Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:23 am

The OCC is a little weird to me. I am not even at a T50 and I have mediocre grades yet I got an interview. My interviewer told me that she was very impressed with me but in the same breath also said they would be hiring Top 25% at T20 schools. I still have no idea why they bothered to interview me.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:03 pm

I have a screening interview with this agency. I'm a 3L at a T14 and I currently have an offer in biglaw. Anyone know what the exit options are for this agency or whether it's worth taking over a biglaw offer? Thanks!

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:47 pm

Bump. Anyone?

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:52 am

People that have interviewed: were your interviews just through OCI? Or also through their regular application process?

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kalvano
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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:21 am

Mine was through OCI, but they have an office where I am in school.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby gulcregret » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:22 pm

Exit options out of here will get you interviews at all the big DC and NYC firms that do regulatory work regarding banks and financial services. I'm not sure why you would ever want to leave the OCC though, lol. They pay mad crazy and promote quickly. In five years you can make close to 200k and not have to work crappy hours, have guaranteed vacation time that you will actually get to take and if you stay for ten years, they will wipe out your loans. Plus holiday time and less expectations. And if you really want to, after 10 years and no student debt, including undergrad mind you, you can become a partner basically at any law firm in DC and focus on building business and making seven figures.

Nevermind, OCC sucks, turn down that interview.

crgoss
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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:06 pm

Just starting my third year at the OCC and happy to answer any questions people have about the agency.

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Postby Myself » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:42 am

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:32 pm

Hi ajax, first I would say that recruiting this year is going to be a little different as our chief counsel is leaving at the end of september and won't be involved in the final decisions (traditionally, she had played a large part in the process, so now that she won't be involved it is tough to say how the process will run its course). Second, the process is very competitive -- I think for my class the agency reviewed about 2000 resumes, called back 40 for interviews, made offers to 8 and yielded 7. For the last few years, our agency has tended to put a greater emphasis on hiring people with clerkship experience, and hiring people from more of the T14. I would say, the higher rank your school the less important your grades are (and vice versa). Grades, industry background, journal experience, and government experience can all factor in. If I were making the decisions (which I am not), I would look for people that have a demonstrated interest in banking regulation (although there are plenty of people who start working with us who didn't even take a banking regulation class in law school)

I work in the HQ in DC.

I know that traditionally it has been difficult to find people willing to work in our Denver office. So if you really want to work at the OCC, I would stress that you are willing to work anywhere (DC, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver). If you have some Denver connection, I would play it up.

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Postby Myself » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:40 pm

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:53 pm

In the past, all the hiring has been done out of DC, even for the regional offices.

Basically, all screening interviewers have to fill out a form for each person they interview, including whether they recommend them for a call-back (a lot can depend on who your intial interviewer is and how they evaluate you). All the forms then go to a screening committee made up of managers of the divisions (as well as the regional directors) who then decide who gets a callback interview. I believe that decisions on callback interviews will be made sometime at the end of September. If you are selected for a callback, they will fly you in to DC and you will have a panel interview with 2 or 3 members of the hiring committee. Offers should be made around Thanksgiving/early December.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby redbullvodka » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:52 pm

How did you end up at the OCC? School/stats/background? What have you enjoyed about your time there thus far? Thanks for answering questions!

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:35 pm

Hi redbullvodka, its a good question. I didn't even know about the OCC until the summer between 2L and 3L when I was looking into federal government jobs. I ended up applying to all the federal banking agencies (along with some other federal government jobs) and the OCC was the only one that got back to me. So that's basically how I ended up here.

I transferred to NYU after my first year (came from UTex where I was invited to law review). Did about average my 2L and 3L and didn't do any journals but I did do two internships, one with EDNY and one with the NY MTA (which runs the new york city subways, among other things). My mentors at EDNY helped me sort through career paths and went to bat for me at the OCC which I think really helped. In law school, I was interested in law and macroeconomic questions -- I really liked my tax classes, property, antitrust -- and I was thinking that I would do project finance type stuff after law school (I had two years experience pre law school with a regional government agency that did that), but the market for that type of work in the private sector was really dicey in 2009-2010 so I started focusing on other closely related things.

The OCC turned out to be an amazing fit. The OCC is really supportive of professional development (e.g. they pay for university classes and professional certifications) and there are many opportunities here to learn about the banking industry, more so I imagine than at places like the Federal Reserve (where monetary policy gets much more time than regulation) and the FDIC (where they are more focused on protecting the insurance fund and less involved in prudential regulation). I get to deal with outside counsel/inhouse counsel that are way above my paygrade, I do a lot of different things, and my managers are great.
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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:06 pm

Among the ~7 different practice groups, how do you recommend expressing general interest in the work the OCC does without seeming unfocused or lacking in knowledge about the specific functions?

crgoss
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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:25 pm

You can read about our different groups here: http://www.occ.gov/topics/laws-regulati ... legal.html

At HQ, aside from AIL (which I don't believe hires entry-level attorneys anyway), we basically have three groupings of divisions: E&C and LIT enable you to develop more traditional legal skills. LIT defends the OCC in court (although often we delegate/work in tandem with the local DOJ attorneys) and E&C conducts investigations and enforcement proceedings against banks and individuals (most new attorneys start in E&C). BAS, SCP, and CCL work on interpretations of banking statutes and regulations. In these areas, you'll work closely with the examiners and learn a lot about how the industry functions. Finally, LRA is in charge of regulation writing and the OCC's relations with Congress.

If you think you are interested in litigation, going to court, taking depositions, conducting investigations, and exiting to a law firm, E&C/LIT is for you. If you think you are interested in learning about the banking industry, doing more transactional type work, and possibly exiting to an industry position, BAS/SCP/CCL is a better fit. If you are a policy wonk, have experience working on the hill and are interested in exiting to the Senate Banking Committee, you should gun for LRA. These are not mutually exclusive paths (we've had people leave BAS and LRA to go to law firms, and people from the Senate Banking Committee lateraling into SCP), but I think its enough of a generalization to help entry-levels sort out what areas they are more interested in and how they can spin their resume to market themselves.

Does that help?

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Postby Myself » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:10 pm

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:22 pm

crgoss wrote:You can read about our different groups here: http://www.occ.gov/topics/laws-regulati ... legal.html

At HQ, aside from AIL (which I don't believe hires entry-level attorneys anyway), we basically have three groupings of divisions: E&C and LIT enable you to develop more traditional legal skills. LIT defends the OCC in court (although often we delegate/work in tandem with the local DOJ attorneys) and E&C conducts investigations and enforcement proceedings against banks and individuals (most new attorneys start in E&C). BAS, SCP, and CCL work on interpretations of banking statutes and regulations. In these areas, you'll work closely with the examiners and learn a lot about how the industry functions. Finally, LRA is in charge of regulation writing and the OCC's relations with Congress.

If you think you are interested in litigation, going to court, taking depositions, conducting investigations, and exiting to a law firm, E&C/LIT is for you. If you think you are interested in learning about the banking industry, doing more transactional type work, and possibly exiting to an industry position, BAS/SCP/CCL is a better fit. If you are a policy wonk, have experience working on the hill and are interested in exiting to the Senate Banking Committee, you should gun for LRA. These are not mutually exclusive paths (we've had people leave BAS and LRA to go to law firms, and people from the Senate Banking Committee lateraling into SCP), but I think its enough of a generalization to help entry-levels sort out what areas they are more interested in and how they can spin their resume to market themselves.

Does that help?


Yes, that's more detail then I was hoping for. Thanks so much.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:17 pm

ajax adonis wrote:Do you know the timeline for OCC hiring? I had an OCI interview last week. When should I expect something? How long should I wait to hear back before I move on mentally?


I think I mentioned a timeline above. Callback offers go out beginning the end of September, they interview about 40 people in October, and offers go out Thanksgiving/early December. If you haven't heard anything by October 1, you may want to contact the person you had a screening interview with and politely ask if they can find out anything for you.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:32 pm

Do you have any suggestions for firms, other agencies, etc. someone should target if they miss on the comptroller but ultimately would like to end up there?

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby crgoss » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you have any suggestions for firms, other agencies, etc. someone should target if they miss on the comptroller but ultimately would like to end up there?


I would look for a one or two year clerkship and then apply to the OCC again. Could be a state or federal clerkship. The past few years, clerks have been popular with the hiring committee. Otherwise, I would suggest another financial regulator (FDIC, Fed, SEC, CFTC, CFPB, NCUA, or maybe even a state regulator) or the DOJ. You may also try to work with American Bankers Association, or with the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking Committee. We sometimes hire laterals from law firms, but honestly I think your chances are just as good, if not better, coming from one of the places I mentioned.

Good luck!

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:11 pm

Thanks for your insight with all of this. If I make it past the screener, perhaps I'll reach out with questions about callback interviews. For now, I'm curious if you know how many schools the OCC visited this fall for on-campus interviews? Also, any clue how many write-in applicants receive initial, telephone interviews?

Thanks again!

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for your insight with all of this. If I make it past the screener, perhaps I'll reach out with questions about callback interviews. For now, I'm curious if you know how many schools the OCC visited this fall for on-campus interviews? Also, any clue how many write-in applicants receive initial, telephone interviews?

Thanks again!


My interviewer said they were doing 1,200 first-rounds to callback 30-50 to hire 8. The Arizona Guide says they had 900 applications last year, so I don't know if he was confusing applications with screening interviews.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:31 pm

There's no way it's 1200 first rounds. The OCC interviewed 10 people at my school. He must have meant applications. I'm guessing around 120 first round interviews? Who knows.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There's no way it's 1200 first rounds. The OCC interviewed 10 people at my school. He must have meant applications. I'm guessing around 120 first round interviews? Who knows.


I'm the above anon. He was doing 21 at my school. The original OP said his school wasn't even a T50. I also doubt 1,200 screeners, but assuming they do 30-40 schools at 15 a pop, 300-450 screeners isn't crazy.

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Re: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:There's no way it's 1200 first rounds. The OCC interviewed 10 people at my school. He must have meant applications. I'm guessing around 120 first round interviews? Who knows.


I'm the above anon. He was doing 21 at my school. The original OP said his school wasn't even a T50. I also doubt 1,200 screeners, but assuming they do 30-40 schools at 15 a pop, 300-450 screeners isn't crazy.


Yeah. For our sakes, I hope it isn't that high. I hope the outside T-50 schools were like SMU and U. Denver - places where they have offices. I hope they don't go to 30-40 schools. I'm hoping like under 20.




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