Ashley’s seven years at Groupon have seen her change roles from Customer Service to Risk Operations, and changes sides of the Atlantic from Chicago to Dublin. Here she talks about her career growth and watching Groupon evolve along the way too.
Tell us about your Groupon story so far.
I have been with Groupon for almost seven years, so I’ve got both a green and a black jacket. I began my journey in the Chicago office as a Customer Service Representative back in June of 2011 and crossed into Risk Management into 2013.
I currently handle Risk Operations mainly for North America but am incorporating our international markets now that I am in the Dublin office. I ensure that the front line Risk Management team has clean and current processes with other stakeholder departments, so it’s a lot of coordination and training. I also maintain Risk’s ticketing system and ad-hoc systems requests. I have gone from an individual contributor to a manager and then back to individual contributor again. Although my path has been wonderfully non-traditional, the level of professional and personal support I have received from my manager and the director of Risk has been immeasurable.
What’s the secret to success at Groupon?
I would have to say tenacity or a tenacious person. You can’t be afraid to get down in the dirt and go for what you want. You have to take ownership of your work and your career. It can seem daunting, especially if you are unsure of you want or you are in uncharted waters but the type of person who excels here will be courageous enough to step back, evaluate what’s needed for them to plot their course and right their ship (excuse the weak metaphor, I’ve been listening to a podcast about famous pirates today).
What is Groupon like as a workplace for women? Does it feel like a diverse, inclusive space?
I am more than pleased to say I have watched Groupon transform into a diverse, inclusive space. It is really a privilege to be able to see your company do some self-reflection and say “Is this the best we can do?” As a woman at Groupon, I comfortably speak up, stand on my own, take up space, and watch as more and more accomplished women are filling leadership roles to carry us forward. I am also pleased more of our male colleagues are doing their bit to be allies and help promote equality in the workplace.
“As a woman at Groupon, I comfortably speak up, stand on my own, take up space, and watch as more and more accomplished women are filling leadership roles to carry us forward.”
How significant is it that we are launching Women@Groupon?
It’s incredibly significant that we are launching Women@Groupon and I am excited to be a part of it. I hope it will be a source of support and inclusion for current and future employees. I hope it will also serve as resource as we build our name outside our doors, specifically within local schools and our larger community.
What does your mother think you do?
Hahah! My mother thinks that I do something complicated with our systems, so she is partly right. She knows I plan and plan and plan and then teach people about my plans. She says I am good at that and I’d say she’s probably right there too!
When I applied for a Customer Service job in 2011, I had no clue what I was getting into. The US, much like the rest of the world, was recouping from the economic downturn and Chicago was no exception. I was out of work and was weeks away from completing my last class for my Masters in Business Administration. I landed the job at Groupon and figured, I’d start at the bottom, learn the company, and work my way up. I finished my degree two weeks into my CS training.
Over the last seven years, I worked really hard and my career took off. I learned so much I couldn’t have anticipated. One of the biggest things? You are only as good as the people you work with. It sounds corny and I feel like most people say this, but it’s true: I’ve met people who became my closest friends. We’ve watched each other meet their partners, get married, have babies, celebrated birthdays and holidays, leaned on each other through break-ups, divorce and death. Three years ago, I went through one of the toughest times in my life, but they were there for me just the same. They were there for me when I met my partner and decided to embark on a two year long distance relationship between Chicago and Dublin. And they were there for me, this past year throughout the transfer process as all the business logistics and personal aspects came together. I miss them dearly, but I am very happy to be in the Dublin office and I can’t wait to find my next set of people!