Discover Financial Services is a credit-card issuer and electronic-payment services company based in Riverwoods, Ill. It was spun off from brokerage Morgan Stanley in 2007. In 2008, it acquired Diner's Club International from Citigroup Inc.
The company, founded in 1986 by Sears Roebuck, has a solid middle-America image and is often seen as an also-ran to the flashier American Express Co., Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc.. Even so, its cash-back rewards program was a driver of change in its industry, and its tagline "the card that pays you back" is widely recognized among consumers. One recent innovation: biodegradable cards.
Your b-school diploma may give you an edge here. Most of Discover's senior leadership holds M.B.A.s from top programs.