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Teaming Up with Others to Reach a Higher Quality Product

Name: Molly
Job Title: Technical Product Owner, Business Technology

My main responsibility is to help shape our product around the customer’s needs while understanding technology’s capabilities. My technical background allows our product team to be more efficient in activities such as backlog grooming, roadmap planning, and system mapping. Since I’m able to provide a technical perspective in product conversations, our developers are more focused on their daily work.

Outside of work, my husband and I love to hike, go camping, and enjoy the outdoors. I’m a National Park enthusiast. Our latest adventure was going on a sunrise hike in Mount Rainier National Park.

How does your team manage change?

If you’ve ever worked in technology on a long-term project, you know it’s almost impossible to predict all of the changes that might happen—requirements change, priorities change, people change, even technology can change. Agile, specifically Scaled Agile, helps all team members to be more comfortable with change. We’re continually improving how to break our work into smaller pieces that can be more easily worked on and completed. We’re able to adjust more quickly instead of waiting until the end. We’re able to learn and receive business value more quickly, which ultimately is Agile’s biggest advantage.

How does the company’s overall culture impact the engineering team?

Discover has always been extremely collaborative, but our customer-focused culture is driving different behaviors. Years ago, we may have received a fully detailed list of project requirements from our business partners up front. What we’re seeing now is the barrier between business and technology break down. We’re seeing business owners more engaged with the technology teams. We’re seeing technology leaders help shape the vision of our products. We know that in order to act quickly, our business processes and technology systems need to be capable of responding quickly. The company as a whole is working together in a new way that is less department-based and more customer-journey focused. It takes a lot of communication, but we’ve found that working together makes us a much more powerful team, and that results in a higher quality product.

Interested in working in Business Technology?

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“Discover has helped me continually develop my skills and move my career forward”

Name: Treesha
Job Title: Director, Discover Management System (DMS) / Lean

I joined Discover in 2004, it was my 2nd job after graduating college, I can’t believe it’s been nearly 15 years. I graduated from UIC with a degree in Information Systems. Right after graduation I worked for a pharmaceutical consulting company in Evanston. 2004 was a memorable year for me as I started working at Discover, got married in the fall and bought our first house. I have 2 beautiful daughters that keep me very busy, and I am grateful for working at a company that supports work life balance, family is a priority for me.

How has Discover helped you in regards to professional development?

I have spent 15 years of my life at Discover and not once have I felt complacent or felt too comfortable in my role. I have pushed myself to take on challenging work assignments and roles. Most importantly, I’ve been fortunate to have managers who support my development and have confidence in my abilities. In 2012, I applied for a role in digital customer service, despite not having any experience in operations, customer experience or digital. Obtaining this role was a pivotal moment in my career, as it exposed me to learn and develop a new set of skills. Most importantly, I am grateful that Discover advocates for internal mobility and gives employees the chance to try new roles within the organization.

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

The DMS organization has some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with at Discover. The department’s main focus is to teach and coach 16,000 employees to work differently and organize their work around customer value. DMS employees help deploy and improve the management system that organizes processes, people and technology to deliver business results. Our job is to coach teams and leaders so they can build their capabilities to enable the flow of value and continuously improve. The work of the DMS department is meaningful because we help the business achieve breakthrough results.

Interested in working in DMS?

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“Enabling the digital payment space”

Name: Scott
Job Title: Director, Application Development

I joined Discover from the consulting industry with my last client being in the Financial Services space. I was hungry to be “on the other side of the table” contributing to the mission and vision of a company. After the first interview, I knew Discover was a great fit.

Although Discover is a Fortune 300 Business, we still operate like we are a small business. The culture here is genuine. We all know that the only way we can be successful is to openly partner and prioritize the end customer or partner ahead of any personal goal or objective.

How would you describe your work?

I’m part of a team that operates an international Payment Services platform. Every day, numerous individuals around the world rely on our platform to purchase goods or services to support their daily lives. Perhaps it is stopping at a local store to get food or medicine for your family; purchasing tickets to a play or sporting event for a lifetime experience; paying a utility bill to keep your home warm; or perhaps making a donation to a non-profit to help someone else; I take tremendous pride in being part of a team that makes all of this happen on a second by second basis. Right now, we are evolving this platform to meet the future needs of our business and customers.

How does your work impact the customer?

I tend to monitor Discover’s social channels to see what our customers are saying about our brand. The Digital Wallet space is a very active one with customers looking to Discover to enable digital payment options on their phone. Being part of the team that enables these solutions to the end market customer is very gratifying especially when you see a social post showing the excitement of using the product for the first time.

Interested in working in Business Technology?

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“A Place of Development, Opportunity and Transparency…”

Name: Tara
Job Title: Recruiting Strategist in Human Resources

I am a mom of four boys and have been married to my husband for over a decade. We moved to Ohio from Florida and I have been part of the Discover family since the day we arrived. We love having time together as a family being adventurous, helping others and laughing together. Being with them is what brings me joy. One thing that is so great about working for Discover is that my family priorities matter to my leaders. Knowing this helps me feel great about coming to work each day!

It may sound cliché, but I have made some of my greatest friends at work. Discover has provided a place of development, opportunity and transparency and I‘ve taken full advantage of the possibilities here. I have always wanted to be mentored, to grow, and to learn how to lead others in a personable way. Discover has helped me become that person and here I’ve been able to refine my skills so that I have the opportunity to apply what I learn.

How have you been able to be “your true self” at Discover.

I started with the company as a Collections Representative, and I asked myself, “Is this the right move?” I found the position from Florida where I was job hunting prior to the move, but had no idea what I would be in for because I am not originally from Ohio. I found Discover because my parents, who lived in New Albany, told me what a great company Discover is. My family had just moved to Ohio and I knew I had to learn as much as I could and get to know new people. Once I did my research, I was hooked.

I was impressed by the training and care that Discover put into our collection efforts. I slowly started seeing how I could leverage my strengths of connecting with others to be successful here. It felt great to be part of a company that encouraged and rewarded my natural concern and empathy for people, especially in an area like collections. I learned the difference between being sympathetic and empathetic while working here, among countless other skills that have helped me help others in a multitude of ways.

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

Be prepared for feedback, ask for it, and then apply it. We are an organization that loves people and helping one another. Take advantage of the fact we want you to succeed. Bring your best, do your best, be open and ask for help – that is a simple recipe for success here at Discover.

Interested in working in Customer Service?

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“Being part of something bigger than yourself”

Name: Jessica
Job Title: Lead Auditor, Internal Audit

As an auditor, I serve as the 3rd line of defense to make sure that Discover has controls in place to mitigate risk for both our customers and the organization. Internal Audit is the voice of reason for the organization. We are passionate about the success of Discover products, processes, and controls. Although we are independent, we are very much a part of the team.

What’s a typical day for you?

Every day, I get to ask the question, “What are we doing to mitigate risk?” I also have the chance to LEARN and be CHALLENGED. No one day is the same and I love getting to meet so many people across the organization and hear about the role they play in making Discover possible for our customers.

Regardless of my level in the company, I never feel like I can’t effectively challenge management or voice my concerns. I have been in tons of meetings where I’ve been told by members of our leadership team to CHALLENGE them, rather than just agreeing outright.

What’s it like working in Internal Audit?

Discover makes you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. We are more than just our products. I honestly can’t believe I have been with the company for three years. The best part about working here is that I never wake-up dreading going to work. It’s truly an amazing feeling when you can be happy at work even during the stressful times. I always know I will be working with a team of dedicated people to solve problems.

Interested in working in Internal Audit?

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The people make Discover different

Name: Dana
Job Title: Lead Technical Training Program Manager in Business Technology

I have always enjoyed meeting new people and helping others and it’s been very rewarding to use those skills in my current role. I started my career as a part-time employee while continuing my education through Discover’s tuition reimbursement program. I feel incredibly fortunate that I have been able to grow and expand my skills and work experience through my 17 years at Discover.

What’s a typical day for you?

My day begins by ensuring that our technical training classes are off to a great start. This includes coordinating with instructors and helping students connect into the virtual training environment. Once classes are up and running, I focus on progressing a number of projects and tackling my “to-do list”. This can mean researching training opportunities for next generation technologies, following up on vendors or contracts, updating our training schedule with new classes, or consulting with managers and employees to discuss upcoming training needs. I also work with teams across Business Technology to offer fun and less formal training such as Lunch ‘n Learns – there are always interesting and relevant technical training events in the works.

What are the benefits of working at Discover?

In addition to development opportunities, Discover provides great benefits including the flexibility to work from our headquarters location, our downtown office or from a home office, depending on job responsibilities. On days I work from home, I’m able to skip the daily commute and still have the ability to collaborate with my team through our ‘working smarter’ toolset.
Overall, the people make Discover different. At Discover, we feel like family and we are always willing to roll up our sleeves and help one another. I am inspired by the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone at Discover and I truly care about the people I work with. At the end of the day, it’s very fulfilling to work at a company that supports and respects the contributions of its employees.

Interested in working in Business Technology?

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Reaching personal and professional goals

Name: Torre

Job Title: Associate, Field Hiring & Talent

What motivates you at work?

I love the energy at the Discover offices. Helping our external customers build a brighter financial future is a rewarding feeling, and it’s even more rewarding that I get to influence my team to build the skills to accomplish this goal.

What makes Discover different?

I think our understanding in treating employees like people and demonstrating flexibility with work life issues differentiates Discover. We also have a management team that is approachable and promotes an open door policy. As leaders, we show we care and support our employees. Discover employees aren’t just trained, our focus is on ongoing development. We spend a great deal of time showing our employees all the different roads of success they can travel with advancement and promotion opportunities.

Who at work makes you look forward to Mondays?

My account managers motivate me to come into work every day, especially after the weekend. I have the opportunity to help employees learn how Discover can help them reach their personal and professional goals. Whether they are going to school or looking to buy a new car, it’s very exciting to hear that working for such an amazing company is helping them achieve their dreams. Because we educate our employees about finances, they are able to apply what they learn to make better financial decisions in their own lives. It’s a really great thing to see.

Interested in working in Customer Service?

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It’s very rewarding to see the results of your hard work in action

Name: Nicholas
Job Title: Senior Data Engineer, Business Technology

How have you made a difference at Discover?

I joined the Business Technology team at Discover in the summer of 2017 when Amazon Web Services (AWS) was very new. Our Business Technology goals are focused on using the next generation of automation and analytical tools, while my individual goals are focused on making this platform more user-friendly and accessible based on my experience of creating several container-based solutions. My work contributes to Discover because one of these container-based solutions is being used by over 10 business modelers for an initiative around Discover’s financial reporting.

How has Discover made a difference in your life?

Discover has given me the opportunity to try something new. I relocated from Atlanta to Chicago, which was a scary move for me. But I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I get to live in the heart of downtown Chicago, which is one of the best cities in the Midwest.

What are the benefits of working at Discover?

• Tuition reimbursement for my part-time Master’s degree
• Professional development support in going to tech conferences
• Working from home and work-life balance
• Casual attire

I’d also add that it is great to have a senior leadership team that is also very supportive and accessible!

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

I feel like I work at a start-up rather than a big corporation. The solutions I’m helping design, are actually being used by Discover employees and it’s very rewarding to see the result of your hard work in action.

Interested in working in Business Technology?

 

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Embracing the diversity of thought

Employee: Steve

Job Title: Manager – Payment Services, Enablement Marketing & Communications

I graduated from Roosevelt Universitywith a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I also have a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from DePaul University. Being the first in my family to graduate from college and obtain a master’s degree, I’m proud to say I’ve been in the financial services industry for over 13 years, most of that with Discover.

One reason I like working for Discover and have stayed with the company for over a decade is because of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Discover has a variety of Employee Resource Groups to participate in, and I personally am part of a group called HOLA!, which stands for Helping Organize Latino Efforts.

HOLA!’s mission is to be at the center of the Latino community to be able to share insights and information that will help Discover harness the full potential of its employees, partners and customers. I’ve served as a co-chair of my location’s chapter for 3 year, helping provide a community atmosphere to currently Latino employees as well as awareness to employees and business units regarding the importance of diversity in both hiring and marketing.

How have you seen the Diversity & Inclusion evolve during your 11 years here at Discover?

Over the years I’ve seen Discover not only embrace the openness of culture, community, and lifestyle, but also a diversity of thought. With such a diverse workforce, it’s great to see the company embrace groups and communities into the Discover Values; from participating in Pride parades across the nation, to serving military veterans and working to empower people living with disabilities. I think having a diverse employee base provides a diverse set of thoughts and experiences, and it’s through these experiences that we are able to make business decisions that are inclusive of individuals of all different backgrounds.

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Helping to change hearts and minds

Helping to change hearts and minds

Employee: Kristin

Job Title: Manager – Payment Services, Product Development

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. I also have an MBA in Economic Crime and Fraud Management from Utica College. I’ve worked in financial services for 16 years, focused primarily on operations and risk management.

 Your first day at Discover, what were your thoughts?

“I am surrounded by smart, funny people who love what they do. This was a good move.” After 8 years with the company, I am happy to say I feel the same exact way.

Diving a little deeper, how is Discover following our values of “Doing The Right Thing”?

I’ve been fortunate to be on teams of smart, passionate people. We work hard, we have fun, and we get stuff done. Sometimes you befriend your colleagues and sometimes they are just teammates who come and go. I’m proud of the work I’ve done in product and fraud risk management, but perhaps my proudest and most humbling achievements have been with the PRIDE Employee Resource Group at Discover’s headquarters.

Over the years I’ve managed PRIDE’s education initiatives before becoming co-chair for our chapter. Of my time with the group, two particular instances stand out. We’ve had a speaker from PFLAG present on campus multiple times, once on how to be an Ally to the LGBT community and once on trans inclusion. After the ally training, we had a new member come to the next membership meeting and share that she had been moved to tears by the training. She freely admitted she hadn’t been the most accepting person in the past, but the speaker had altered her perspective and she wanted to change. Needless to say, we welcomed her with open arms!

Another memory that stands out was after a trans ally training. We received an email from an attendee whose neighbor’s child had recently come out as trans. The neighbor was supportive, but wasn’t sure what to do next. This employee leapt into action – they gave the neighbor their copy of PFLAG’s guide to being a trans ally, directed them to the PFLAG website, and shared a few quick tips they remembered from the training. The neighbor was grateful, and asked for additional copies of the guide for the grandparents. Both of these were powerful moments of validation for me that we are definitely Doing the Right Thing – not only arming people with information, but helping to change hearts and minds.

Through these experiences, I’ve been able to clearly see the impact of the work I do reflected in the results we’ve achieved – and that has been immensely rewarding.