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Oakland Raiders Fan and Pinterest Fanatic

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.

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…

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.

 

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This Product Owner Doesn’t Own a Cookie Cutter

Name: Daniel
Job Title: Product Owner

When I was first starting out, I considered many career paths including being a pilot. However, in the end, I chose to study Information Technology, and that’s where I discovered my passion for the latest and greatest technologies.

While in college, I supported the school administration, school board, and president. I then had the opportunity to transfer my skills into developing custom technology solutions for retailers. These leadership interactions and problem-solving experiences allowed me to make the move to Discover and support the executives and board members. Over the last six years, I’ve found that every role has helped prepare me for greater responsibility and success in the next position.

Outside of work, I am a proud dad to a one-year-old daughter, and, in my downtime, I enjoy music, learning how to play new instruments, and watching or listening to Chicago Cubs games (I’ve been a die-hard fan since I was 12-years-old!).

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

Before joining Discover, I thought the leadership made most decisions in a large company. However, my experience here has been quite the opposite.

There’s truly an open door policy here at Discover.  Employees are encouraged to ask questions, offer input, and voice ideas—it’s ingrained in our culture. From day one, I have been able to voice ideas to leadership all the way up to the executive team.

How do you make a real difference at Discover?

With our new Working Smarter initiative, a program which introduces collaborative tools to help drive productivity and efficiency in our open workspace. I feel we have really hit on something that is making a difference.

For example, I strive to offer technology solutions that provide the best experience possible without impeding the end users ability to get things done. Also, I’m given the flexibility to collaborate with each department to help me understand how each team works. Rather than a cookie-cutter approach, this collaboration allows me to provide unique solutions tailored to each team’s needs. Seeing everyone’s positive reaction gives me confidence that personalized solutions work and are making a real difference at Discover.

What are some of the benefits of working here? Is there anything that surprised you?

The 401k match is extremely competitive. Plus, as a new dad, I was able to take two weeks paid parental leave to adjust to my new family life. Finally, our generous paid time-off policy and our great medical coverage have led me to brag about our company benefits to all my friends!

What would you say to someone who wants to work here?

Discover functions as a large technology company that helps people find financial freedom. I love being part of an organization that is proactive and competitive in the Fintech space. We don’t react to the industry; we are trendsetters and are leading our industry in technology advancements and customer experience.

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Linking machines to learning.

Name: Suvadeep
Job Title: Senior Manager, Data Science

I manage analytics efforts for paid search and media channels for card acquisition. For my PhD dissertation I worked on the big bang machine in Geneva, Switzerland that led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. After working at Fermilab for eight years, I decided to make a career move and join the exciting world of data science. That led me to the position of Data Science Manager in the Supply Chain and Optimization team at Sears Holdings Corp. Two years ago, I was hired at Discover to run a data science team to provide advanced analytical solutions for different businesses.

 

How has Discover helped you in regards to Professional Development?

The open ambience at Discover fosters collaboration. Working with various business units gave me a broad knowledge about different functions within the Discover ecosystem. After being part of the Analytics Lighthouse leadership team, I started directly interacting with Card Marketing Acquisition and have been involved in determining the long term road-map. Lighthouse has given me the exposure to work directly with senior leadership, which sharpened my communication and conflict management skills, and ability to handle crucial conversations. I consider these to be key elements in shaping my professional development.

Tell us about a great experience you’ve had so far here.

Prior to joining Acquisition, I’ve gotten to work with three different business teams—card operations, credit risk and card member assistance—a highlight of that was a visit to our Lake Park office in Salt Lake City, UT. I went on a live call listening program with a team of analysts from Customer Service & Engagement. I got to see how the field agents handle complex calls with ease. At that time, I was working on a machine-learning model to score customer call qualities using recorded transcripts from historical calls. The live listening and interaction with the field agents offered a fresh perspective to what the business really needs. During the trip, I could connect how the work I was involved in can make a difference in improving our cardmembers’ experience.

 

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

We are constantly pushing boundaries by seeking cutting edge, best in class technology to drive operational efficiency and speed to market. Having adopted the Discover Management System (DMS) principals, our department is building capabilities within teams and empowering members to make key decisions.  My team is playing its part in having an immediate impact towards driving profitable growth through paid digital channels and improving our customers’ journey through personalization.

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Passionate person who loves to win…

Name: Jessica M.
Job Title: Team Leader

I started at Discover in June 2013 with the Military Work-at-Home (W@H) program at Dover Air Force Base (AFB) in Dover, Delaware in the second class and there were only 24 of us in the entire department back then! I started as an agent taking inbound application calls and I loved it! Shortly, I became a mentor for our new hire classes that were coming out every other month. Then I became a coach in 2014. A few months later, I was promoted to team leader and had the chance to run my own team.

Tell us about a great experience you’ve had so far here.

I participated in military hiring events held at the base and at Del Tech Community College to grow the Military W@H program and share my personal testimony of the awesome program we had. I left the Acquisitions Military Department in 2016 to go to high volume transactors in Cardmember Service & Engagement, but was still able to stay on the Military W@H expansion projects at Dover and our newest one at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. As a military spouse for 12 years, I was able to make valuable connections at McGuire AFB in New Jersey, Shaw AFB in South Carolina, and Dover AFB in Delaware.  Currently, I’m working with Wilmington University, to launch a training space to conduct new hire classes for Military W@H employees at the McGuire AFB.

How do you feel you have contributed to the “Make a Real Difference” message at Discover?

I served as a co-chair for our employee resource group Honoring Military and Veterans (HMV) for 3 years and in that time I was able to participate in several outreach programs besides hiring. We helped to renovate a house for transitioning veterans in Middletown, DE, started and hosted 3 Holiday Lunches for the Veteran Affairs home in Milford, DE, as well as countless hiring efforts.

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

As a passionate person who loves to win, getting the chance to drive results every month and be recognized for it, is something I live for. I feel a strong sense of pride that my company has won J.D. Power so many times and I want to continue to help them achieve this.”

*(Discover was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies by J.D. Power 4 out of the last 5 Years).

How does this experience compare to other jobs you’ve had in the past?

They care, simply put. Discover believes that happy employees promote a happier work environment and better results. Discover empowers employees to be their true selves and encourages continuous professional growth.

What are some of the benefits of working here? Is there anything that surprised you?

I was the first Team Leader in the entire company to manage their team 100% remote, and from 3 states away! My whole team, including my coach, works from home anyway so it wasn’t too much of a change for them. Only seeing them a few times a year makes the times we are together more like a family reunion then a team gathering. My department manager Veronica, and director Jeff, have been so accommodating to me being states away. The biggest benefit to being at Discover is the work/life balance that they support for their employees!

*Discover received the highest score in the J.D. Power 2014-2016 and 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Studies of customers’ satisfaction with their primary credit card. Visit jdpower.com/awards

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“Why would I say no?”

Name: Gunwantha

Job Title: Senior Cybersecurity Analyst

While in college, I became interested in cybersecurity and ethical hacking as a career so I was talking to anyone and everyone that was hiring. I had a job offer lined up when on a whim I talked to a Discover recruiter in the computer science building about cybersecurity. The ethical hacking role didn’t work out but I ended up interviewing for a role on the Security Intelligence and Incident Response Team and Discover extended me an offer. The job required less travel and involved work that I had been studying to do. How could I say no?

How does this experience compare to other jobs you’ve had in the past?

This role is more hands-on which I really enjoy. Additionally, it is nice to have co-workers that care about my opinion. It is difficult to have a voice when you are young in the technology industry, but I have never had an issue like that at Discover. Everyone gives their time freely and respects my opinion. They even take it one step further and advocate for me.

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

Each day is broken into three major components — issues, development and meetings/emails. Every day we go over feature requests, product issues, etc., and assign them out to those who are best suited to fix or develop them. Then, usually in the early afternoon, I will try to get all my meetings and emails taken care of as well as complete any necessary online training. Finally, near the end of the day, I work on development tasks, which usually involves building new technologies or scripts for our Security Operations Center to use. Every day is a bit different and always challenging and the role has been a great fit for me.

Interested in working in Business Technology?