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Discover Interns Tell All: Behind the Scenes in Our Internship Program

This summer we welcomed nearly 150 interns into our technology, analytics, and general business internship programs. Hear from this year’s emerging talent about the moments when they “leveled up,” the best advice they’ve received, and why they chose Discover.

Ashley DeLarm
Data and Analytics Intern
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: she/her

Advice that’s resonated with me is, “don’t be afraid to ask for help.” I used to have a hard time admitting when I was stuck. That changed at Discover. Here, everyone is willing to answer questions and help wherever they can— both with larger projects and daily work. So much of our everyday work is done through collaboration. A lot of the projects that I’ve worked on have been assigned to a pair or a group of us. Even individual work is easier to get though when I have someone to brainstorm and problem solve with. People on my team frequently reach out to check on my progress and meetings are always ended with “let me know if I can do anything for you!”

My biggest “level up” moment in college was when I got my internship offer from Discover. I got the call while I was in the airport. It was my first big internship so it made me feel like all of the studying and late nights had been worth it. This is now my second summer internship here with Discover.

Odin Verdin
eBusiness Intern
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: He, Him, His

Being an Economics major, I never expected to be working within a marketing department. Here I am, well into my internship, and I now have a basic understanding of marketing. That’s because I live by the advice, “never stop learning.” Growth requires the willingness to be uncomfortable, and that’s where the real learning begins. I’ve only been able to expand my skills because of the connections I’ve made this summer. Everyone at Discover wants to see people succeed and improve themselves.

Alexa Atout
General Business Intern, Balance Transfer Portfolio Marketing Team
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: She/Her

In taking an internship, I wanted to make meaningful connections. I’ve definitely been able to achieve this goal at Discover with the help of my managers, team, advisors, and peers. I meet interns in my area (as well as across other business sectors) on a weekly basis. I’ve also attended numerous coffee chats where I’ve received valuable advice and learned about new projects, roles, and more. The best advice I’ve received was, “never stop asking questions.” Remaining curious and asking questions has allowed me to develop my educational, personal and professional growth.

Jack Otto
Business Technology Intern
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: He, Him, His

When I was younger, I wanted to be in a hands-on job when I grew up. Over the years, I went from wanting to be an architect, to an engineer, to landing in software engineering. From the outside, software engineering doesn’t seem to be “hands on,” but it really is. With every problem comes an infinite number of solutions. That’s what makes computer science so much fun— it really lets your mind wander because there’s not just one right answer to a problem.

I’ve gotten lots of advice from my college coach over the last few years, but something he’s said stayed with me, “If you’re scared of something, you should do it. You’re only scared of the consequences and how they affect people around you, but this life is yours and at the end of the day, if you don’t have any regrets, then it doesn’t matter what happens.” I’ve used this piece of advice often in recent years. Any time that I’ve been hesitant to do something, I think about what my coach said, and it allows me to take the leap of faith.

Sean Coughlin
Business Technology Intern (Digital Payments)
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: He/Him/His

A big moment in my life when I grew exponentially was when I went through my first “pull request” at Discover. Any new development work is done in separate branches before being integrated into the main branch. The process of merging code is called a “pull request.” Going through my first pull request at Discover and seeing code I wrote merged was an amazing feeling. It was the first time that I felt like a professional software engineer.

As a software engineer, I find it easy to get lost in delivering code. Something this internship has taught me is the importance of the bigger picture. Focusing too heavily on one piece of code is a mistake that can lower productivity. This lesson is even true more broadly. Being a good employee, student, and person is not the result of a single day’s effort. The culmination of habits creates success (and not the other way around).

Discover has been a fantastic chance to gain exposure to software engineering and the financial services industry. An important part of any internship experience is the learning opportunity. The people at Discover have delivered on that learning opportunity. Everyone here is always open to helping others learn and grow in their careers.


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