Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why OCI is Worth Your Time

OCI is quickly approaching. The first deadline is just around the corner, and before you know it, the interviews themselves will be upon us.

A question we are often asked at this time of year is "Should I participate in OCI?" If you are AT ALL interested in any of the firms on the schedule, or the type of work that they do, the answer is a resounding "yes." While you may have heard that OCI is only for the top 10% of the class and you shouldn't even bother if you didn't pull top tier grades last semester, that is not entirely accurate. Yes, it is true that OCI is a very competitive process and some of the employers who participate rely very heavily on grades when making their interview decisions. But not all of them.

Some employers base their decision almost entirely on grades. Others look for students with specific backgrounds. Still others are interested in well-rounded students that have a range of experiences to offer. The criteria can vary a great deal. Additionally, we have had students with borderline grades write outstanding cover letters that really struck the hiring manager and they were invited to interview. Other students have found themselves running into former interviewers at networking events were able to strike up a conversation and solidify a connection. Sometimes, a foot in the door is all it takes.

The point is, there is absolutely no reason to deny yourself the opportunity to interview. You could surprise even yourself and have a fantastic experience, culminating in a job offer. And if you apply and you are not selected, this isn't the only chance you will have this year to secure a summer position (at all). You're only out a couple of hours of your time, and even then, you got some good practice writing and fine-tuning your application materials, so you are that much more ahead the next time you apply for a position. Not bad.

The point is, by not giving yourself the opportunity, you are only hurting yourself. Yes, it is extremely cheesy, but it is also very true. So again, if you are at all interested in any of the employers, give it a shot. And if you are still on the fence about it, make an appointment to come in and speak to one of the CPD staff members. We are always happy to help.