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In the Spotlight: Be Different
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MPACE Member Spotlight – April 2016




Q&A Session Featuring Mindi Carlisle, Discover Financial 



MPACE: What makes Discover a "different kind of company?"


Mindi: What makes Discover a different company is our values. Discover focuses on Doing the Right Thing, Collaboration, Volunteerism, and Respect to name a few of our values. These values are evident in our company goals, leadership and employee interaction, and our focus on stakeholders, customers, and employees. I have worked for and interacted with companies who have values, but they are not always carried out in their actions. Discover does a great job at this and this is what makes us a different kind of company. 


MPACE: Describe the company culture at Discover.


Mindi: Discover's culture is about relationships, teamwork, innovation and people who want to help other people. We have a high percentage of employees with tenure and our core culture has remained constant for the 26 years I have been involved with Discover. You will hear Discover employees say “We bleed orange” and I think that is a good summary of who we are, very committed.


MPACE: What skills and qualities does Discover value in their employees?


Mindi: Discover looks for employees who have good communication skills, the ability to be flexible and adaptable as the organization and the financial world evolves, employees who are willing to take calculated risk, and enjoy development both giving and receiving. And finally Discover is looking for employees who will fit into our culture of teamwork and collaboration.


MPACE: Please share any tips you have for a student that wants to stand out from their competition.  


Mindi: The top three tips I would share to stand out are:   


1.     Know the company and position you are applying for. What are their mission and values? Who are they? What are their most recent accomplishments or current goals?

2.     Know your strengths and how those align with the company and role you are applying for, as well as how your skills will benefit the company if you are selected.

3.     Be yourself - Don't try to be who or what you think a company wants you to be. Let the company know how you will fit into and benefit their organization. (In a professional and respectful way)  


MPACE: Many seniors will be faced with making a decision between multiple job offers, what advice would you give to them? 


Mindi: Making a job decision is a very personal decision. For me I focus on:


1.       Are the company values aligned with my personal values? 

2.       Is this a culture, and are these people the people I want to spend the majority of my day with?

3.       Is this a job where my personal skills will be used and I can make a difference?

4.       What is my growth potential – personally, organizationally and financially (in that order).


MPACE: How has your company benefited from being a member/sponsor of MPACE?


Mindi: Discover has benefited from becoming a member of MPACE in several different ways:


·       The networking focus of MPACE is very collaborative and open to sharing ideas and best practices.

·       MPACE is always looking for ways to be innovative and change at the pace of the students as well as organizational needs. The focus on development and recruiting opportunities are exceptional. 

·       MPACE allows you to be as involved as you would like. If you only want to be a part of your local group and network at that level you are fine. If you want to get involved and expand beyond your region or even nationally you can. You can get involved at any level.  

·       And finally, you come into this amazing group of very talented people who have worked together in this organization for 10 years plus and welcome you with open arms. You get to create new lasting relationships that not only benefit your organization, but you personally.


Mindi Carlisle is the Regional Operations Director Customer Service and Credit Management at Discover Financial.  Mindi can be reached at Mindicarlisle@discover.com or Mindic915@gmail.com


This Spotlight article was compiled by Juli-Anne Brockway. She is a Career Counselor at the University of San Francisco and can be reached at jbrockway@usfca.edu or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliannebrockway

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