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Some Things Cannot Be Planned

Name: Monica H.
Job Title: Account Coordinator – US Cards – Marketing & Customer Service

I never thought that I would find myself in financial services. I considered being a police officer, a member of the U.S. Air Force, even being a counselor for young adults. I believe I’ve considered these careers because I really enjoy helping others and making a difference—it’s so fulfilling!  I never thought I’d be able to do that in the world of finance.  Aside from work, I am a proud mother of a very bright 4-year-old daughter. She is truly my motivation to always challenge myself and to be my very best. My hobbies include: spending quality time with my daughter, being outdoors, singing, and trying new things like places and food. 

Before working at Discover, I worked in customer service part time for UPS. At the time, my daughter was a newborn and I knew we couldn’t survive on part time employment. I tirelessly searched for decent jobs in the area and came across Discover. I applied, interviewed, and was hired.  This was my first full-time position. Just after a few weeks in training, I was forced to leave work due to an unforeseen family tragedy. During this chaotic time, I chose to reapply to Discover and Discover gave me a second chance. And for that, I am forever grateful.

I have had the opportunity to help so many people. When I was a phone agent, I was able to talk with thousands of customers and help with issues as small as fee removals to turning tears into laughter. As both an Accounting Coordinator and intern at Discover Headquarters in Riverwoods, IL, I’ve been able to assist with procedure updates, and agent training to enhance the overall customer experience.  I have found my time at Discover truly enjoyable and I don’t plan to leave anytime soon.

 A step in the unknown could lead to “wealth”

One day my team leader approached me and told me that I would be a great candidate for the Headquarters Immersion Program (HIP). At the time, I didn’t know much about the program, only that I’d be leaving my daughter for four months to work. I didn’t think that I was emotionally prepared to leave my daughter for such a long period of time, as I’ve never done so. After going home and deeply considering all of the opportunities that could unfold, I decided to apply, and I’m SO glad I did! It’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had in life! I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful leaders, expand my network, learn more about the business, develop new skills, and experience Chicago life, all while creating lasting friendships.

The difference can be a simple smile…

I feel that I make a difference every day when I come to work. No matter what is going on in my personal life, I make a point to ALWAYS smile, to be professional, and to be polite. Kindness goes a long way and you never know how a smile may brighten up someone else’s day. That kind of energy is infectious, and I enjoy spreading it.

My mother says I’m obsessed with Discover because I’m always talking about how great the company is as well as Discover swag. She says, “If I see you wear one more Discover shirt…”

But truly, it is a great company! Any company that will invest in your development is amazing! I’ve been able to take trainings online, attend a financial literacy course, participate in an in-depth leadership program called Aspiring Professionals, go to college through the Discover College Commitment program, and participate as an intern in the Headquarters Immersion Program. Every bit of development has elevated me to the next level in my career.

Working with a company that cares

Discover has so many great benefits. Two of my favorites are the family assistance program and the Discover College Commitment. Being a parent to a young child comes with some challenges. I love the fact that Discover values its employees enough to invest in providing care for family members. In the event that my daughter has a day off of school, I can request a provider to come to my home to care for her, or take her to a child care center at a discounted price. I’ve also been very fortunate to take advantage of the Discover College Commitment program that pays 100% for my education. It just doesn’t get any better than that! I don’t know too many companies that are willing to pay for your education 100% up front!

I’ve worked for other companies where I just felt like a number, an employee without a name. At Discover I’m Monica. I’ve come from other companies that focused heavily on seniority instead of performance. I love the fact that Discover is performance-driven because it truly makes the environment an equal playing field. I also love the fact that I am able to voice my opinion and be innovative. Here I’m recognized because I help drive results and that makes me feel valued.
Aside from feeling valued, Discover is a company that truly upholds the values it stands for and I see this not only for employees but leaders on a daily basis. A company that stands behind its word is a company that I’d want to work for any day.

Value

Currently I’m interning as a part of the Customer Service and Engagement (CSE) Strategy team. We are the team responsible for strategizing and creating an optimal experience for several employees and customers. Our team collaborates with marketing and field leaders to ensure our employees are able to effectively deliver information to our customers. We get to hear the concerns of our employees and customers first-hand and make the necessary changes/ updates to improve their experiences. Prior to my internship, I worked on the Business Enterprise Solutions Teams/Customer Support Unit, where my primary function was processing monetary adjustments to customer accounts. In all my roles at Discover, I find the work to be extremely meaningful because what I ‘m doing is impacting others, so I always give my best to ensure accuracy and satisfaction.

Get here as fast as you can…

To anyone wanting to work for Discover, I’d tell you to be prepared to work for a company that truly cares. Not only does Discover care about its customers and we show that with consistently winning JD Power, *(Discover was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies by J.D. Power 4 out of the last 5 Years). Discover truly cares about its employees and we see that daily with recognition, constant development, and the amazing benefits we receive.

*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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Authenticity allows for great leadership…

Name: Brittnee F.
Job Title: Card Operations Team Leader

My aunt worked at Discover when they started up. She relocated to Utah as Contact Strategy Consultant and tried to get me to apply for years but I was intimidated because I didn’t have a college degree. But after working 10 years in the food industry, I was ready for a change! I decided to apply.

I’ve had so many great experiences here! I have met amazing people who I now call family. My husband and I were able to take our first REAL vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary in Maui. This was a trip I won at Discover through our Winter Winnings program, a rewards program for the top 50 performers who win extremely large gifts

I have worked at Discover for almost 6 years. I’m a Team Leader in Card Member Assistance (CMA), who enjoys attending horror conventions, reading, spending time with my husband, pets and my godson.

Creating an environment where all feel safe and can be their true self…

I have made a real difference at Discover by really making sure that I remain authentic. Expressing myself through physical appearance is something I enjoy. I have a lot of tattoos, piercings, crazy colored hair, and a Rocker Chic style. I’ve been told I would never be successful with how I present myself but at Discover, they allow me to be me every day when I am at work and I don’t have to hide it.

Due to the environment, the people I work with and Discover acceptance in diversity, I was finally able to be comfortable with coming out to many family members, friends and colleagues as bisexual. I work very hard in the New Albany PRIDE group as one of the 2019/20 Chairs because it is important that LGBT employees feel recognition, appreciation, safe and have a voice. Discover is different! It is a company that allows you to be your most authentic self. I believe when you are able to be your authentic self, you are more motivated to do your job every day and you feel comfortable.

Discover is more than just a job

Discover has helped me so much in professional development. Before Discover, I had been in other leadership positions but it was only a job. Here, I’ve been able to develop into a true leader and showcase my passions. Before Discover, I was in college to get my teaching degree so helping others learn is my passion. Now I use my abilities to develop my agents. I’ve had opportunities to learn about networking, to help with my public speaking, and to learn how to have an effective conversation.

There are so many opportunities within the company. There is always something new to learn. It shocks me that Discover offers up to 90% tuition reimbursement on education assistance.  It amazes me to work for a company that started out with 4 weeks vacation time.

The work I do is meaningful

My team is the base of all of CMA, we are the first step in correcting delinquency. As high-risk accounts come to us, we provide excellent customer service versus high focus on collections. It is important that we have a great conversation with the customer so that we can assist them in keeping their account in good standing.

I once had a customer call and talk to me with some of the most horrid things I had ever heard. Although it was difficult, I made sure to remind myself, “He is stressed and upset because of his situation.  Do not take this personal.  And all people handle things differently.” I looked at all possibilities we had to help him, covered these options then allowed him to make the choice on what he thought would be most beneficial. By the end of the conversation, the man was crying with gratitude. He felt so bad for the things he had said. I told him I understood that we all need help sometimes. A lot of people would remember that as a terrible experience but for me it was very eye-opening.  I learned what patience and genuine empathy can do for a person.

Walk me through a day in the life of working on your team

I actually am in charge of 2 teams. Those teams are the Pre-Delinquency team and the Discover Business Card Process team. I come in, make sure I go through emails first.  Then I look at the schedule to see what agents are here.  After that, I look at my calendar to see what I have scheduled for the day.  This allows me to work around the things I need to do and coach agents from call listening. I always like to coach regardless of whether it was an amazing call or a call with many opportunities. As a Team Leader, I am also responsible for handling their timekeeping, compliance and making sure they understand how to remain compliant. Giving my team daily updates on their performance is important and valuable.

Come work with me…
I would say that Discover is a great company to work for. The benefits are amazing, the opportunities are amazing. They have more to offer than any other company I have ever worked for. I even have family that has been in the same job role for 20+ years, with another company, and don’t have the benefits employees receive here on their first day. Visit discover.com/careers.

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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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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.