In this day and age, there aren’t many chances to be the first person to do something. Unless you’re an undergraduate student joining Groupon for a summer internship in the year 2021…. well, then you get to be part of our first-ever virtual intern cohort!
Groupon University was thrilled to welcome 20 technical interns to an entirely virtual summer internship experience this year. But, even though they were together only via Zoom rooms and Slack, things still looked pretty similar to our traditional internship program. Interns contributed to and owned projects, worked closely with teammates across the organization, and got hands-on with Groupon’s tech stack.
“This was an exceptionally engaged group – from thoughtful outreach and interaction with leaders, to the friend groups they formed, the regional meet-ups they had where possible, and lastly – insightful final presentations about their work,” said Christine Stone, Groupon’s Global Head of PMO.
“It’s clear they worked in material ways with our tech, building on their academic training. They were connected to each other, other Grouponers, and our business. I’m thrilled to have this talented pipeline complete their academics and return to us.”
The intern planning team also gave interns a crash course on how to Grab Life by the Groupon through several virtual events, like escape rooms, mug-cake baking class, office olympics, and games and trivia. Lunch and learns, vertical and cross-company mentorships, and company-wide all hands were also part of the experience, rounding out interns’ 12 weeks on #TeamGroupon.
So what was life really like for our first-ever virtual intern class? We sat down with them to get their thoughts, opinions, and impressions. Check out their answers below!
TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR PROJECT…CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF WHAT YOU WORKED ON DURING YOUR 12 WEEKS AT GROUPON?
I was lucky to work on the shared experience feature on the deal page during my 12 weeks. The shared experience is a feature that incentivized users to share a deal with friends in return for Groupon Bucks. I was able to develop the front end for the different scenarios that occur within the deal page.
I was uniquely integrated as a developer and got to participate in each step of the product lifecycle from picking up tickets to watching my changes go live on the app! I got to develop, pair program, research, and explore & code on almost every page of the app.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE VIRTUAL EVENT?
My favorite Lunch and Learn was the one given by the Data Science team. The Lunch and Learn went into what data science is and career tips on how to advance in the field. I enjoyed this one because I am interested in data analysis and found it to be informative!
I really enjoyed all of our social events and Lunch and Learns! I loved our Escape Room activity, virtual scavenger hunt, and public speaking seminar.
My favorite Lunch and Learn was hearing various senior leaders’ experiences at Groupon! It was really interesting to hear their stories and be able to have conversations with them and ask questions! But all of them were great and I learned so much from them.
LAST QUESTION. THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW: WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT GROUPON’S INTERNSHIP PROGRAM?
I was surprised by the opportunities I was given to contribute to my team, as I quickly began working on real products and features relevant to the overall team goals. This was really helpful in getting me quickly acclimated to the environment, and learning more about the overall Groupon architecture.
What surprised me the most about the intern program was I really could just talk to anyone as long as I set up a time on their calendar. During my last week, I had the chance to talk to the Director of Information and Application Security Engineering at Groupon. The conversation was very productive and the Director was able to answer all my questions.
I was recruited through Grace Hopper, so I expected a higher ratio [of female technology leaders] than at some other companies but was still surprised at the sheer number of strong females in technology at Groupon. Experiencing it and getting to know my coworkers, especially through the “coffee-buddies” slack channel, was an amazing experience.