlatives!

When he’s not busy closing merchants for one of Groupon’s biggest vertical, he’s busy creating music videos in his head. But really, we just want to know where he got that amazing coffee mug.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I would have to say, my favorite Groupon memory was the day I graduated from the GroupOnboarding program. My boss gave me a pretty cool shoutout, letting everyone know I kept him up to date on all the hip lingo the kids were saying these days.

Who or what inspires you?

I would definitely have to say my mother is my biggest inspiration. Growing up, she always stressed the importance of setting goals and working hard to achieve whatever it was that you wanted. She pushed me to become involved, whether it was with sports, volunteer efforts, or mentor opportunities, and she stressed the importance of never giving up. She’s quite the go-getter actually, she puts me to shame!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Upon walking in, I couldn’t get over how diverse and laid back the atmosphere was. I saw people enjoying coffee together, coming in and out of conference rooms for meetings–it all seemed so natural to me.

Most importantly, what’s your favorite conference room name?

Tell us about your involvement with Pride@Groupon.

I joined Pride@Groupon because I think it is a fantastic opportunity to network with people from all different aspects of the company. I also think it’s great to have a sense of support when you work in such a large company. I recently moved here from out of state, so it’s nice to be able to connect with people who share similar interests to you. The Pride Parade is coming up and I cannot wait to walk with Pride@Groupon!

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

If I could do another job for a day, I would definitely be a creative director for music videos. A really weird fact about me is I’m constantly creating imagery for every song that I listen to, and I listen to music a lot. I always share my ideas with my friends and then I’ll have them listen to the song again right after I tell them, and 9 times out of 10, they are like, “WHOA that was spot on!” Other times they’re like, “You’re really weird Wendell.” I’ll take the 90% though!

“I believe what makes my job here at Groupon different from other companies with sales positions is that people here truly believe in the product we’re selling. You can hear the passion in the tone of the people surrounding you.”

What makes selling Groupon unique?

So many people come from completely different backgrounds, and everyone’s selling style is different, but its almost like a melting pot. I am able to pick up various nuggets of knowledge and strategies from people on my team, the sales trainers, and my manager. I truly love that about this company.

What does your mom think you do?

When I told my mother I got an offer to work for Groupon she said, “Ah, so you’ll work at a giant coupon factory!”

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

The dial tone starts

A sweat bead forms on my brow

Sigh, straight to voicemail

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I spent 3 months traveling alone in Europe, with no phone, and I didn’t lose any luggage or get anything stolen! I also got to spend Bastille Day in Paris, which was one of the coolest experiences I think I’ll ever have.

Pride@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Pride@Groupon’s double-decker presence in 2017’s Chicago Pride Parade

Pride@Groupon’s double-decker presence in 2017’s Chicago Pride Parade

Groupon takes pride in fostering an inclusive work environment. All year long, Pride@Groupon—our LGBTQIA-focused Employee Resource Group—strategizes and executes on initiatives that benefit both LGBTQIA-identifying employees and merchants alike. June, aka Pride Month, is obviously an exciting time of the year for Pride, as each year Groupon participates in Pride parades across the globe. This year, in Chicago, Groupon employees marched through Boystown in a psychedelic-inspired double-decker bus, which boasted a mural illustrated by one of Groupon’s own designers, Bert Fanslow.

Nathan Bean, Pride’s current Communications Chair, helped to organize and execute Groupon’s presence in the parade. “I love working at a company that is all about inclusion and diversity. Being in the Pride Parade was a great way to show that to millions of people.” The most memorable part of the day, though? “The first turn the bus made as we entered the parade was amazing. As we made it, the crowd lit up with excitement. It was a wall of noise that brought a giant smile to my face. Looking at all the people who were having a blast just being around people they loved was astonishing.” Visit Aaron Bean Cinema to view more photos from Groupon’s parade presence.

While Pride month and the accompanying parades are definitely some of the biggest events of the year for Pride@Groupon, there are myriad other projects and events they have throughout the year. Below are some upcoming events for the Chicago chapter of Pride@Groupon:

September 22: WERQ Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair

October 1:  AIDS walk

Q3: Volunteering event serving dinner to LGBT and homeless youth at the Center on Halsted

Click here to learn more about the Employee Resource Groups at Groupon and how they’re positively impacting their local communities or follow us on Instagram @GrouponCareers to see more photos and boomerangs from Pride celebrations across the globe!

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!