For most people, the daily-deal guru Groupon presents a world of opportunities for discounts on restaurants, spas, getaways, and other cheaper ways to have fun. Although simple and resourceful to use, the work behind-the-scenes of the popularized company requires a lot of planning and collaborating.
Julia Anaya, a rising junior at Northwestern shares her invaluable experience with landing a position as an intern for Groupon. Her responsibilities include adapting to a fast-paced job in the technological industry with a gratifying role in a company’s nonprofit sector.
Anaya, who is a double major in communication studies and international studies, began her internship search back in December. Anaya realized big companies with more structured programs begin taking applications early.
“Groupon definitely jumped out to me,” Anaya said. “They had a bunch of different positions posted, and I had some friends who I knew had really liked the program,” said the San Francisco native who opted to stay in Chicago for the summer instead of returning home.
She turned to Northwestern’s career services for assistance, and she found their aid to be especially useful when approaching a large-scale company. “As much as you might get annoyed by being on their listservs, things like mock interviews and reaching out to their resources are helpful when going into an interview that might be intimidating,” she said.
Anaya stressed the value of trusting two additional sources when applying for an internship: yourself, and any connections that you may have within the industry.
“College students get stuck with what they think they should be doing,” she said. “Pay attention to your feelings about where you should be.”
Once you feel confident about pursuing a position, do not hesitate to ask for advice from people who have experience in that field.
“If you know someone and you’re interested in what they do, ask for more information,” she advised. “People like to be mentors and are going to help you as much as they can.”
Anaya passed the application process with flying colors, and has since found her niche within the company.
“Being really familiar with Groupon itself and all of its competitors, along with how everything works, was a benefit,” she said. “Growing up in this generation, I’ve been around the demand for instant gratification that comes with technology.”
Through her internship, Anaya has explored the charitable nature of corporations by working with Groupon Grassroots, the company’s philanthropic branch.
“We work with nonprofits to set up campaigns that work the same as other deals on Groupon,” she said. “100 percent of proceeds go to those organizations.”
Two-folded work experience is not the only advantage that Anaya has encountered while working for Groupon. “I had always kind of heard about Groupon’s fun atmosphere and young culture, which definitely was right on point,” she said.
While an internship with Groupon could lead Anaya in various directions, she has certainly built a solid foundation for a long-term career focused on social responsibility. “It’s definitely encouraging to me as someone entering the workforce and developing my own work ethic,” she said. “I feel spoiled that this is my first exposure to the corporate environment.”