The Art of the Networking Coffee Chat

Everyone knows the old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts.” Networking is certainly an important skill in the business world, and my internship this summer at Cardinal Health has helped me tremendously in building that skill.

The culture at Cardinal Health is very supportive of networking within the company. Everyone that I have encountered so far is more than willing to share about their role in the company, their career path, and any helpful insights they may have. As an intern, you have a “free pass” to learn as much as you can about other functions within the company.

I quickly discovered the concept of the “coffee chat,” a quick, usually 30-minute, meeting with someone who has a background or role you would like to learn more about. And of course, the chats are normally held in the comfortable chairs around the Cardinal Health coffee shop, Crimson Cup.

Throughout my internship thus far, I have scheduled coffee chats with other employees from a variety of sources. I attended Cardinal’s Finance Open House, which is like a career fair for internal employees. Here I spoke with someone in the tax department, who gave me the name of a director I could chat with to learn more about opportunities in tax.

My intern mentor has also helped connect me with a few networking contacts. Having expressed interest in a finance role, he directed me to a manager in Financial Planning and Analysis who gave me valuable insight into his day-to-day role. While chatting with the FP&A manager, he connected me with another employee who provided more information about full-time employment opportunities and the hiring process at Cardinal Health. The networking chain continues!

Whether you are in an internship role, a student, or just reaching out to family and friends, never be afraid to utilize your network. Even a 30-minute chat over coffee can be a great learning experience and lead to potential opportunities in the future.

Kate Garrett

Kate Garrett is a Fisher Accounting major graduating in May, 2018. She is a Business Support Intern at Cardinal Health in Columbus, Ohio.

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