What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

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005618502
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What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby 005618502 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:03 pm

So I posted this in another area, but i think people in this forum would have the most insight. I am thinking about deferring for a year (was already told it would be approved). Is one year of full time work experience enough to make a difference in interviews (I have heard that people with work experience do better at OCI) but is that more then a year?

What kind of jobs should i be looking for, or what would make any kind of difference. I was thinking working for the Livestrong foundation would be very interesting and others would be curious about the organization and my reasons for joining (my mother is a cancer survivor.) Or getting a job at the state capital where i am, something along those lines. Would this make any differnce or should i go for the job based purely on how much money i will make?

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:21 pm

v20 paralegals have been getting callbacks at their old firms, ibanking/finance seem to do better than their grades would indicate.

the two you listed seem pretty generic

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby 005618502 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:26 pm

Yea i know they are very generic. But i would like to stay in my current city, one big reason i am deferring for a year is for surgery and my Fiance. There are not many large firms here. Plus dont you need to get a Paralegal certificate (more schooling) to become a paralegal? I will only have one year, so i would hate to waste Xmonths on trying to gain a certificate.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:59 pm

i have finance experience and firms seemed to like it. i got several offers but i also have good grades from top10 so hard to say how much finance helped me. i do know medianish kids at my school though with finance or accounting backgrounds and they seemed to do fine as well. several interviewers told me my finance background would be really helpful for corporate law.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:16 pm

I think that your reasons for deferring anyway are perfectly legitimate. I did perfectly fine at OCI despite going straight through, though I pursued many internships and had pretty decent grades as well. If you're not at Vault firm as a paralegal or in finance and such, you probably won't see as much benefit from 1 year.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:21 pm

science/tech backgrounds are best

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:26 pm

It depends on the experience, and what practice area you want to go into (science/finance seem to be helpful for IP/Corporate). I had two years of experience (govt./politics), and it's probably the only reason I got a job at a great firm. It depends on how well you can spin the experience on a resume and in an interview. Your two job ideas sound good to me, and with a legitimate reason to defer, I say go for it. Find a job you want to do, that YOU think would be a good experience. The amount of money you'll make is less important. Good luck!

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby 005618502 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:23 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone. I unfortunately have a gov degree, so going into finance doesnt seem to likely.

I will try to find something interesting. Would love to be a paralegal, but again, dont i need a certificate to be a paralegal?

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby dood » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:46 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:10 pm

I don't have any corporate/finance experience whatsoever and did just fine. I paralegaled in a government agency and got to do a lot of substantive work, which my interviewers loved hearing about. A close friend of mine did a lot of social work and counseling before law school and did amazing during OCI (of course, with good grades too) because he was able to sell himself well - even though it wasn't corporate, he was used to working with clients, super long hours, underappreciation, etc. In the end, it's how you spin your WE that matters most.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:25 pm

Plus dont you need to get a Paralegal certificate (more schooling) to become a paralegal?


No.

But yeah, for the most part, you need to have done banking/consulting/engineering to have relevant WE.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:34 pm

note the distinction between "having non-related WE and doing just fine" and "doing better than grades would indicate with a certain work background."

Everyone can do fine at OCI. The question isn't will my WE hurt me (it never does), but how much can it help me.

Also, I think people mistake something that interviewers talk to you about on your resume for something that actually raises you in their esteem. Every interviewer has to talk about something your resume; it doesn't mean that it matters. Usually just a jumping off point for the conversation.

And paralegalling only seems to help if you try and go back to that firm.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby 005618502 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:31 am

Well, does that mean what i do wont really matter for anything more then average work experience? I mean gov degree makes it hard to go into finance. I could do a paralegal, but i dont want to end up living in the city i will be doing my off year in, so this presents another problem i guess.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:59 am

The most beneficial work experience is experience that will allow you to talk intelligently about and gain soft skills. The reason that places want work experience is that it helps you build maturity, work ethic, and, potentially, some leadership skills.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Whateverdude » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:38 am

dood wrote:
jt1341 wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone. I unfortunately have a gov degree, so going into finance doesnt seem to likely.

I will try to find something interesting. Would love to be a paralegal, but again, dont i need a certificate to be a paralegal?


not trying to be mean, but the truth is most big firms wont value anything outside of ibank, consulting, engineering, etc...a good way to judge if a firm will value it is how much salary is. for example, most of my friends who made $60K+ before law school all had WE that would "help most for OCI interview". im not joking about that, it actually makes sense...the skills the world values the most is pretty much what big firms also value the most.


False. Firms want WE that demonstrates maturity and an ability to be a professional. I have 5-years of active duty military experience, and firms always go out of their way to mention it. Whatever it is that you do, be sure to find ways to develop skills that will generalize into success at a firm, and to be prepared to communicate/demonstrate this.

EDIT: Whatever you do for one year, it is unlikely to really play into things heavily.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Turtledove » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:17 am

Whateverdude wrote:
dood wrote:
jt1341 wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone. I unfortunately have a gov degree, so going into finance doesnt seem to likely.

I will try to find something interesting. Would love to be a paralegal, but again, dont i need a certificate to be a paralegal?


not trying to be mean, but the truth is most big firms wont value anything outside of ibank, consulting, engineering, etc...a good way to judge if a firm will value it is how much salary is. for example, most of my friends who made $60K+ before law school all had WE that would "help most for OCI interview". im not joking about that, it actually makes sense...the skills the world values the most is pretty much what big firms also value the most.


False. Firms want WE that demonstrates maturity and an ability to be a professional. I have 5-years of active duty military experience, and firms always go out of their way to mention it. Whatever it is that you do, be sure to find ways to develop skills that will generalize into success at a firm, and to be prepared to communicate/demonstrate this.

EDIT: Whatever you do for one year, it is unlikely to really play into things heavily.


I actually think this speaks to a different issue. WE can matter either because it builds skills that are directly relevant to your future employment (ie quantitative skills or knowledge of financial markets) or because it can act as a signal of maturity leadership/any other desirable personal qualities. I think military experience is perhaps the strongest example of the latter, but I think that, in general, there are not many work experiences that can speak strongly enough to the latter to act as a real game changer in the recruiting process. I think that most truly relevant WE actually do fall in the former category.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:38 am

Don't believe the WE hype. It is only helpful if you can speak to it in a way that will attract BIgLaw interviewers to believe that you will be a good addition to their firm for a few years. If you have too much public sector work it can actually hurt you because firms think you will just bail on them; I was asked by 80% of my screening interviewers. Fed Agency work could be different though, I'm unsure because I don't have it and don't know anyone who does.

Private sector finance and legal industries are very helpful if you can explain why it will make you a good BigLaw associate. Obviously tech background for IP. Point is, just be able to convey why your WE will be helpful; most WE does not speak for itself. Even if you have legal industry, you might have done an area of law or tasks that would not be relevant to what is going to be expected from you in your first year in the firm.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Whateverdude » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Don't believe the WE hype. It is only helpful if you can speak to it in a way that will attract BIgLaw interviewers to believe that you will be a good addition to their firm for a few years. If you have too much public sector work it can actually hurt you because firms think you will just bail on them; I was asked by 80% of my screening interviewers. Fed Agency work could be different though, I'm unsure because I don't have it and don't know anyone who does.

Private sector finance and legal industries are very helpful if you can explain why it will make you a good BigLaw associate. Obviously tech background for IP. Point is, just be able to convey why your WE will be helpful; most WE does not speak for itself. Even if you have legal industry, you might have done an area of law or tasks that would not be relevant to what is going to be expected from you in your first year in the firm.


This.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby dood » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:00 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Veyron » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:03 pm

dood wrote:
jt1341 wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone. I unfortunately have a gov degree, so going into finance doesnt seem to likely.

I will try to find something interesting. Would love to be a paralegal, but again, dont i need a certificate to be a paralegal?


not trying to be mean, but the truth is most big firms wont value anything outside of ibank, consulting, engineering, etc...a good way to judge if a firm will value it is how much salary is. for example, most of my friends who made $60K+ before law school all had WE that would "help most for OCI interview". im not joking about that, it actually makes sense...the skills the world values the most is pretty much what big firms also value the most.


True, with the cravat that (based on my conversations with partners and sr. attorneys), a candidate with any full-time work experience is preferred over one with none all other things being =. The experience of my friends in OCI has borne this out.
Last edited by Veyron on Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby dood » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:05 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Veyron » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:06 pm

dood wrote:i tell interviewers i was a muddafucking hustler for 2 years, where i learned the skillz of the streets. "i can covert metric to us standard like WUT; 1kg = 2.2lbs" they loved that shit.


If I had a firm, you would be an auto-hire.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Whateverdude » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:35 pm

dood wrote:
Whateverdude wrote:
dood wrote:
jt1341 wrote:
not trying to be mean, but the truth is most big firms wont value anything outside of ibank, consulting, engineering, etc...a good way to judge if a firm will value it is how much salary is. for example, most of my friends who made $60K+ before law school all had WE that would "help most for OCI interview". im not joking about that, it actually makes sense...the skills the world values the most is pretty much what big firms also value the most.


False. Firms want WE that demonstrates maturity and an ability to be a professional. I have 5-years of active duty military experience, and firms always go out of their way to mention it. Whatever it is that you do, be sure to find ways to develop skills that will generalize into success at a firm, and to be prepared to communicate/demonstrate this.

EDIT: Whatever you do for one year, it is unlikely to really play into things heavily.


what? why would u start a reply with "false", then proceed to validate and agree with everything i said?


Because I was not validating everything that you said. Your assertion that firms most likely won't value experiences outside of the categories enumerated is off-base. So is the one claiming that salary is a good bellweather for value of the experience. While salary might be one indicator of how much value a firm will attach to a set of experiences, I think that you make too much out of it. For instance: I never made very much at all (less than 30k) while I was managing treatment programs for two separate camps rehabilitating juvenile delinquents, but I had a heck of a lot of responsibility for training and supervising staff, ensuring compliance with government requirements, interfacing with courts, and developing business for the company.

The experience itself is what is important, and whether you have developed skills that are generalizable into other areas. I have also spent some effort crafting how I portray my experiences to firms in order to highlight (and control) how my skills will make me an asset to ANYONE, including their particular firm.

In my opinion, your comment over-simplified things and missed the mark in the process.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby bdubs » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:56 pm

jt1341 wrote:Would this make any differnce or should i go for the job based purely on how much money i will make?


Get the job that will net you the most money and use it to help pay for your tuition and/or living expenses.

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Re: What work experience would help most for OCI interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:10 pm

Great soft factors that you could put on a resume helped me - i.e: non-traditional work experience, ironman race finisher, starting my own company. I would guess that military experience would also be a huge asset.




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