Mich OCI 2011

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JetstoRJC
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Mich OCI 2011

Postby JetstoRJC » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:14 pm

Thought it might be a good idea to have such a thread, and Bronte's suggestion in the 3.4 percentile debate thread confirmed that others have an interest in an OCI thread as well.

I had the same question Bronte raised in the other thread. OCS makes it sound like bidding on more than 2 markets is a death wish. I don't think this is necessarily true in all cases, but would be curious as to others thoughts and strategies.

Also, for those that are planning on mass mailing, when are you going to start?

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Helmholtz
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:12 pm

There is a 3L I know pretty well who hit OCI out of the park. He thought that the one-market-only advice was horrible and responsible for screwing a lot of people over. He thought two was the sweet spot, but this is all secondhand anecdotal evidence. I know that he did an insane amount of research for OCI (I have seen it - very impressive), and by all accounts, should know what he's talking about. He is one of only a few people I know who I would completely trust on pretty much every single thing said about OCI or firms.

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mblueyahoo!
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby mblueyahoo! » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:31 pm

Helmholtz wrote:There is a 3L I know pretty well who hit OCI out of the park. He thought that the one-market-only advice was horrible and responsible for screwing a lot of people over. He thought two was the sweet spot, but this is all secondhand anecdotal evidence. I know that he did an insane amount of research for OCI (I have seen it - very impressive), and by all accounts, should know what he's talking about. He is one of only a few people I know who I would completely trust on pretty much every single thing said about OCI or firms.


A little off topic, but could you describe what made his research impressive?

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Bronte
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Bronte » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:36 pm

mblueyahoo! wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:There is a 3L I know pretty well who hit OCI out of the park. He thought that the one-market-only advice was horrible and responsible for screwing a lot of people over. He thought two was the sweet spot, but this is all secondhand anecdotal evidence. I know that he did an insane amount of research for OCI (I have seen it - very impressive), and by all accounts, should know what he's talking about. He is one of only a few people I know who I would completely trust on pretty much every single thing said about OCI or firms.


A little off topic, but could you describe what made his research impressive?


I don't think that's off topic at all. I'm also interested what research and preparation is advisable. I understand you could make flashcards or otherwise get up to speed on each firm's culture, structure, practices, current cases, etc. and you could even research your interviewers. But it almost seems douchey to actually drop this kind of stuff in an interview. I guess you just have to be tactful.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:37 pm

mblueyahoo! wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:There is a 3L I know pretty well who hit OCI out of the park. He thought that the one-market-only advice was horrible and responsible for screwing a lot of people over. He thought two was the sweet spot, but this is all secondhand anecdotal evidence. I know that he did an insane amount of research for OCI (I have seen it - very impressive), and by all accounts, should know what he's talking about. He is one of only a few people I know who I would completely trust on pretty much every single thing said about OCI or firms.


A little off topic, but could you describe what made his research impressive?


Just really, really detailed descriptions of the firm; its culture; its financial stability (things like offer rates, any associate layoffs, speculation and stats as to how well it handled the crisis, etc., etc.); a detailed biography of the interviewer; and really thoughtful, personalized questions to ask each firm were the highlights.

keg411
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby keg411 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:28 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
mblueyahoo! wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:There is a 3L I know pretty well who hit OCI out of the park. He thought that the one-market-only advice was horrible and responsible for screwing a lot of people over. He thought two was the sweet spot, but this is all secondhand anecdotal evidence. I know that he did an insane amount of research for OCI (I have seen it - very impressive), and by all accounts, should know what he's talking about. He is one of only a few people I know who I would completely trust on pretty much every single thing said about OCI or firms.


A little off topic, but could you describe what made his research impressive?


Just really, really detailed descriptions of the firm; its culture; its financial stability (things like offer rates, any associate layoffs, speculation and stats as to how well it handled the crisis, etc., etc.); a detailed biography of the interviewer; and really thoughtful, personalized questions to ask each firm were the highlights.


:shock: :shock:

That is impressive. And here I thought the spreadsheets I made was going a bit overboard already; but all I have is # of SA's, offer rates and contact info (and notes from my current school's OCI firms). Looks like I have a lot more work to do....

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Bronte
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Bronte » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:35 pm

I guess my question is, do you say to your interview, "Well, I read your bio and saw that you worked on the John Doe case in 2009; what motivated you to" whatever? Or is it more used as background information to ask good questions that don't reveal that you're a gunner-stalker?

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Helmholtz
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:43 pm

Bronte wrote:I guess my question is, do you say to your interview, "Well, I read your bio and saw that you worked on the John Doe case in 2009; what motivated you to" whatever? Or is it more used as background information to ask good questions that don't reveal that you're a gunner-stalker?


Usually the latter, but I think my 3L friend mentioned that he sometimes tied it in like: "I know that you have some experience in --area of practice-- at --firm--. I'm really interested in --area of practice-- and thought you might be in a good position to tell me a little more about --something maybe unique to that area-- at --firm --. I was specifically wondering if......blah blah....." I think this comes off much more as doing-your-research rather than creepy-stalking.

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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby goodolgil » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:36 am

Can anyone confirm what was said in the other thread about the average being 10-11 interviews? I was under the impression it as more like 14-15.

I am likely only going to target NYC and Chicago, but that would be the case for me even if OCS recommending targeting 10+ Markets. I don't quite get the logic behind only targeting 1 or 2. If just getting a job is the goal, it would seem that bidding on the firms that would give you the best job of getting a job (how's that for circular reasoning?) would be the right idea, regardless of what market they're in. I know that most of the easiest firms to get jobs in are in NYC, but not all of them are (right?).

GMVarun
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby GMVarun » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:42 am

The reason why limiting yourself to 1-2 markets makes sense is that every market other than NYC and DC arguably relies on ties -- Chicago to some extent, Bay Area definitely, LA to some extent, and all secondaries from my understanding. So the more markets you do, the less credible chance you have at conveying strong ties.

And depending on your GPA, NYC has a huge range of firms coming, and so while splitting Chicago/NYC is not necessarily bad, it may be unnecessary if all you care about is getting A job. Keep in mind class sizes, so a slightly higher GPA preference may still be better than a lower GPA threshold with a smaller class size, and NYC is where all the big classes are. I think if you do your research, you will be fine -- but it takes effort to research a market, and the more markets you do, the more time you should commit to doing so.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:50 am

goodolgil wrote:Can anyone confirm what was said in the other thread about the average being 10-11 interviews? I was under the impression it as more like 14-15.

I am likely only going to target NYC and Chicago, but that would be the case for me even if OCS recommending targeting 10+ Markets. I don't quite get the logic behind only targeting 1 or 2. If just getting a job is the goal, it would seem that bidding on the firms that would give you the best job of getting a job (how's that for circular reasoning?) would be the right idea, regardless of what market they're in. I know that most of the easiest firms to get jobs in are in NYC, but not all of them are (right?).


10-11 sounds really low to me, but it wouldn't surprise me if the people participating in that one Michigan OCI which was a complete clusterfuck experienced a really low number of interviews (I think everybody wanted to play it safe so they all bid heavy on "safe firms," which is fine unless everybody does that and the "safe firms" only have a limited number of interviews they can squeeze in). How many interview slots you get is probably going to depend a lot on how smart you bid. Also, just because you got 10-11 interviews through bidding doesn't mean that you're only going to be able to snag 10-11 interviews during OCI week...

goodolgil
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby goodolgil » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:49 am

GMVarun wrote:The reason why limiting yourself to 1-2 markets makes sense is that every market other than NYC and DC arguably relies on ties -- Chicago to some extent, Bay Area definitely, LA to some extent, and all secondaries from my understanding. So the more markets you do, the less credible chance you have at conveying strong ties.

And depending on your GPA, NYC has a huge range of firms coming, and so while splitting Chicago/NYC is not necessarily bad, it may be unnecessary if all you care about is getting A job. Keep in mind class sizes, so a slightly higher GPA preference may still be better than a lower GPA threshold with a smaller class size, and NYC is where all the big classes are. I think if you do your research, you will be fine -- but it takes effort to research a market, and the more markets you do, the more time you should commit to doing so.


You're right, that was an oversight on my part, but I was sort of taking it for granted in the "chances of getting a job" calculation (having ties would make chances higher, no ties would make it lower). My main point was that it would seem to make the most sense for people to bid on firms that give them the greatest chance of scoring an offer (provided they would be happy working there). If for whatever reason such a bid list contains more than one or two markets, then I don't think people should be afraid to bid on multiple markets.

seriouslyinformative
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby seriouslyinformative » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:58 am

In my opinion,

For screening interviews, you want to have a nice number of reaches, targets, and safeties. Now this isn't exhaustive, but I've seen a number friends' interview lists (after lottery), friends who split between two markets. Here was the typical result:

Market 1:
Reach
Reach
Reach
Target
Target
Target
Target

Market 2:
Reach
Reach
Target
Target
Target

No safeties. By contrast, I focused on one market, and here were my lottery results:
Reach
Reach
Reach
Reach
Reach
Target
Target
Target
Target
Target
Safety
Safety
Safety
Safety
Safety

All of my friends either struck out or ended up with 1 or 2 offers. I ended up with 10+ callbacks and a plethora of offers. I attribute this not to personality (they are objectively better interviewers) and not to grades (they had better grades). I attribute this solely to the way we structured our bidlists and targeted markets.

Now you can respond,"oh I'll just jigger with the bid list so I have enough safeties for each market." But arranging a bidlist that gives you a sufficient number of safeties for each market is tough. Very tough. It was tough enough trying to "game theorize" to get the proportion above that I wanted. Who knows, though. Maybe I'm not smart enough to figure it out.

seriouslyinformative
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby seriouslyinformative » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:02 am

Also, just because you got 10-11 interviews through bidding doesn't mean that you're only going to be able to snag 10-11 interviews during OCI week...


You can't take it for granted that you'll get more interviews through open sign-up. For all intents and purposes, you should just assume that the interviews you get from the lottery are all the interviews you'll get, and thank your lucky stars if you get more. That's just my perspective, though.

My year? A couple of 2Ls woke up super early and took all the open interview slots. I didn't complain because I was satisfied with the number of interviews I received., but I know a number who did.

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Bronte
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Bronte » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:33 pm

How does this process of getting OCI interviews outside of the bidding system work? What are open interviews?

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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby dabomb75 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:15 pm

Helmholtz wrote:There is a 3L I know pretty well who hit OCI out of the park. He thought that the one-market-only advice was horrible and responsible for screwing a lot of people over. He thought two was the sweet spot, but this is all secondhand anecdotal evidence. I know that he did an insane amount of research for OCI (I have seen it - very impressive), and by all accounts, should know what he's talking about. He is one of only a few people I know who I would completely trust on pretty much every single thing said about OCI or firms.


so, any chance you could get that 3L friend of yours to come on here and dish out some advice? I'm sure many of us would really love to hear from him

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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:29 pm

I just graduated from Mich so I went through OCI in 2009. I doubt I'm the 3L mentioned above but I did do a ton of research and faired well at OCI. I focused on two markets, mostly for the reasons a post above mentioned in that two markets let's you get a range of reach/target/safety firms while spreading yourself too thin might see you miss out on your reaches or safeties, but I know plenty of people who bid all over the place and did well. It has less to do with your actual ties to an area and more to do with how you present your ties to an area.

The thing you have to constantly keep in mind when listening to anything the OCS people tell you is that they would much rather have 100% of people employed in shitty jobs they didn't want in areas they didn't want to live in than have 90% of the class employed in their dream job and 10% of the class left out on the street. So filter their advice, they have a conflict of interest that people seem to forget and that nobody calls them out on.

As for targeting markets, don't forget to use common sense. Ties matter, but it's not like ties to some rural North Dakota town are going to get you an offer to do biglaw back home since it doesn't exist there. The one-market bidding advice OCS gives you is basically only applicable if that one market you want is huge (NY or Chicago really). I've always suspected the reason they give out this advice is to subtly force you to focus your bids on one of those two markets since those are where Mich students generally do best, but they aren't going to just come right out and say something like that when their recruiting is built upon the 'national reach' of the school. This is how someone from San Diego who only bids on the few firms that come from that region can get screwed - the San Diego market might take what, two or three Umich students a year so if there are two or three people with better grades/credentials than you you are setting yourself up for an uphill climb to beat them out. OCS doesn't really explain why the one market advice is good advice in general but definitely not for everyone and that's a shame.

Also, none of these firms are going to hang out with each other and shoot the shit about you during OCI. They fly in and out as fast as they can, so if you're going to bid on multiple markets just don't bid on different offices at the same firm and nobody will be able to call you out on lack of commitment to an area. Just tell everyone something vague like, "I've really focused my bids on X-city because it's where I want to be" - you don't need to come up with anything more detailed than that, just state it as fact and move the interview forward with a question for the interviewer on a different topic. They'll only focus on it if you get weird about it, nobody really gives a shit about why you want to live somewhere. Tips to sound convincing if you're super anxious about this: go online and read the local paper, pick out a few sports facts, learn the name of a few neighborhoods and then force it like this, "Well, I love the sense of community in X-area, things like the farmer's market on Sunday or the blah blah are really things I could get into. I'm also really in love with X-neighborhood..... blah blah blah - The x-team is doing awesome this year huh, do you ever make it to any games?" This isn't hard, instead of focusing on your ties just focus on the area itself to show enthusiasm and be a normal person for 20 minutes. There are much more important things to worry about than establishing ties to an area.

As for making firm lists, you should forget about gaming the bidding system right now and just bid in the order of firms that you would actually want to work at. A lot of people say to mix in safeties with your top bids, and maybe throwing in one safety in the top five bids isn't a terrible idea, but be realistic with your bids and your options and you should end up just fine and the mixture of targets/safeties should work itself out. Also, some of the firms with higher gpa standards probably won't be super popular and you can snag OCI interviews there even if you bid them low (some places didn't even have a full day of interviews scheduled since not enough people even bid on them).

I can't speak to women, but if you're a dude wear a gray/navy suit, a white/light blue shirt with a blue/red boring tie along with polished black shoes with a black belt. That's the uniform, might as well get used to it now. Your clothes don't have to be expensive, but if you show up wearing something other than the above (for example, a bright purple tie) you'll stick out in a bad way - especially if you're shooting for a firm with a stuffy reputation.

Finally, my most important advice is to research a ton about the firms. There are huge differences between them and some partners coming are going to get pissed if you start asking them questions about stuff that is on their website in big letters. It's a fine line but you should be asking questions that show you are serious about working at that firm and have done your homework without touching on anything sensitive like layoffs or compensation. Your approach to an interview with a 4th year M&A associate from Skadden should be completely different than your approach with a partner from a smaller litigation boutique. That sounds obvious, but there are even fundamental differences between firms that look similar (even S&C vs. DPW are very different places). My strategy was to make flashcards with info about each firm, the interviewer (really just their practice group - nothing too specific), and 3~5 questions about the firm that I actually put thought into and were unique to that firm. I did this for about 12 of my 15 OCI interviews and even though the 3 I didn't do it for were well below my gpa range, I didn't get a single call back from those three firms and I really believe it's because my lack of preparation showed. Also, one of the absolute best things you can do, that nobody seems to do, is email rising 3Ls who are currently summering at the office your interview is with. Just look them up online on Mich's employment directory, if they ignore you then just email someone else until you can get in touch with someone. They can give you tons of inside info you can bring up during the interview and even mentioning their name will show the interviewer you've gone above and beyond in prepping for the interview and are serious about working there. It's amazing how easy it is to do this and how few people do it. This will also come in incredibly handy if the interviewer just had lunch, is kind of checked out, and opens with, "well, what can I tell you about my firm?" This will happen and should be a golden opportunity to show off all your research instead of a question that throws you off.

I hope all you guys absolutely crush OCI, good luck.

OldManHunger
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby OldManHunger » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:02 pm

.
Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronte
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Bronte » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:21 pm

OldManHunger wrote:Is OCI really so complicated?

Edit: That said, the post above this is really on the mark.


Seems to me like it's about as complicated as anything else we spend thousands of posts contemplating on this website. And yes good post anon, thank you. I am really hesitant to try to game the bid system by putting firms i really want lower on the list. It seems like a gamble.

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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:42 pm

OldManHunger wrote:Is OCI really so complicated?

Edit: That said, the post above this is really on the mark.


I'm going to regret forever posting in the Mich OCI thread since it will then never leave the 'view your posts' screen, but here's my take:

You can - and plenty of people do - participate in OCI almost completely blind. Pick firms randomly based on a glance at the Vault survey (net time invested: 30 minutes), update your resume quickly (net time invested: 30 minutes) and then patiently wait for your first interview. I know people like that who got big firm jobs.

On the other hand, amongst the people I know who punched above their weight or wound up striking out despite strong credentials, lack of sufficient research / understanding of the legal market / preparation was a major commonality.

So OCI doesn't have to be complicated - if you have good grades at Michigan, amorphous career goals, an affable personality, and a respectable resume you could be just fine. But if you dig deeper, you greatly increase (1) your odds of getting at least one offer and (2) matching with a place that will serve you better (I hesitate to say enjoy, or make you happy, or anything like that... I mean shit, this is big law, not big camp counseling).

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rayiner
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:26 pm

OldManHunger wrote:Is OCI really so complicated?

Edit: That said, the post above this is really on the mark.


Saying "I want to do X" at a firm that doesn't do X is a pretty good way to have the interview be a waste of everyone's time.

Anonymous User
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:49 am

Bronte wrote:How does this process of getting OCI interviews outside of the bidding system work? What are open interviews?


I'd actually like to know more about this as well. Also, can I somehow request an interview with a firm at OCI that I bid on but did not receive an interview with other than waking up super early to sign up for an open interview--like can I send them a resume, CL, etc. after the bid results come out in August?

Anonymous User
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:46 am

I went through the Michigan OCI process in 2009, so I can offer some thoughts on snagging interviews outside of the formal bidding process.

The Symplicity listing of a firm will include the name (and maybe contact info) of the recruiting coordinator. You can also find this information from a firm's website. If you did not receive an interview with a firm through the bidding process, email the recruiting coordinator and explain that you would really like to interview with the firm, but were unable to secure an interview through the lottery process. Ask if the OCI interviewer would be willing to meet with you some time during OCI. Note that you are attaching your resume and transcript.

I emailed ALL the firms (well, all the DC firms--since I only targeted DC) that I didn't get an interview with through the lottery process. I originally received 16 interviews, but ended up with 20 interviews after emailing various recruiting coordinators. The 4 extra interviews turned into 3 callbacks. So you can get a large return on a relatively small investment of time.

Also, if you are wondering when they squeeze you in, it's usually at the very end of the day, very beginning of the day or during a break period for the interviewer. So be sure to thank the interviewer for making room for you in his/her schedule.

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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:I emailed ALL the firms (well, all the DC firms--since I only targeted DC) that I didn't get an interview with through the lottery process. I originally received 16 interviews, but ended up with 20 interviews after emailing various recruiting coordinators. The 4 extra interviews turned into 3 callbacks. So you can get a large return on a relatively small investment of time.


This is really good to know, but I wonder how lackluster grades might affect their willingness to find time for me.
I'm right around median, and I probably won't have as much luck snagging extra interviews. Ultimately, though, I guess I'll just have to give it a shot. Thanks for the advice!

Anonymous User
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Re: Mich OCI 2011

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:30 am

I'd like to know a little bit more about the fall recruiting time-frame. Do firms tell you what days to come in for callbacks? How soon after EIW do they typically occur? Are they always at the end of the week?




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