A Day in the Life of the Discover Financial Services Intern- Juan Lopez

Hey guys! My name is Juan Lopez and I am currently a Junior majoring in Marketing and Sales Leadership. This winter quarter, I am interning for Discover Financial Services, Inc.

Although many credit card companies get a horrible rep, Discover is not your ordinary credit card company. Their mission is fairly simple; it is to help people spend smarter, manage debt better, and save more so they achieve a brighter financial future.

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Discover is so much more than a plastic card. In addition to its credit card business which many only seem to know about, Discover also has a direct banking segment which includes personal loans, student loans, home loans, prepaid cards and deposit products. Furthermore, Discover’s payment services consist of PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. Discover also has its own network which allows third parties to issue credit, debit, and prepaid cards all by using the Discover Network.

Intrigued yet?

At Discover Financial Services, I work in the marketing department for the portfolio team as a Portfolio Management and Line Engagement intern. Since I go to school full-time, I only work three days of the week. As the Portfolio Management and Line Engagement intern I mainly work on card members who have been with Discover for over a year. Essentially the goal is to increase card usage and sales by card members. After risk determines the customers who qualify for a credit line increase we create what we call “creatives” which is direct mail informing the customer that they qualify for a credit line increase and promotions on how they can spend with their new credit line. The creatives are different for each month.

Their headquarters is located in Riverwoods, IL. If you decide to commute like I did you can take the Milwaukee District North Line all the way to Lake Cook Road. The commute will give you plenty of time to relax or dive into a good book. Once you arrive at Lake Cook Road, there are shuttle buses that run until 9am that will drop you off literally steps away from the front door. Can you guess what the best part is?? Discover provides you with a FREE Ventra card to use. No cost what so ever!!

My day usually begins at 9 AM in what we call the “Grab and Go.” They have actual Starbucks here!!..Ohh and yeah other tasty breakfast treats.  After I have clocked-in, I check my email for any pressing matters. This is important because every day is different at Discover. You could spend the whole day in your cubicle working or you could have tons of meetings throughout the day. It is always an adventure. My main tasks as the Portfolio Management and Engagement Intern is to work on campaigns to increase card usage and sales.  Currently, I have been working on two campaigns called NCLI and SCLI. NCLI basically informs card members that their credit line has been increased and the ways in which they can use their new line. This includes encouraging customers to spend big and as a reward they can received cash back bonuses. SCLI in comparison informs customers that they have been approved for a credit line increase but requires customers to call in to accept their new line. These are two ways to we try to increase card member usage and sales. We reward card members with a new credit line and promote the ways they can use it which can earn them cash back.

Launching a campaign can be a little tedious because it involves lots of meetings and different business units. The good part is that you get to meet and network with tons of people who are always willing to offer you advice. The environment is great. Everyone is very relaxed and very diverse. During lunch time you can head over to the RAK where you have a variety to choose from. Pizza, Grill station, Salad Bar, Sandwiches and soups. You name it, we got it! We even have casual Fridays! Yup, we’re pretty cool.

Discover has about a two thousand employees at their headquarters. There are four buildings and at least three floors in each building. I work in building one, floor three north. Did I mention that the layout of the floors is like a compass? We have north, south, east and west. It takes a while to get used to this layout….yes you will get lost!

I have been interning for this company for almost two months and I can say that I’ve learned so much about the financial service industry. Being that Discover is a Fortune 300 company I had the perception that everyone would be wearing suits and be kind of uptight. In reality everyone has welcomed me with open arms. The best part is that anytime I walk by someone they always greet me with a warm smile. A lot of people even take the time to come up to me and just introduce themselves. In a business that has the perception of being cut throat, Discover proves them wrong. I definitely can say that the culture is great. Discover is an awesome place to intern!

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