Works and Days

Groupon, Reed Winter Externship, Max Joslyn

Max Joslyn, junior linguistics major, participated in a Reed winter externship with Groupon, an online commerce marketplace operator.


I spent five days externing at Groupon. My daily routine looked like this:

 6:15. Wake up. Shower quickly to ward off accidentally falling back asleep. Get ready to go.

7:15. Leave house. Walk up a hill on a winding road which has no sidewalks. Wait for the bus.

7:53 to 8:45 Ride bus.

9:00 to 12:00. Meetings.

12:00 to 1:00. Lunch.

1:00 to 5:00. Meetings.

5:00 to ?. Bus home, which took a long time if I got lost, but about an hour otherwise.

?-8:00. Eat dinner cooked by wonderful hosts (parents of a fellow Reedie.)

8:00-?. Read. Sleep.

Although I spent quite a lot of my time in the meetings, I can't say too much about their content, because I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement the first day of the externship. Therefore, all I can do is give an overview.


Our externship sponsor, Eric Herrmann, is the head of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a subdivision of Marketing. After the initial briefing with him, all our meetings were with the heads and team members of other subdivisions on the same level as Eric's. The subdivisions work on different parts of the overall problem, which is improving Groupon's ability to market efficiently.

My career interests include entrepreneurship, software engineering, and data science. On each of these, I was able to get advice from at least one employee we met with. Multiple employees had previously founded companies or worked closely with founder-CEOS, and I am confident that their advice in that category was solid.

I can say confidently that my peek into Groupon's inner workings was a positive experience. I knew almost nothing about business structures going in, so even at worst I gained a ton of knowledge about how a well-known company runs this part of its operations. At best, I saw an example of what professional life could be like if I work on the right skills and work for a certain breed of company -- even if marketing in particular is not for me. I left with a positive impression of their environment and a clear understanding of how the concepts I'm studying are put to work by businesses.

Tags: winter externship, commerce, online, data, marketing