Pride Panel & Office Tour: Lindblom Math & Science Academy’s Gay-Straight Alliance

Students and teachers of Lindblom Math & Science Academy’s Gay-Straight Alliance will be joining members of Pride@Groupon for an office tour, lunch, and an engaging panel discussion.

Lindblom’s Gay-Straight Alliance–formed to fill a gap that existed in Chicago’s South Side–has been actively engaging students, teachers, and administrators at their school to spread awareness and encourage meaningful conversations around ways to become allies and advocates.

Groupon is thrilled to have Lindblom at our World Headquarters, and proud of the work they have done!

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

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

STEPHEN GARVEY

Project Manager, Recruiting Operations
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011 & 2014

Stephen is one of Groupon’s “boomerang employees” who left and returned shortly thereafter due to missing the people and culture. However, he could’ve come back more quickly if he had been on that hoverboard…

Who inspires you?

My wife is an ICU nurse, so she literally deals with life and death situations every day. It amazes me that she’s able to continuously head in and deal with that. It’s really helpful to have that reminder that while our jobs at Groupon are challenging and can be stressful, it’s not life and death. We’re just trying to help make life fun for our customers.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought that the office was really big. At the end of my first day, I got a little lost and ended up taking a staircase that let me out in the custodial area. I had to walk around in there for a while before I found someone who could let me out.

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

My role is to work on systems and processes that are used by our recruiting team. I’m helping make their jobs easier so they can go out and find the best talent to add to Groupon.

So why did you leave Groupon then come back?

I received an offer from another large company that seemed like a logical next step in my career, and I felt that it was too good to pass up. However, I was definitely reluctant to leave Groupon. I ended up staying in the office until 7 pm on my last day because it was so hard to say goodbye. In the end, the things that I missed the most about Groupon were the people and the energy of the office. There’s definitely a sense of team and community that just doesn’t exist everywhere. I was back within three months of leaving.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Groupon, Love Local – –
Just making life less boring – –
A great place to work!

What’s your proudest accomplishment while working at Groupon?

I recently worked on a project that was tasked with onboarding our entire global recruiting function onto one unified Applicant Tracking System. It was a completely new challenge for me and I learned a lot. It has been really exciting to see some of the wins that have come from that project.

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

I would love to spend a day as the New York Mets mascot, Mr. Met. Everyone loves him, and it seems like he has a wonderful giant baseball-headed family. It’s a real fairy tale.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

My first job out of college was as a production assistant on the set of a very classy reality show called “I Want to be a Hilton,” starring Paris’ mom, Kathy.

Nominate a teammate (or two) for a superlative!

Groupon World Headquarters

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 it’s 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!