Networking is a skillan invaluable one for professional life. And like any skill, it’s improved with practice. But if the idea of diving straight into the cold formality of an industry networking event sounds a bit overwhelming, why not start with a friendly chat over a nice cup of tea? That’s the idea behind Hult’s welcoming new Tea Chat Society. 

We sat down with the President of the Tea Chat Society, Agata Jelonek, a final-year Bachelor of Business Administration student at Hult London, to find out how the convivial British tradition of taking tea is helping to warm students up for some serious network building.

Hult: Can you tell us a little about the idea behind the club? 

Agata: The main purpose of the club is to build connections among Hult students. The first idea was to name it “Networking Club” because it’s easier to understand. But we wanted to make it feel a little bit softer because the main purpose is about connections, and then in addition to that, it’s about building up networking skills. 

The idea genuinely came from a conversation with my friend. We’re both tea lovers and we have our Zoom calls while having tea and chit-chatting with each other.

The main purpose is about connections, and then it’s about building up networking skills.

The Board Members of Hult London's Tea Chat Society
The Board Members of Hult London’s Tea Chat Society

H: But why tea? Why not coffee?

Agata: The other choice was coffee chat, but because we are in the UK, it’s very much known for the whole tea culture. We felt that, as we are a London club, let’s go with tea to keep the UK root in it. 

H: So, how do you take your tea?

Agata: I would say I’m quite boring. I love black tea. Strong black tea. That’s my personal favorite. 

H: Can you join the Tea Chat Society if you don’t like tea?

Agata: Yes, because the tea isn’t really the purpose of the club. A lot of members don’t necessarily like drinking tea. It’s about networking, so that’s what drives people in.

The club offers a chance to get to know people you haven’t had the opportunity to meet either in class or by going to a party, while doing something fun. We like to offer something unique on campus. We’ve done speed networking, and for our next event, we’re planning to do a traditional British afternoon tea. 

Speed Networking with Hult's Tea Chat Society
A recent session of speed networking with the Tea Chat Society at Hult London

H: So people join more for the social and networking side than the tea?

Agata: The people who participate in our events usually want to build more connections, but they might feel a little bit hesitant about how to do it well. I include myself in that. You know, I would love to meet more people, but, OK, how can I do it? 

Especially having gone through a full year of studying online, it kind of makes you wonder: how should I approach people? It’s different approaching people online and approaching people in person. 

So that’s why we also plan to host workshops that will help people present their best selves to others. 

H: Tell us a bit more about the workshops the club plans to host

Agata: We want to do workshops that are a bit different and fun, with a professional “how to” aspect. Like how to present yourself, cool etiquette around sharing your business card, or how to read the room when you’re in a new environment with new people. Soft skills are a big part of the Tea Chat Society.

We want to keep it social and have fun getting to know each other. For future events, we’ll also invite Hult professors, postgraduate students, and even people from outside Hult to come along and share their stories.

H: What else is in store for the Tea Chat Society?

Agata: Because it’s still a very new club, we are focusing on growing our numbers among Hult students. However, we don’t want to be restricted to just the London undergraduate campus. We’re already planning to have our first joint event, inviting both London undergraduate campus students and postgraduate campus students. 

We want to expand to all Hult campuses, our next step is Hult Boston, and then maybe widen it to enrolling students and alumni. The club is all about building the Hult community.


A meeting of the Tea Chat Society on campus


The club is all about building the Hult community.

Join a cohort of passionate professionals from more than 170 nationalities at Hult International Business School.