Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

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SpiteFence
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby SpiteFence » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Oh, let me tack on an important 10:


10. Offices. Think very hard about offices. I was surprised when screeners were like, "so, what other offices are you interested in? I can give them your application materials". It sounds tempting, but I suspect that it is what certain naval officers would call "A TRAP!" I'm not sure, but I get the feeling that if you're going to get a callback, it will almost certainly be to the office that the interviewer is from. If you get stuck with an interviewer from, say, LA, and you want SF, I would probably advise treating it as an opportunity to get an LA job. I'm not sure, though.


I think this depends on the firm. This is certainly true at the firms that consider each office a profit-center, but I think there are those that are legitimately looking for multiple offices. I think some signs that it is OK to apply for an office different than the sceener's are multiple screeners from different offices, a firm-wide HR rep also is present, the screener is not from the office closest to your school.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:17 pm

SpiteFence wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Oh, let me tack on an important 10:


10. Offices. Think very hard about offices. I was surprised when screeners were like, "so, what other offices are you interested in? I can give them your application materials". It sounds tempting, but I suspect that it is what certain naval officers would call "A TRAP!" I'm not sure, but I get the feeling that if you're going to get a callback, it will almost certainly be to the office that the interviewer is from. If you get stuck with an interviewer from, say, LA, and you want SF, I would probably advise treating it as an opportunity to get an LA job. I'm not sure, though.


I think this depends on the firm. This is certainly true at the firms that consider each office a profit-center, but I think there are those that are legitimately looking for multiple offices. I think some signs that it is OK to apply for an office different than the sceener's are multiple screeners from different offices, a firm-wide HR rep also is present, the screener is not from the office closest to your school.


I'm the guy above and this was the giveaway for me that it was OK.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:25 pm

Be wary of underbidding as well as overbidding. I'm slightly below median at Penn and got callbacks into the v15.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Be wary of underbidding as well as overbidding. I'm slightly below median at Penn and got callbacks into the v15.


This is good advice too. Instead of filling those low bid slots with firms with summer classes of 6 or 8 people, if I had to do it over again I would have bid big V20 firms with larger summer classes.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Be wary of underbidding as well as overbidding. I'm slightly below median at Penn and got callbacks into the v15.


Definitely.

Top 20% at MVP here and I had callbacks in the V5/V10. I should have been bidding on more of Cravath, Debevoise, and Cleary, and less of Baker & McKenzie, Kasowitz, etc.

If you're top quarter or better at a T14 I think you need to get a lot of bids in the V20, and preferably the NYC V20. Those are the firms with the biggest summer classes and most favorable callback-to-offer ratios.

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Veyron
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Veyron » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Be wary of underbidding as well as overbidding. I'm slightly below median at Penn and got callbacks into the v15.


IP? URM?

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RVP11
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby RVP11 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:48 pm

Veyron wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Be wary of underbidding as well as overbidding. I'm slightly below median at Penn and got callbacks into the v15.


IP? URM?


Dude, a lot of the firms in the V15 will call back down to MVP's medianish if you can rock the interviews. Notably, STB, Skadden, and Weil aren't super anally selective on grades. Debevoise and Paul Weiss used to go down almost as far and still probably do occasionally. WilmerHale (V16?) is another one.

The ones who generally don't are W&C, Munger, Irell, CSM, S&C, Cleary, Gibson, K&E. I hear conflicting stories about DPW.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:52 pm

On underbidding: I think that people flocked to the "least-selective" firms, which resulted in fewer interviews per bid. It seems the secret ninja bidding technique was to use your weakest bids on super-selective firms, because most people are panicking and going for what sound like the least-selective.

Of course, this is all much easier said than done, when career services doesn't really tell you what firms have what GPA floors and what hiring preferences. I get the impression that at my T14, 25% or so was the magic number for many firms, but I really don't know.

I'll also add in a twelfth point:

12. When you get dinged, ask for feedback. You'll get a lot of silence, but some will respond, and their feedback can be enlightening. Most alumni want to help you, even if they're constrained by the number of callbacks they can give out, and if you ask (emphasizing that you're just looking for advice for future interviews, not trying to argue with them about your rejection) I find some will give you very candid and helpful responses. (Even if it kind of makes you want to kill them or yourself, it's good of them to be willing to be honest rather than taking the easy way out and saying "Oh, you were fine, too many qualified applicants, blah blah, you're awesome! Really, you may have just been slightly too good for our humble firm, and your resume intimidated us!")


Added while posting:
RVP11 wrote:Dude, a lot of the firms in the V15 will call back down to MVP's medianish if you can rock the interviews. Notably, STB, Skadden, and Weil aren't super anally selective on grades. Debevoise and Paul Weiss used to go down almost as far and still probably do occasionally. WilmerHale (V16?) is another one.

The ones who generally don't are W&C, Munger, Irell, CSM, S&C, Cleary, Gibson, K&E. I hear conflicting stories about DPW.


See, it's this kind of data that really helps. Why career services doesn't tell you this kind of thing is beyond me. Sheer laziness, I suppose, but wow, that is some incredible laziness. Would it fucking kill them to assemble a booklet with data on apparent/announced GPA floors and other hiring preferences info?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Veyron » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:53 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Be wary of underbidding as well as overbidding. I'm slightly below median at Penn and got callbacks into the v15.


IP? URM?


Dude, a lot of the firms in the V15 will call back down to MVP's medianish if you can rock the interviews. Notably, STB, Skadden, and Weil aren't super anally selective on grades. Debevoise and Paul Weiss used to go down almost as far and still probably do occasionally. WilmerHale (V16?) is another one.


I'm not saying the poster is being anything less than honest, I just want to know all the factors relevant to the poster's interviews (assembling data points and all that). As a law student, I'm a natural pessimist.



"See, it's this kind of data that really helps. Why career services doesn't tell you this kind of thing is beyond me. Sheer laziness, I suppose, but wow, that is some incredible laziness. Would it fucking kill them to assemble a booklet with data on apparent/announced GPA floors and other hiring preferences info?"

Our career services does assemble a secret, magical book like this. They also think we shit rainbows - I try not to take them too seriously.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:59 pm

The ones who generally don't are W&C, Munger, Irell, CSM, S&C, Cleary, Gibson, K&E. I hear conflicting stories about DPW.


Maybe there's a different story for CCN. At my school, DPW, Cleary, and K&E routinely call back people who are even below median (though not too far below). Gibson goes pretty low depending on the office--NYC isn't particularly selective. Irell wants top 20% or so, but will go for far lower if you have the relevant IP background. CSM, prior to the economic crisis, hired anyone with a pulse from CCN. Probably changed last year because of the 20 or so SA class they ended up having, but given that they're going back up to 70, I'd imagine that selectivity has lessened somewhat.


But yes, W&C, Munger, S&C, WLRK, and a few others, tend to cling very closely to their grade preferences. For better or worse.

Coincidentally, those are also four firms that are dealing with the financial crisis quite handily. Makes you wonder.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:11 pm

Another possible risk of underbidding: it could well be that especially those with "good but not awesome" grades are doing themselves a disservice by panicking and shooting low. Perhaps firms with lower GPA standards just care less about pedigree in general, and you're better off targeting firms for whom your good grades will be a plus. I know I ran into a couple firms full of non-T14 people who were at the tippy-top of their class; one of them even kind of turned his nose up at my grades when I asked him about any reservations he had about me as a candidate. I immediately smiled and made some saccharine comment about how I was pleased my grades improved the second semester as I learned about how to study, while resisting the urge to yell that if I had his grades at my school, I'd be debating how best to set up my path to a Supreme Court clerkship, not applying to his dive of a firm. I agree that school elitism is arbitrary and largely baseless, but that's the reality. If you shoot low, I think you end up facing a rather hostile audience that will if anything hold your school against you.

While I'm griping: anyone else find something especially infuriating about this whole "We need to make sure you're serious about our firm/market and won't run off!" line? It's so much salt in the wound when you're desperate for any fucking paying job to have people being wary that you'll flee them for one of your non-existent other offers.

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RVP11
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby RVP11 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
The ones who generally don't are W&C, Munger, Irell, CSM, S&C, Cleary, Gibson, K&E. I hear conflicting stories about DPW.


Maybe there's a different story for CCN. At my school, DPW, Cleary, and K&E routinely call back people who are even below median (though not too far below). Gibson goes pretty low depending on the office--NYC isn't particularly selective. Irell wants top 20% or so, but will go for far lower if you have the relevant IP background. CSM, prior to the economic crisis, hired anyone with a pulse from CCN. Probably changed last year because of the 20 or so SA class they ended up having, but given that they're going back up to 70, I'd imagine that selectivity has lessened somewhat.


I should have clarified: all the Gibson data I have is skewed by their more selective DC and LA offices.

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20160810
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby 20160810 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:48 pm

SF is a lot tougher to crack if you're (1) from out of state and (2) only bidding on the elite white-shoe firms. For people going to school in CA and willing to work in smaller and mid-sized firms, it's not as bad as some of the posts here suggest.

I'd say the following:

1.) Get on NALP/Martindale and start mass-mailing in July with an awesome cover letter. Depending on your grades/school, the number of mailings you'll want to send will increase. Top-10% at a T14 can probably send out few to none. But if your grades are just OK at a so-so law school (let's say top third-ish at a T30) or good at a bad law school, sending out 200-300 mass mailings (if not more) could mean the difference between having a job and not. Planning to fail OCI if you even have a 10% chance of doing so is the smart move from square one.

2.) Don't bullshit the interviewers. Be informed about the firm, but don't ask questions you obviously cooked up from 2 minutes of looking at their website. Instead get into real discussions and try as much as you can to establish relationships with them. Related point: Don't go in there guns-blazing about one specific area of law unless you're IP or something legit. You might be an editor on your school's environmental journal, but if they don't need someone to do land use, you're boned. On the other hand, saying "I'm open to all kinds of new things" isn't going to hurt you. They know you're only a 2L.

3.) Don't masturbate furiously during the interview, even if you really, really want to. If you absolutely must pleasure yourself during a callback lunch, excuse yourself to go to the restroom and try to be quick about it.

4.) USE ALL YOUR BIDS AND IGNORE THE POSTED GRADE CUTOFFS. There is no reason not to bid on good firms if you have extra bids. Do not short yourself on any options. Once you're in the door, anything can happen. If you don't play, you can't win. Bid wisely of course, but if you have extra bids don't let them go to waste.

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Veyron
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Veyron » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:01 pm

^ Any more ideas about how one can go about getting a job with a midsized or smaller firm that doesn't have an SA program directly out of law school (yes, obvi networking. More specific than that)?

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby SpiteFence » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:48 am

SBL wrote:4.) USE ALL YOUR BIDS AND IGNORE THE POSTED GRADE CUTOFFS. There is no reason not to bid on good firms if you have extra bids. Do not short yourself on any options. Once you're in the door, anything can happen. If you don't play, you can't win. Bid wisely of course, but if you have extra bids don't let them go to waste.


OCS told us there is wiggle room with the percentile cut offs, but to strictly adhere to to GPA cut offs. My GPA was .02 off from the tippy top firms that came to campus. You think I should have bid?

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby LurkerNoMore » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:25 am

Start networking early (1Ls -- get cracking!). If a firm hosts an event, go to it. Listen to the presentation, talk with the attorneys that are there. These events are excellent opportunities to learn about the business of law. Understanding the business of law firms can help enormously in interviews. You can also ask "dumb questions" without penalty. As a 1L, they don't expect you to know anything -- if you approach talking with attorneys as a learning opportunity, you can get a lot of good information and still leave a favorable impression.

Along those lines -- set up informational interviews or informal meetings with either attorneys you have ties to or who work at firms you are interested in (or both). Early on 1L summer is an excellent time to do this. Use your undergraduate alumni database to find attorneys in the city you are in (or the city you eventually want to work in). Try to find attorneys on this list that either are at firms you are interested in or are also alums of your law school as well. Contact them and ask if you could meet/talk with them about (their firm/their practice area/the market/etc.). If you are able to talk with them you can get excellent information on the market/firm/practice group in question and can make a contact that might be helpful later.

Send out resumes and cover letters to non-OCI firms by the end of July. Be prepared to do call backs before OCI even starts. If you get a call back, take it -- even if it is for a firm you aren't as interested in. Having an offer in your pocket before OCI even starts can do a lot for your nerves, and can allow you to drop screening interviews or call backs of firms that you wouldn't take over the offer you already have.

As many have said, bid strategically. Don't excessively over or underbid. But also think about how your school views the firms. Don't spend all your top bids on firms that typically are ranked low by your peers. Mix it up. Use every single one of your bids. If your school has an opportunity to pick up firms that have open slots after bidding is completed, use that opportunity.

If you missed getting a screening interview, immediately contact the firm's HR person and explain that you were very interested in them, but did not get an interview slot. Follow up again if you get callbacks in that city.

If a firm has a hospitality suite, go and remember that people may be taking notes. If it is a firm you are interviewing with, you can use the suite as a way to get more information going into your interview, or as a way to follow up about your interest afterwards. If it is a firm you don't have an interview with, bring a resume. You might be able to get a screening interview out of your visit.

Remember, OCS has a vested interest in selling the brand of the school, not a vested interest in selling *you.* They will want to play it safe and get the most people placed, knowing, at many schools, that this will not be all of the students. They have less incentive to make sure you, in particular, are placed. Therefore, you are liable to get generic advice from them and get pressure to get your resume to "conform." Take this advice with a huge grain of salt. If you have a quirky resume or one that may lack substance, talk to actual attorneys about how to present it (this can be a topic for the informational interviews). Incorporate this advice with the advice OCS gives. You may want to mix things up -- play it safe with some firms, take risks with others.

The bottom line: don't be cocky. No matter what school you are at or what your grades are, assume that the job search will be difficult. It is much better to bust your ass doing all of the above and wind up with more than a dozen offers than it is to do what, numbers-wise, should be enough and wind up being the person who caught a bad break.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
SpiteFence wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Oh, let me tack on an important 10:


10. Offices. Think very hard about offices. I was surprised when screeners were like, "so, what other offices are you interested in? I can give them your application materials". It sounds tempting, but I suspect that it is what certain naval officers would call "A TRAP!" I'm not sure, but I get the feeling that if you're going to get a callback, it will almost certainly be to the office that the interviewer is from. If you get stuck with an interviewer from, say, LA, and you want SF, I would probably advise treating it as an opportunity to get an LA job. I'm not sure, though.


I think this depends on the firm. This is certainly true at the firms that consider each office a profit-center, but I think there are those that are legitimately looking for multiple offices. I think some signs that it is OK to apply for an office different than the sceener's are multiple screeners from different offices, a firm-wide HR rep also is present, the screener is not from the office closest to your school.


I'm the guy above and this was the giveaway for me that it was OK.


I am not the guy above, but I too am working in a different office than the one the person who interviewed me is from. However, that guy was from a branch office in Atlanta, and I am at the main office in DC. Going in, I told him explicitly that I wanted to be in DC. I didn't say I wouldn't be in Atlanta, but I definitely did not try and sell any interest in the city. I think it is usually safe to pick a main office. I think ultimately the key is to have a VERY strong favorite, and to stick with it. Unless you definitively state one office, all of the offices are going to be wondering if you really wouldn't rather be somewhere else.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Bosque » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:35 am

SpiteFence wrote:
SBL wrote:4.) USE ALL YOUR BIDS AND IGNORE THE POSTED GRADE CUTOFFS. There is no reason not to bid on good firms if you have extra bids. Do not short yourself on any options. Once you're in the door, anything can happen. If you don't play, you can't win. Bid wisely of course, but if you have extra bids don't let them go to waste.


OCS told us there is wiggle room with the percentile cut offs, but to strictly adhere to to GPA cut offs. My GPA was .02 off from the tippy top firms that came to campus. You think I should have bid?


YES. If you wow the coordinator in an interview, sometimes they can/will sell you to the committee regardless of you slightly lower GPA.

However, since you are below the cutoffs I would have advised you to bid those firms low, which probably would have meant that you would not have been granted a screening interview with many. So the result is likely the same. But a slight chance is still better than no chance.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby 20160810 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:37 am

SpiteFence wrote:
SBL wrote:4.) USE ALL YOUR BIDS AND IGNORE THE POSTED GRADE CUTOFFS. There is no reason not to bid on good firms if you have extra bids. Do not short yourself on any options. Once you're in the door, anything can happen. If you don't play, you can't win. Bid wisely of course, but if you have extra bids don't let them go to waste.


OCS told us there is wiggle room with the percentile cut offs, but to strictly adhere to to GPA cut offs. My GPA was .02 off from the tippy top firms that came to campus. You think I should have bid?

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Yes. Yes. You should have. Yes. OCS was wrong.

Don't bid on all tippy-top firms at the exclusion of more realistic ones, of course, but if you have leftover bids, who gives a shit if Jones Day "requires" a 3.5 (or what have you)? The worst they can do is tell you no, and you might get the lottery interview. Once you're in the door, you have a chance. It might be a small chance, but it's better than no chance.

And for the record, I am not a URM and I received both callbacks and an offer from firms whose posted GPA cutoff was slightly higher than my GPA.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby RVP11 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:26 pm

A) Don't trust the "cutoffs" firms list on Symplicity. They're in no way based on reality.

B) DO talk to career services about firms' traditional callback ranges. If XYZ firm's lowest callback last year was .1 or .2 higher than you in GPA, you probably have no business bidding on them. Also, pay more attention to firms' LOWEST callback GPA rather than their AVERAGE callback GPA, which often skews high.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby RVP11 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:29 pm

Another piece of advice: schmoozing with the recruiting lady only helps you get an interview if you don't already have one, it DOESN'T help you get a callback. Don't be rude, but also don't feel like you have to stick around and chat and eat their donuts and take their propaganda in order to get a callback.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby SpiteFence » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:59 pm

RVP11 wrote:A) Don't trust the "cutoffs" firms list on Symplicity. They're in no way based on reality.

B) DO talk to career services about firms' traditional callback ranges. If XYZ firm's lowest callback last year was .1 or .2 higher than you in GPA, you probably have no business bidding on them. Also, pay more attention to firms' LOWEST callback GPA rather than their AVERAGE callback GPA, which often skews high.


Well no harm no foul because I still got one of my top firms, but I really wish I would have known this prior to OCI. Lurking 1Ls take notice.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:See, it's this kind of data that really helps. Why career services doesn't tell you this kind of thing is beyond me. Sheer laziness, I suppose, but wow, that is some incredible laziness. Would it fucking kill them to assemble a booklet with data on apparent/announced GPA floors and other hiring preferences info?


FWIW. I'm top 20% at DNC and my CSO told me I have a shot at everything below CSM and S&C. Ended up getting offers at a V5 and a V10 among others. Not all CSOs are clueless.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby rayiner » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:07 pm

RVP11 wrote:Another piece of advice: schmoozing with the recruiting lady only helps you get an interview if you don't already have one, it DOESN'T help you get a callback. Don't be rude, but also don't feel like you have to stick around and chat and eat their donuts and take their propaganda in order to get a callback.


I stick around so I can eat the donuts.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:See, it's this kind of data that really helps. Why career services doesn't tell you this kind of thing is beyond me. Sheer laziness, I suppose, but wow, that is some incredible laziness. Would it fucking kill them to assemble a booklet with data on apparent/announced GPA floors and other hiring preferences info?


FWIW. I'm top 20% at DNC and my CSO told me I have a shot at everything below CSM and S&C. Ended up getting offers at a V5 and a V10 among others. Not all CSOs are clueless.


Was top 20% at MVP and my CSO told me about the same thing (they included W&C as one I had no shot at). I too snagged V5/V10.




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