How one student landed a summer job after coming up short in the OCI process

By: December 6, 2016

Julia Burke got help from recruiters at the very firms that turned her down

Student being interviewed

Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part series on how to land a second-year summer job outside the OCI process.

Last October, Julia Burke was feeling confident. At the time, she was a second-year student at Osgoode Hall who’d just gone through the on-campus-interview process. All told, Burke had submitted 40 applications and sat for seven OCIs. Three of those firms invited her to their office for a final audition. But when call-day in November arrived, not one firm gave her an offer. Burke was devastated.

Julia Burke, 3L, Osgoode Hall

Julia Burke, 3L, Osgoode Hall

Then something unexpected happened: two recruiters from the firms that had turned her down offered to help. “They couldn’t believe that I didn’t get offers from other firms and proposed to help me secure a summer position,” she recalls. Burke took full advantage of their offers. “I went on to meet both of them for coffee a couple of times.”

The recruiters kept their promise. When they heard about summer job opportunities, they forwarded them to Burke. They also promised to put in a good word for her if she applied for any of them. Burke sent off a few applications and landed two interviews.

One was with CI Financial Corp, a large wealth-management company in Toronto. She interviewed for the job in January and, a few weeks later, she learned she got it.

Burke was thrilled to land a job with CI Financial, but she still wanted to article at a top law firm. So when she started the job in the summer — which saw her work primarily at First Asset, an investment firm that CI Financial had recently bought — she was honest about that with her two managers. Both agreed to help her land her dream articling job.

“They did everything they could to give me an advantage,” says Burke. For starters, they carefully reviewed her job applications. They gave her stellar references. And they even brought in an articling student from Bay Street to conduct a mock interview to prepare her for the real thing.

All told, Burke interviewed for an articling position at nine firms. And this time, she scored a big victory: she received a job offer from Beard Winter LLP in Toronto, her top choice.

Looking back on her journey, Burke has this advice for second-year students who, after braving the OCI process, don’t get a job: “Try not to be completely demoralized because it is a ton of effort to land nothing at the end. But the recruiters and people you meet can help you land your next job.”

Read other stories in our three-part series:

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