Name: Jason S.
Job Title: Senior Discover Management System Improvement Coach
I’m a Senior Discover Management System Improvement Coach. What that title really means is that I’m an internal business consultant. I coach executives and their teams on business agility and problem solving so we relentlessly improve and deliver value that exceeds our customer’s expectations.
When I tell people I work at Discover, it surprises them that I didn’t start out with a background in Finance. I graduated from the University of Chicago with dual degrees in Psychology and Philosophy. It’s an even greater shock when I explain how I’ve put those degrees to use. My psychology classes had a focus on research and statistics. Those skills allowed me to apply my education towards analyzing trends in consumer behavior and designing operations strategies. My philosophy classes included ethics and logic, which helped me tremendously in leading the consumer complaints program and designing various technical solutions to help agents better service customers.
Pursuing broad interests
My parents always said that I was born with broad interests. In my 13 years with the company, I’ve enjoyed career opportunities in 9 different positions across 2 different locations. My interests have led me into operations, strategy, application design, project management, program management, analytics and agile transformation. I think it’s easy to love your career when you’re given so many opportunities.
From day 1
I knew on my first day that I made the right decision to work at Discover. Being here and working with so many bright individuals motivated me to go back and earn my MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. If it weren’t for the culture at Discover, I may have never been able to explore so many professional sides of myself. Our culture supports learning and exposing people to new and engaging challenges to help career growth.
Bring your noisemakers
I always look forward to the Pinnacle of Excellence event. This annual event is how we recognize the absolute top performers across all of our call centers. They’re all flown to headquarters outside of Chicago, IL to celebrate their hard work. In the welcome ceremony, headquarters employees fill all levels of our rotunda. We greet the winners with music, announcing each person’s name on loud speakers and with noisemakers. This event is near and dear to my heart. Although I haven’t worked in the call center for many years, it’s great to see people who I’ve managed in the past or coached recognized for such a great achievement.
Let curiosity lead the way
I once managed a large enterprise project that was very complex and started with seven different teams. There are so many diverse functions at Discover, which makes it easy to lose sight of how all of the teams are interconnected. On this project I allowed my curiosity about all the various teams’ processes lead the way. This curiosity helped me uncover some critical requirements that would have otherwise been missed. Ultimately the questions I asked also led the core team to ask additional questions too. In the end, we modified the scope of the project, completed it on time, and the end result was better than where we would have landed without our curiosity.
Focus on developing leaders
Our employment experience is different because we have a greater focus on leadership skills at all levels. I participated in the management development program early in my career at Discover. I’ve been a mentor in a number of different employee resource groups such as Young Professionals Organization at Discover (YPOD) and Black Organizational Leadership at Discover (BOLD). The supportive environment we have here is one of the reasons I’ve been able to establish great relationships that allow me to leverage my leadership skills and help develop others.