What was a typical day at your internship like?
On a typical day during my internship at Discover Financial Services I’d wake up to a complimentary breakfast every morning before heading to work. Once at work, I’d start my day by checking my e-mail, reviewing my daily calendar, and checking in with my manager. Discover is huge on collaboration, so a majority of my day would be spent in meetings with people from a variety of departments. I had the pleasure of having reoccurring meetings with the PR team, Legal, Analytics, internal and external marketing agencies and E-Business (more commonly known as the Digital Design department). During these meetings it was so incredibly impressive to me, how much responsibility my manager and the rest of my team took on. When I was not in meetings, I took it in my hands to coordinate “coffee meetings” with people throughout the company to learn a little bit about their roles. Through doing so I was able to build strong connections throughout the company and learn what more goes into making Discover so successful that isn’t marketing related. Apart from these coffee meetings, I’d spend my spare time getting to know my team and co-interns a little better, working out on the on-campus gym, or walking the 2-mile trail on campus. After my workday, all of the interns would spend a lot of time together whether it involved watching the Blackhawks bring home the Stanley Cup or exploring the city together.
What was your favorite part of the internship so far?
My favorite part of the internship was definitely the culture that Discover possesses. Discover truly cares about their employees and it showed every minute during my internship. One of my favorite things about the culture was the willingness to volunteer that every employee possesses. During my summer in Chicago, the interns had to the opportunity to help build a playground and paint murals at an underprivileged liberal arts school. Also, Discover strives to make an enjoyable work environment as they continue to make improvements to their campus. The campus had amazing food, renovation projects aiming towards a more “open” work environment, a beautiful gym, an arcade, walking trails, basketball courts etc. Apart from an awesome campus, the people of Discover were what truly made the experience so incredible. Everyone was extremely smart, helpful, nice and overall a good time. Lastly, the company does a good job of helping their employees keep a good balance through providing us with many fun opportunities such as trivia nights at local bars, rooftop Cubs games, socials, yacht outings, bowling, city tours, and happy hours. I was a little worried about going to Chicago for the summer without knowing anyone there, however I am so happy that I did because this amazing company culture allowed me to meet some people that I now consider my best friends.
What were some things you learned?
The major take-a-way from my summer was learning how much detail and thought goes into any marketing decision. The moment I realized this was during a meeting on my first day where my manager and I were sitting in a meeting where we were deciding if the card carrier that we were designing should say “Activate Today” as opposed to “Activate Now.” Now whenever I see anything marketing related such as a billboard, an ad, or even writing on a product label I can appreciate how much thought was put into that and how many different inputs were put into the decision. Another huge take-a-way for me was learning how to voice my opinion and ask questions during meetings. I quickly learned that as an intern I was expected to have questions and that if I had an opinion, it was important to voice it because my thoughts could be seen as “refreshing.” One of the most rewarding moments for me was when I decided to voice my opinion on what one of the website pages headlines should say and the marketing agency we were working with implemented my idea!