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Newlywed. Mathematician. Card Operations Analyst.

Name: Ralph T.
Job Title: Analyst, Credit Operations & Decision Management

From intern to teammate

I started my career at Discover as a college intern. The Discover application on my college’s job board stood out as I had just recently received my Discover it® Student credit card in the mail! The experience was amazing—I learned a lot from my fellow teammates and manager and enjoyed my experience so much it was an easy choice to join full-time.

Support every step of the way

The culture of support and mentorship from all the people I have worked with over the past two years has been priceless. It was much easier to jump straight into my first job out of college with a network like this, along with the Analytics and leadership skills I learned from so many of my peers. Being my first role outside of college, it was incredibly rewarding to have their guidance and support.

 Prepared for today and beyond

Discover offers tons of opportunities to enhance your growth and professional development. The culture values developing the professional skill set of their employees and you can see that day in and day out. I know the people I work with not only care about the advancement of their own career but also take an interest in benefiting the careers of those they work with. I have had the opportunity to sit down and learn from so many people across so many departments, which has led me to become a well-rounded, informed team member who can contribute to the success of the business.

Improving our customer experience

My team works with text data from our chat and messaging customer interactions, along with unstructured data sources to improve operational efficiency across all of Card Operations. We also leverage conversational intelligence to analyze each type of interaction that our customers have with Discover to measure and improve customer experience. I find the work we do very rewarding, every day we focus on improving the way our business operates as well as leveraging Analytics to enhance our already award-winning customer experience.

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The Journey to Transformation

 

Name: Kevin C.
Job Title: VP, Operations, Data Analytics and Collections

I was born and raised in Trinidad and came to the United States for college. Outside of work, I enjoy running, traveling, and being a foodie but my true passion is playing the piano. In 2014, I released an album of some of my original arrangements. I also love to learn and often want to get into the details of how work is executed. Anyone who works with me knows I like to “observe the work” in action because work for me is also a learning-journey.

From learning to giving back

Prior to Discover, I worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG ) a global management consulting firm. A BCG colleague working at Discover encouraged me to apply when I was looking for new opportunities and the rest is history!

Overall, my Discover journey has been very entrepreneurial. From creating and re-inventing talent management programs to building Lean and Risk capabilities to transforming operations, technology, digital journeys, and data – I am always challenged to create and constantly learning.

Discover has great training programs, most recently, I have been extensively trained on our management approach (i.e. Discover Management System or DMS) that combines the best of Lean with leadership behaviors – I consider this not just an investment in the company’s future but also my own professional development.

I’m my true self

As an immigrant, minority and LGBTQ representative I have always been an advocate of diversity out of necessity.  At Discover, we combine the diversity of our experiences with an obsessive focus on the customer to create sustainably winning experiences.

Our difference is…

Prior to Discover, I worked in investment banking and consulting.  Discover is definitely the most collaborative culture I have ever experienced and the focus is always about getting to the end-state “together” and leveraging the best of the team.

The change

I manage a team that leads operations, technology, digital journeys and data transformation for Discover Bank supporting 4 businesses: Deposits, Student Loans, Personal Loans, and Home Equity Loans. I am also responsible for collections and recovery strategies for Personal Loan and Student Loan portfolios with over $17BN in outstanding receivables. Finally, I am leading an operational excellence initiative that is improving how we do agile development, incident management and more!  I know my team makes a meaningful impact and that makes it exciting work. There is no typical day and that’s what makes it so fun. Come experience it for yourself!

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From Intern to Full Time

Name: Spencer Y
Job Title: Associate Software Developer, Business Technology

I went “orange” in more ways than one

I graduated from Northern Illinois University (NIU) in December 2018 with a degree in Computer Science. When I am not at work, I like to spend my time outside doing just about anything, like watching the Chicago Fire soccer team, scuba diving and bike riding.

During my last semester attending NIU, a new initiative called code_orange was launched. This program provides tech-savvy students with opportunities on the university’s campus to help research and develop new technologies for Discover. I was among the first group of students that was given the opportunity to work in this lab.

Working in the code_orange program was one of the best experiences in my college career. When our team received our first project, we only given a description and milestones for the app we were to build. It was up to us to decide how it should look and work. This led to learning new technologies like React Native and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Not only did we increase our technology skills, we became better collaborators by improving how we worked within a team environment.

All semester Discover brought in different presenters from Amazon, Pivotal, and Solstice to talk about enterprise ideas like agile methods, paired programming and using AWS tools. After joining Discover full time, I have continued to attend company Lunch-n-Learns about next generation technology topics.

A Place I can be myself.

Working at Discover gives me freedom and flexibility to be myself. The way teams are structured, everyone is open to new ideas and listens to what other people say. I have had two different experiences at Discover, working in the code_orange lab, as an intern, and working full time; both were different than attending classes at NIU. At school, most homework is completed on your own, but at Discover, everyone is willing to answer questions when you’re stuck or provide feedback on your project.

I’m surprised a FinTech company can be so flexible

One benefit that surprised me is the flexibility of where you can work. The code_orange program had an open seating layout where we could sit where we wanted with our team and we were allowed to work around our class schedule. As a full-time employee, I enjoy the flexibility of being able to work at headquarters in the suburbs, our 606 location (downtown Chicago office) or working from home depending on the situation

How is your work and the work of your department meaningful?

When working at code_orange, I was on an agile team that included students as well as a project owner and a technical mentor who were both full-time employees. The tech mentors and full-time employees were there to help guide the team and answer questions. My team worked on creating a mobile app that would allow users to find and collaborate with other users using Bluetooth technology. It was satisfying to know we were helping others to be more productive.

Currently I am working on the Discover Android and iOS mobile app team. We support and create new features to provide Discover customers a great user experience while on their mobile devices. Typically the day starts out with our team stand-up to check in, plan new features and raise potential issues. Then the rest of the day normally consists of development and testing of new features with a lot of collaboration throughout the day.

Every day, the Discover Mobile app is improving with the focus of providing our customers the best mobile experience to manage their Discover accounts.

A message to you

If you are thinking about working for Discover. Go for it! Discover has good people and is a great place to work.

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Show up authentically: A Fearless, unwavering helper

Name: Diane R.
Job Title: Card Operations, Department Manager

Efficient, Effective, and Engaging is the difference

I am currently a Department Manager in Credit Operation. My passion is helping people become the best version of themselves. I am able to provide leadership and inspiration for my team leaders, team coaches, analyst and mentees. It takes great pains to assess and learn from every success and setback, but recognizing each as an opportunity to develop, cultivate, and strengthen relationships within the work place is critical. This can create an environment where employees feel they can effectively challenge change and grow. What is most salient to me is being able to use research and data to drive decision-making. This is reflected in the successes of my department. My team leaders are knowledgeable; they know their analyst; and together we are efficient, effective, and engaging. I absolutely love what I do. Each day is an opportunity to learn more and give more back.

I landed and made an impact

I joined Discover Customer Service and Engagement in 2012 as an evening team leader. I was also an active committee member with the Aspiring Professionals Program, a development program focused on creating a more diverse, high-performance management team.  My enthusiasm and focus on results leadership contributes to the overall success of this program.

A quality education can open up doors.

I am fearless and unwavering in the certainty that every student is capable and deserving of the opportunities that college success affords. The highlights of my career since joining the organization, was not the countless hours of work, but helping analyst, Team Leaders and Team Coaches alike sign up for the Discover College Commitment. Each person has a unique story to share which inspires someone else to take the commitment. Greatest experience ever!!

“Be Your True Self”

As an African-American, Lesbian woman it takes courage, commitment, and bravery to be able to show up authentically and bring all of who I am to work. I am humbled to work for an organization that embraces both recognition and appreciation. Recognition is positive feedback based on performance. Appreciation is about recognizing the value of people. When we do both of these things and we separate them out, people feel valued, appreciated, and seen which allows for greater trust, connection and performance.  This among many other reasons is why Discover was awarded one of the best places to work for LGBTQ community.

  We Treat You Like You’d Treat You. It’s more than just a commercial. It’s our culture, every single employee has a stake in the company’s success.  Discover understands its employees are the most valuable players and we operate in a way that puts our collective goals ahead of individual glory. This almost sounds too good to be true. I felt the same way initially, too, until I realized how Discover provides eligible employees and their families with outstanding benefits: health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, 401(k) match, 16-weeks paid parental leave, plus many, many other benefits.  I work for an organization where every level of management takes pride in building stronger relationships through every interaction. Our management staff are approachable, employees have access to the CEO, CFO, SVPs, VPs, etc. Our leaders are not sequestered away from the employees of the organization, but share suites with the employees. Even remote workers have access to every level of our leadership team. At Discover, I discovered that I am more than a number, I am an integral and valued piece of the puzzle.

Make a “real” difference and join our team, discover.com/careers[i].

[i] Equal opportunity employer/disability/vet

 

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Oakland Raiders Fan and Pinterest Fanatic

Naomi Miller

Name: Naomi M.
Job Title: Card Operations Team Leader

The road to Discover.

In 2004, we were relocating from Texas and while driving into Phoenix, I saw the Discover logo on the side of the building. I knew that is where I wanted to work and did not bother applying with any other companies. I am thankful after 15 years to still be here—I definitely made the right choice in picking Discover.

A rewarding customer experience.

I love my job! I work in PayPro, our process service to our customers who have the Payment Protection benefit. What is unique about our process is we are able to help our customers that may have a life-changing event and then activate the benefits. It is rewarding to hear relief in a customer’s voice when they realize they qualify to have their payments placed on hold during a challenging time.

Finding myself through team leading and development.

Without the professional development classes and programs that I have had the opportunity to attend, I could not have had the experience I have had over the years.  I am grateful to the department managers that challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and to take advantage of my development. By taking that leap, I successfully became a team leader.

When I became a team leader, my passion for helping develop people brought out my true self. I enjoy investing my time in helping my agents with their career path—I work with some pretty amazing people on my team and our department overall. When I come in to start the day I make sure every day that I say hello to each and every one of them. I feel that I make a difference internally by being passionate in developing employees. Seeing other people become successful in reaching their goals truly makes my job worth it. When I see how far they go, I feel like I had a small part in their journey. I have been able to serve on the PALS (Peer Advisors Leading Success) Committee and the Excellence Committee, mentor team coaches and, currently, I am a chair for our Asian Professional At Discover APAD Employee Resource Group (“ERG”)—to me, this is where I find that I can make a difference with my employees.

Striving for excellence.

What is great about working for Discover is that there are so many opportunities for recognition. My goal was one day to win Pinnacle of Excellence, one of the most distinguished award a Discover employee can receive for displaying outstanding leadership. This was not an easy task as I learned along the way. I stayed focus, worked hard and most importantly, accepted feedback as a gift. Taking those gifts and making changes made me a better person and employee. I was chosen for Pinnacle of Excellence in 2015; this was a truly amazing experience!

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Every day I look forward to advancing the platform my team is working on

Name: Danny L.
Job Title: Scrum Master, Business Technology

I have always been interested in the intersection of people and technology so I pursued a degree in Business Information Systems with a minor in Spanish from Illinois State University. I feel that my background as a first generation Mexican American enables me to bring a different and valued perspective to our agile team discussions. In my spare time, my hobbies include soccer, gaming and traveling. My favorite soccer team is Atletico de Madrid and watching them play at home while backpacking through Europe was a highlight of the trip.

I first heard about the opportunities at Discover during high school and after my junior year in college, I was very excited about being selected for the summer internship program. One of my favorite memories occurred when I was attending an intern luncheon. We were talking about our current projects when our CEO at the time, sat down next to us! We discussed hobbies and interests and we were all captivated when he talked about his plans after retirement and childhood anecdotes. He was friendly and transparent. When he thanked us all for being a part of Discover, I realized that this was the corporate culture that I wanted to join.

What are some of the benefits of working at Discover?

One of the benefits I’ve really enjoyed are the strong connections made as an intern. Despite this being my first job out of college, I’ve never felt overwhelmed. Thanks to my incredible internship experience, on my first day of work at Discover, I already had a large network of peers. This source of support has been extremely valuable and we continue to keep in touch and meet up regularly.

How is your work impact Discover overall?

As the team’s Scrum Master, I help the team perform at their highest level by eliminating distractions so our engineers can focus on the high priority deliverables. We’re currently rolling out a new iteration of our event handling platform that makes it easy for applications to publish and subscribe to real-time events. I work with the team, product owner and stakeholders to create a roadmap of deliverables. Internally, I also coach the team on agile best practices to keep everything running smoothly.

Every day I look forward to advancing the platform my team is working on and that feeling of accomplishment and belonging is something I want everyone to experience. I am a big supporter of the culture at Discover and am always proud to direct people to www.discover.com/careers where they can find an opportunity that’s a fit for them.

Interested in working in Business Technology?

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Working for a “win-win” impact

Name: Basia P.
Job Title: Director of Credit Risk Analysis

I attended Northwestern University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Math and Economics. I came across an opportunity at Discover on Northwestern’s career search site.  With degrees in Math and Economics, I was looking for a place where I could put my analytical skills to use in business. I joined Discover as an entry level associate in Credit Risk Management.  16 years later, I’m still here and still loving it.

My entire career has been at Discover and I owe this to the wonderful management team I’ve been lucky to work with. With the help of my managers, mentors and peers, I was able to develop first the business expertise and then the leadership behaviors that allow me to be successful in my role today. I’ve held progressive positions in various areas of Credit Risk Management in card, personal loan and student loan teams.

What does a typical day on your team look like?

Almost every day we have interactions with partners from other departments such as Marketing, Finance, Operations or Technology. Cross-functional collaboration is key to success and we understand its significance to Discover. Usually, I also have several checkpoints with my functional team where we review the current state of the business and updates on projects like balance transfer promotion eligibility.

Working for a win-win impact.

I had an opportunity to work on revamping the customer initiated line increase request process. It was a great example of a project where credit strategy went hand-in-hand with process and customer experience; we were able to design a process that enhanced customer experience through automation and shortening processing time; while also improving credit risk controls and bottom line profit to Discover. It was a win-win outcome for Discover and its customers!

 As important as our work is, the people we do the work with are even more important to me. At Discover, we foster openness and respect both towards our customers, as well as amongst our colleagues. We create a comfortable workplace where questions and opinions are welcome and addressed with proper attention.

 Discover takes care of its people.

Working at Discover is a blend of demanding and challenging projects, while being flexible and understanding of work/life balance. I’ve been able to change roles and teams every few years to keep learning and challenging myself. Additionally, Discover offers wonderful family benefits including generous paid parental leave, which I’ve recently had an opportunity to take advantage of.

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Columbia College Alumnus. PRIDE ERG Member. Lead Marketing Programs.

Michael O

Name: Michael O.
Job Title: Project Manager, Global Marketing & Marketing Chair, PRIDE Employee Resource Group

How does your role contribute to the company’s goals?

Within Global Marketing, we strive for acceptance—for merchants locally and globally to accept Discover (and our partners) as form of payment. When joining this team back in 2008, this was the challenge I was most excited about—why would anyone turn down a form of payment?

Diversity beyond a marketing campaign

I value and appreciate the diversity here at Discover—race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age (millennials to baby boomers)—I see all these when I’m at Discover. Not only do I see it and value it, Discover, as a whole, also appreciates and values it. Walking through the halls is like walking down a street in Chicago—every type of person is here and welcomed.

The greatest experience I’ve had at Discover has probably been my work within the PRIDE Employee Resource Group (“ERG”) at Discover and marketing our Discover it® Card featuring the pride colors to the LGBTQ community. As a gay Discover employee (and cardmember, of course), I want the whole LGBTQ community to know how much Discover supports us. I really like the authenticity of our LGBTQ marketing—I see it as a FOR US, BY US campaign, LGBTQ Discover employees reaching out to the LGBTQ community. These marketing initiatives and ideas didn’t come from the ‘Big Dogs’ in the corner office… it came from the hearts of the LGBTQ employees.

Value comes from being your true self

Because of the overall diversity at Discover, I felt I could be my true self at the office—that I wouldn’t be judged or graded on for being gay. I’m lucky, even in 2019, not everyone can feel this way. When you walk into work not being your true self, you aren’t WHOLE. Your managers and co-workers, they are only getting maybe 60% of YOU. You don’t present as well, you don’t share your ideas because you’re worried your true self will be discovered and judged. When you can walk into work as your true self, you present better, you think in ways your managers and co-workers may not be thinking. And this is what every company needs—every employee walking in being their true Selves and sharing their ideas.

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Marathon Runner Keeps Her Feet on the Ground and Her Hands in the Cloud

Name: Heather M.
Job Title: Senior Manager Cloud Engineering

I would describe my role as a passionate Cloud solutions evangelist, student and enabler. I am keen on identifying efficiencies, targeting cloud capabilities and automation to drive value. Outside of work, I am part of the first Discover onsite MBA cohort, site coordinator and coach for Girls on the Run, lover of running (more than 10 marathons completed, including two Boston Marathons) and almost anything fitness related. I’m also a proud mama of three!

 

What’s a typical day for you at the office?

We start each day with a short stand-up (i.e. 15 – 30 minute meeting) to review our sprint work for the day. Sprint work is the work we’ve planned in small increments/sections.  Each team member shares what they worked on the day before, plans for today and where they may need help. As a Development Operations team, we build and test the capabilities that will allow consumers to drive desired outcomes with our customers. We are a peer-program, which means we collaborate on ways to fix problems, build new features, or find solutions to give our customers the best experiences. Any given day is split between supporting our platforms, building new capabilities and helping our team mates. Let’s not forget, we constantly talk through future needs driven by our consumers or product roadmaps.  This helps us plan the work into future sprints.

 

How have you been able to “Be Your True Self” at Discover?

In my current role, I have been empowered to lead, fail and grow each and every day. Failures are perceived as opportunities and we take risks to get better. We band together and truly embody a blameless culture. Without learning to fail, we fail to learn.

 

Also, my management is understanding of the need for work-life balance and supports the flexibility needed to manage a team in a growing space alongside the demands of raising a family and being an active member in the community. I’m passionate about fighting human-trafficking and have founded a charity 5K run in my town to raise awareness and funds to help restore the lives of victims.

 

Interested in working in Business Technology?

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Rise above that…

Bailey

Name: Bailey
Job Title: Credit Bureau Disputes Representative

“My family has always been lower class, working blue-collar jobs, and living paycheck-to-paycheck,” says Bailey Schunn, a Credit Bureau Disputes Representative in our Phoenix office. “My goal has always been to rise above that.” For Bailey, rising above means earning a bachelor’s degree. She believes this is her gateway to a more stable career. “Something my dad always said is that you do the things you have to so that you can do the things you want to. And for me, getting a degree is something I have to do. It’s the next step for what I want to do in life,” she said.

False Starts

For first-generation college students like Bailey, earning a bachelor’s degree is easier said than done. Research shows graduation rates are significantly lower for first-generation students. So with limited exposure to the benefits of a secondary education degree from family, and the contributing factor of cost, pursuing her degree felt overwhelming.

After high school, Bailey started at a local university. To finance the education, she paid $5,000 out-of-pocket and accrued $10,000 in loans in her first year. She ultimately decided it wasn’t financially feasible to continue. She tried again a few years later, enrolling at a lower-cost community college where she was able to earn her associate’s degree.
But, this still wasn’t the goal she set out to accomplish. “For the longest time, it felt like I was never going to be done with school. There was such a barrier to entry,” she said. She asked her grandmother if she could move in with her to save money to try again. That’s when everything changed…

​Removing Barriers of Entry to Higher Education

In May of last year, we announced our newest education benefit – The Discover College Commitment. By offering a full ride to select online bachelor programs degrees for eligible employees[1], this program removed the financial barrier to entry that kept Bailey from achieving her goals. “I’ll be honest with you, I think I almost cried,” she said.

Bailey wasted no time applying.

Knowing this was her chance to complete her degree, a few reservations remained. “I had this fear that I was going to be bad at it – not having those study habits or not knowing how to navigate the system. I’d never taken online classes,” she said. She acknowledged her doubts but didn’t let them stop her. “The fear of the unexpected is what creates that scary feeling. Once you’re in it, all of that fear goes away. “Bailey’s now in her third term of online classes at Wilmington University, one of three top-recognized universities offered through The Discover College Commitment. Throughout her experience, she’s found online learning to be more accommodating than traditional classroom learning, and no longer has to worry about commuting to school on top of her already busy schedule. With her sights set on a 2020 graduation date, Bailey’s earning her degree in Software Design and Development – and, she’s well on her way to a promising career in tech. “I haven’t even finished my degree yet, but my education is already opening doors for me to advance my career,” she said. “I can’t even believe that I’m in school, honestly. It seemed out of reach for so long — it’s crazy that it’s actually happening.”

[1] Only U.S. employees classified as a full-time or flex part-time employee (“Employee”) are eligible for this college education benefit, which covers tuition and required supplies, books and fees after grants and student aid have been applied. Employee must be in active status, in good standing with the company, receive a “meets expectations” during the most recent performance rating and maintain a 2.0 grade point average or higher. Employees terminated from the Company are required to refund all covered tuition, fees, and reimbursements received within 24 months prior to the Employee’s last day of employment.