Coffee is Not Just for Closers

Posted on Saturday, Apr 14, 2018

As the age-old adage goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This holds true universally, but nowhere more than in Washington, D.C., where one common acquaintance can mean your foot in the door for the next step in your career.

In what sometimes amounts to a professional version of Barney Stinson’s “Have You Met Ted”, networking and connecting with individuals in your desired field is vital to future success. It’s not enough to just collect business cards, you must be intentional about connecting and growing through each experience.

In a town that is basically fueled by caffeine, one of the easiest ways to connect is over coffee. People will, more often than not, make time to help out young professionals trying to make their way in D.C. All you have to do is ask.

When you meet for coffee or lunch or drinks or whatever, there are things you should keep in mind:
  • Time is valuable, so do not take too long to get to the point
  • Be prepared to answer hard questions like “What do you want to do?”
  • Ask questions about their experiences and learn from their answers.
  • Bring a resume (just in case)
  • Always follow up with a thank you card or an email.
Whether it’s Peet’s, Starbs, or the Longworth Dunkin’ Donuts, be sure to make time for coffee because you’re only one contact away from your next opportunity.

Michael Buse
Texas A&M University System Office of Federal Relations
Washington, D.C. | spring 2018