Title: Senior Manager, Finance
Location: London, UK
Preferred pronouns: He/Him/His
Originally launching his Finance career at Groupon headquarters in Chicago, Jesus now calls London home…where he’s on the hunt for the best all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse. #GrowAtGroupon
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
“So this is what fast-paced really means…” I noticed from day one that Groupon employees are very passionate and believe they can have an impact on the company. At Groupon, anyone can share their ideas and opinions, and you are motivated to take ownership of your career and to always challenge how things are done and how they can be improved. Groupon also strongly believes in helping out the communities they are part of, and puts a lot of emphasis on volunteering (through Groupon Volunteers) and provides plenty of opportunities for you to give back and help others.
Where were you before you joined Groupon? What brought you here?
I was working at Victoria’s Secret (no, I was not one of the Angels). I was part of the Commercial Finance team supporting the e-commerce segment of the brand. Groupon recruited me through LinkedIn and from the first conversation, Groupon seemed to be a very interesting company with a startup mentality but with resources to invest in the future. It looked like an organization where I could grow and learn new things in a company that believes in innovation and is focused on constantly improving. Plus, living in Chicago sounded very tempting.
So tell us about your job! What do you do?
As a member of the Goods Finance team, I partner with the rest of the Goods organization to ensure we are able to attain our financial targets. Through analysis, forecasting, and business cases, I help our buying and operations teams focus on what can be done to deliver great products to our customers through a great experience while making sure we hit our financial goals. Finance plays an important role in helping connect different areas so that initiatives are aligned with the company’s overall strategy.
Can you talk about the different roles you’ve had in your time at Groupon?
I spent my first two years in the North America business in the Chicago office as part of the Goods Finance team. It was a great experience where I constantly learned new things and got to see how the team and company improved significantly in the way they conduct day-to-day business. In October of this year, I transitioned to the London office to support the EMEA Goods team. It’s still too early in my journey, but I can already see some of the complexities of dealing with more than one country and different currencies. Looking forward to this new challenge.
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?
During my first month, we had to build an operational P&L of our Marketplace business to help support the case for ramping that part Goods. I was very new to the company and information was not easy to get (in some cases, it didn’t exist), and with a tight deadline, it was definitely a big challenge to accomplish the goal and help support my business partners.
Who or what inspires you?
People who are passionate and believe in improving the processes they find when they start a role and who are able to maintain a positive attitude during tough times. Also, Heather Wilson, Senior Financial Analyst for Goods and co-chair of Pride.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
The Goods business is the entry gate for a large portion of Groupon’s new customers, so making sure they have an excellent experience when they purchase a product is key for keeping them coming to our site, engaging with Groupon, and discovering everything we have to offer (Goods, Local experiences, Travel, Coupons, etc.). Finance’s role is to make sure we are focusing on the right things while achieving the financial goals that allow Groupon to keep investing towards becoming a daily habit.
Your role probably exists at other companies, so what is it about Groupon that keeps you excited to come to work every day?
Groupon’s fast pace keeps you active and looking for ways to add value to the business. There is not a typical day as the impact analysis can have is almost immediately as e-commerce allows you to implement changes very quickly. It is also great to be part of a company that is always thinking of new ways of doing business and that takes risks rather than keep doing what they have been doing for years.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I broke my nose when I was 11 and the doctor who “fixed” it did not do the best job and since then my nose is not straight. A lot of people don’t notice it until years after knowing me.
What advice do you have for someone interested in joining Groupon?
Groupon is a place where you will definitely learn new things and improve your professional career. You can take ownership of your career and even have the opportunity to move to different roles within the company.
Can you talk about your involvement with Groupon for Latinos?
Groupon for Latinos started around the same time I joined the company. When they sent out an email with open roles, I saw there was a Finance chair available, and since I spend my days on spreadsheets I thought that couldn’t be hard and it would be a good way to meet people from other areas of the company. After joining, I quickly noticed that these employee groups are led by really passionate people who commit a significant amount of their time in putting together different activities to impact Groupon’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
A very good experience was participating at Mole de Mayo, a street festival organized by a local organization that Groupon partnered with as part of the Discover Downtown program to promote local neighborhoods. Groupon for Latinos’ members and other ERG members volunteered their time from Friday to Sunday to help promote Groupon at the festival. It was great to see how people took time from their weekends to help spread out what Groupon is, and do it with a great attitude and having fun.
What’s your favorite local business?
In Chicago, Kingston Mines! I probably bought 5-6 Groupons to go see live blues there. I don’t know who owns that account, but that sales rep needs to work on bringing them back to the platform. In London, it’s still too early to tell, but there is an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse that looks like a good candidate.
Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.
I would say Q4 2017 as it was a record Q4 for Goods in North America. Entering the most important quarter of the year, where a day represents a week in a normal month, we knew we had some strong headwinds and that achieving our financial target was going to be very challenging. The entire Goods organization worked really hard months in advance to be prepared, and then the team’s execution throughout the quarter was great. The team focused on the important things and delivered results that were above our targets. It was really nice to be part of that team and see people step up and excel.
What do your parents think you do?
Keep in mind that Groupon doesn’t exist back in my country.
Now, the conversation will go something like this. My dad will say, “Jesus sells coupons,” and then the other person will reply, “But aren’t coupons free?”
Luckily, I’m able to explain that I’m part of Goods and that business is easier to understand than telling people about vouchers and card-linked offers.
You probably have a life outside Groupon; what keeps you fulfilled outside of work?
I like traveling and sports. In my first month and a half in London, I have already gone to six football matches, but don’t worry, this is going to slow down or I’ll be broke before Christmas. :p Also, I enjoy going to the beach (real beach, not Chicago’s “beach”). I grew up in the Caribbean, which meant good weather all year round and the possibility to go to a nice beach with just a 40-minute drive.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
The guy that stands next to a DJ at a party with a mic or the person who introduces an artist at a concert. I would love to get the crowd going and say, “hayyy partyyy.” On a more serious note, I would like to be a doctor and help someone recover from a serious illness. That has to feel good.