How I Spent My Weekends in North Carolina

Before I came to Raleigh, I imagined it very similar to Columbus and was surprised to find that it was contrarily pretty small. Although Raleigh has roughly half the population of Columbus, there are still plenty of activities to do in the area. It was also nice having a roommate in the new city, because I already had a friend to do things with on the weekends! Below are some of the activities I did this summer:

Farmer’s Market: I went to the Durham Farmer’s Market every Saturday I was in town. I enjoy browsing around and getting fresh eggs. At this farmers market they also had craftsmen and a potter whom I purchased from weekly. They also had a lot of different food trucks and coffee to choose from.

Dame’s Chicken & Waffles

Downtown: Going to downtown Raleigh and Durham was always something fun to do, whether it was going into the shops, or grabbing something to eat. There were always new areas and street art to find.

Downtown Raleigh

Wrightsville Beach: Living in North Carolina has its perks, and being close to the beach is one of them. One weekend my roommate and I drove a little over two hours to the beach. We got a hotel for one night and went to the beach both Saturday and Sunday. We also ate a nice seafood dinner. It was relaxing to have a weekend away from home.

Wrightsville Beach

College Campus: I took some time exploring the college campuses around me. Duke University is a mile from my home, so I visited there frequently. The other colleges I explored are North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Some of the other interns in my group go to UNC Chapel Hill, so I went to hang out with them on a few weekend nights and observed how their campus culture differed from OSU.

Duke University
Duke Gardens

Hiking: Forests are abundant in North Carolina. It is one of the main things I noticed when I got here and I enjoy driving through the scenery. I wanted to hike one weekend and searched for the best trails on the internet because this area can also be very flat. I thankfully found a long trail that had a mixture of terrains and steep hills. It was nice to be submerged in nature. There are also a lot of good hiking spots that are within a couple hours away that I would have driven to if I had more time.

Eno State Park

Kayaking: My roommates, a few other people, and I went kayaking in a lake one weekend day. It was surprisingly cheap, only costing five dollars a day for a kayak. After kayaking in a lake I can definitely say that I like kayaking in a river more, but it was nice to get outside and get a little workout at the same time.

Festivals: There is always some type of festival going on during the summer months. I went to the Fourth of July festival in downtown Raleigh and to a Food Truck Festival. There are also a lot of free concerts in the parks that you can go to and listen to local bands.

Traveling: I also took a trip back to Columbus one weekend because I had a few weekend activities to do with my family. The flight was really easy, though I ended up getting delayed three hours due to storms in Ohio. I also went to New York the weekend before my internship ended for a close friend’s wedding. Because her wedding was on a Friday evening, I was not sure if I would be able to work, but luckily my boss said I could work from my laptop on Friday. At Cisco, your laptop is your computer and you take it home with you every day, making this trip doable. Saturday I went to the city with my other friends at the wedding and we explored and ate a bunch of good food. Then, Sunday I visited a friend and also Fisher alum, Sophia Mullins, before flying back to North Carolina to finish out my last week in the internship.

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!