Internship Wrap-Up and Reflection

As the last few weeks of August near, the Ohio State campus becomes busy again as students return for a new year. And just like that, another summer has come and gone!

During the final days of my internship at Cardinal Health, the whirlwind of project wrap-up, final presentation prep, and full-time interviews all caused me to stop and think about my summer experience. It’s easy to notice if you like coming to work every day, but going a bit deeper may be useful in your future career search.

Here are a few questions worth pondering:

Do I like the work I am doing?

Think about the technical aspects of your summer job. An internship is a great way to get a glimpse of how skills transfer from classroom to workplace. If you didn’t love your summer work, what would make it better? For example, I really enjoyed the writing aspect of my intern role but would have liked to see more data analytics incorporated. Use this insight when evaluating future positions.

Do I like the company where I am working?

It’s often hard to describe company culture until you have lived it. After working for a company over the summer, did you identify with the core values? As my internship progressed, I was able to pinpoint certain things about Cardinal Health that I really appreciated. For example, other employees were highly open to networking, which helped me build a strong network and learn about the company.

Do I like the city I am working in?

Location is key! Enjoying your job is important, but what do you do outside of work? I have been at Ohio State for three years, but this was my first summer living in Columbus without the responsibilities of classwork. It was a completely different experience! I finally got to explore the city—museums, parks, plenty of new restaurants—which made it easier to imagine living here with a full-time job after graduation.

What did I learn in this position?

When you add a job or internship to your resume, what are your bullet points? This doesn’t have to be anything formal, but it can be useful to write down all of the accomplishments or tasks completed during an internship. Think about the technical skills, such as learning a new software program or understanding an operational process. Don’t forget the soft skills too; if you frequently worked on teams during your job, make sure to use those new or improved skills in classes with group work.

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.

Intern Events: High Ropes and Welcome Dinner

I just finished my fifth week at Cardinal Health, which means my summer internship is already half over! Cardinal does a great job of providing challenging projects for interns, as well as setting up a multitude of opportunities to network with full-time employees and other interns.

Last week we had two intern events: attending Summit Vision, a high ropes course intended for team-building, and the intern welcome dinner. Although I was initially skeptical of the high ropes course, it turned out to be a fun challenge! It was a great way to get to know the other interns in a more informal environment and get out of the office for an afternoon. Nothing facilitates intern bonding quite like rock climbing in Ohio heat and humidity.

The intern class at Summit Vision high ropes course.

The intern welcome dinner was later in the week and included all the field interns, who flew in for the day. Cardinal Health brings on interns at many of their locations, from California to Puerto Rico and everywhere in between. It was interesting to meet and mingle with other interns and their managers to see how their experience differs in a location other than headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.

The intern welcome dinner had another exciting element: a visit from the CEO, George Barrett. Throughout the summer, the intern class has the chance to hear from several executives who share their career path and insight into the company and healthcare industry.

CEO George Barrett welcomed everyone to the intern dinner.

Opportunities such as the high ropes course and the intern welcome dinner are a major benefit to the intern program. In only five weeks, I have met numerous interns, networked with other full-time employees, and learned so much about Cardinal Health as a company.

A Day in the Life: Summer Intern Edition

As a college student, you have quite a bit of flexibility in planning your day. Attend class, go to student organization meetings, work on group projects, and maybe hit the gym in between.

In the workplace, however, it takes a little more planning to schedule all your work in an 8-5 frame. Here is how a typical day looks at my summer internship at Cardinal Health:

8:00 a.m. – Arrive at work and get my laptop running. I spend 20-30 minutes reading emails, checking my calendar for the day, and reading any updates on the company website.

8:30-10:30 – Work independently at my desk and chip away at my summer project.

10:30 – Break time! To avoid the mid-morning slump, I like to get up and walk around for a few minutes to stay alert.

11:00-12:00 – Intern Mentor meeting. At Cardinal Health, each intern is paired with a full-time employee as their mentor. Our biweekly meetings are casual chats over coffee and a great opportunity to ask questions about the company.

12:00-1:00 p.m. – Lunch break. A group of interns usually forms in the cafeteria, which makes lunch a fun time to meet other people from various functions and schools.

1:00-2:00 p.m. – Return to my desk and keep working on various projects.

2:00-2:30 p.m. – Intern Committee meeting. I chose to join the Networking Intern Committee, which holds weekly meetings to plan networking events for other interns and employees.

2:30-3:30 p.m. – Meeting with my manager. To make sure I am staying on track, I schedule regular meetings to go over my project and get any questions answered.

3:30-5:00 p.m. – Finish up some final work and head home!

Internship Goals and Expectations: Cardinal Health

Hello! My name is Kate, and I am an incoming fourth year accounting major here at Fisher. This summer, I am interning at Cardinal Health in Columbus, Ohio. I am a finance intern within the SEC Reporting department. And because Cardinal Health follows a June 30 year-end, I get the privilege of partaking in the 10-K preparation process!

I have now successfully completed the first two weeks of my internship, which were mostly a whirlwind of absorbing information about the company, meeting other interns, and trying to find my desk in the maze of cubicles.

Another employee at Cardinal suggested that I compose a set of expectations and goals for the summer. That way, at the end of my internship, it would be easier to do a self-assessment and analyze all the things I accomplished. I figured it would also be a good way to put pen to paper and write down some things I wanted to learn over the summer.

Here is what I hope to get out of my internship:

  • Learn how to use one new software program
  • Partake in the 10-K annual report process
  • Establish a process to implement new accounting leasing standards
  • Present new accounting standards to finance department leadership
  • Network with other interns and full-time employees
  • Learn more about the audit process
  • Meet the CEO (all Cardinal interns get to do this!)

Stay tuned to see how these expectations play out in the weeks to come!