5 Questions. 5 Minutes. 1 Employer. This week: Noelle from Groupon.
I am the Events Manager at Groupon. If you aren’t familiar with Groupon, we are a daily deal website that features something cool to do at an unbeatable price (50%-95%). You have 1 day to buy the deal, and in most cases a year to use it. Groupon is in 90 markets in North America, 29 countries and has more than 20 million subscribers. What I do is plan awesome appreciation parties/events across the country for our subscribers and merchants. On any given day, I could be planning anywhere from 2-5 events – securing the location, choosing menus items and entertainment, or working on guest lists. Post-event analysis also a part of what I do on a daily basis. I travel at least twice a month, so I also could be on-site at one of our events, making sure people are having a great time. While many people think that event planning is all about the party, there is a lot of work that goes into even a simple event. Groupon events are actually a form of strategic marketing, helping us communicate with our customers and grow brand loyalty while creating some added hyper-local buzz.
2. Did you have internships while in college? Do you feel your internship experience ultimately led you to where you’re at today?
The summer between my junior & senior year in college I interned at Edelman Public Relations here in Chicago, in the Sports & Entertainment Marketing department. Even though I do not currently work in PR,I do think that having internship experience – especially at a respected firm like Edelman – helped get me to where I am today. Regardless of what I was working on,the fact that I was able to take part in large scale campaigns was a huge asset when it came time to apply for jobs after college.
3. What can an intern do to really standout and impress his/her manager?
At Groupon, we really value the entrepreneurial spirit, so bringing up new ideas or suggestions for how to make something better are always appreciated and noticed. In the events world, organization and the ability to multi-task are keys to success, so I also really appreciate organization – in everything from the structure of an email to how an event is executed.
4. What is the worst thing an intern can do on the job?
Not have enthusiasm. Especially today, there are hundreds if not thousands of other people who would LOVE to have an internship…so if an intern doesn’t seem excited to be here, he/she shouldn’t be.
5. What is the future of your industry and what do you think a student can do to position him/herself to start a career in your industry?
The events industry is fairly new in the grand scheme of careers. In the past, a lot of companies left the event planning to an administrative assistant. Today Event Management is a multi-million dollar industry (and growing), touching everything from product launches, fashion shows and weddings to seminars, concerts and press conferences. I see this only continuing to grow, especially as our economy strengthens. My advice to any student interested in a career in the Events Industry is to get as much experience in as many types of events as possible, and be involved in the entire process too – from concept design to risk management to post-event coverage. I almost forgot – vital to an Event Manager’s success – you have to be able to keep a smile on your face and make everyone in the room think that things are going 100% as planned, even if your event is headed for disaster. If you stay calm, chances are no one will notice that anything is going wrong.