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I am proof that diverse backgrounds make for good employees

kim holmes director-business-technology

I am proof that diverse backgrounds make for good employees

In October, I’ll be celebrating my 19th anniversary with Discover. I’ve had amazing opportunities that have helped my career as well as the business. I have supported the launch of various products and services including the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Card, Discover Personal Loans and the Discover Home Loans business. I’ve led project management and application delivery teams that support key customer touchpoints such as fraud, payments and customer communications. I also supported our Deposits business for a number of years. Before I joined Discover I worked for a large property-casualty insurance company in a variety of business and IT roles. I am proof that diverse backgrounds make for good employees – my undergraduate degree is in Humanities from Shimer College and my graduate degree is in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University.

How do you as a leader help move the diversity and inclusion needle forward at Discover?

One of the ways in which I support our diversity strategy is by being an active employee resource group (ERG) member. I am proud to be one of the founding co-chairs of Professional Women Impacting Results (PWIR) and a past chair of Black Organizational Leadership at Discover (BOLD). Another way is my work with Diversity Recruiting, Talent Acquisition and now the Business Technology Diversity and Inclusion committee to attract and recruit diverse talent. I mentor new employees that join our company through those efforts. Additionally, I work with Community Affairs and leverage Discover’s philanthropic efforts to support our diversity goals. The Discover Corporate Scholars program through the UNCF is an example of that work .

How have you seen the Diversity & Inclusion evolve during your 19 years here at Discover? 

The largest change is that we are now intentional in speaking about the need to address diverse representation as well as work to create a more inclusive culture.

Why do you think having a diverse employee base is beneficial to the company?

Companies with a diverse employee base perform better financially. Our customers – consumer and merchants – expect products and services that meet their needs and the most innovative solutions come from teams of diverse thinkers. A diverse employee base provides unique perspectives that highlight opportunities that might otherwise be missed. Diverse employees help the company better understand the voice of the customer. When we provide the best customer service possible everything else falls into place – a successful business, a reputable brand, and loyal customers.

Learn more about our Employee Resource groups here.

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How Discover Helped Shape Me to Be the Leader I Am Today

jenna leary

How Discover Helped Shape Me to Be the Leader I Am Today

Name: Jenna

Job Title: Department Manager, Cardmember Assistance

I am married with a two year old daughter. I have my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and my Masters in Business Administration. In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family and friends, shop, cook and travel.

Someone once asked me what I would say to a friend or neighbor applying for a job at Discover, and without missing a beat my response was, “Are you ready to make the best career decision ever?!”

I started working at Discover over the summer of my junior year in high school and am still here 13 years later. Throughout that time, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to make my mark in several roles throughout the business. Most recently I stepped into a new role as Department Manager for our Card Operations department in Phoenix, and without Discover’s support along the way I would have never come this far.

One way Discover has encouraged my growth is through the tuition reimbursement program. The company helped me reach my educational goals (and then some) by supporting me financially to finish my education. I now have an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and a Masters in Business Administration. I believe it was this support that has led to many of the advancements I’ve made to get me to the role I’m in now. My experience with Discover’s tuition reimbursement program was so positive, I developed a passion for education and help advocate for other employees to further their education.

I’ve become a local subject matter expert on Discover’s education programs and assisted countless employees in selecting their major, picking the right classes and submitting their courses for reimbursement. Over the years I have also led our Leadership Education Advancement Program (LEAP) initiative in Phoenix. I once even had the opportunity to work with a local community college to bring an Organizational Leadership Certification program to Discover’s campus – a designation employees were able to complete while at work AND with no out-of-pocket expense.

To me, Discover is not just a job or career. The diverse experience and educational development Discover has provided me over the years has truly helped to shape me to be the leader that I am today.

Search & apply for careers in Customer Service.

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Discover Has Been My Life, I Grew Up Here

Shannon

Discover Has Been My Life, I Grew Up Here

Name: Shannon

Job Title: Team Leader – Cardmember Assistance

I started as an outbound phone collector and collected for 4 years, then was promoted to coach. I was asked to cover two teams early in my coaching career and that earned me a promotion to Team Leader. Throughout the years I have served in a variety of leadership roles at Discover. Locally, I am the Phoenix PRIDE Employee Resource Group (ERG) Chair, and serve as a member of several other ERGs.

Discover is dedicated to helping employees with career growth. Those who show success in results and leadership can really stake out a career here. I myself have been afforded an opportunity to showcase my greatest skills in communication and helping keep employees engaged every day.

For several years I served as a Hiring Manager in Cardmember assistance. During that time,  I was one of the first faces a potential job candidate saw when they came for an interview. When looking to hire someone I always told them all of the things I liked about them and why I think they will find success here. Highlighting for them the strengths that work best with Discover’s culture and support of our values helps them hit the ground running and to be successful from day one. Many of my managers have been mentors to me and have made me feel valued. I strive to give back to the organization in the same way by carrying that forward.

I have had many employees tell me in the hallways that this dialogue is why they chose Discover over a competitor or even another job closer to home. It was my favorite part of hiring.

I love creating an open atmosphere and encourage all employees to reach their potential, and do so by living authentic lives in the work place. The culture here is unparalleled and I truly appreciate Discover for that.

Interested in working in Cardmember Assistance? Search & apply for careers in Customer Service.