I know the recruit is coming up quickly and I remember how stressful this time was. To help you out a bit I thought I’d poll the summer students here and ask them for their best advice. So, below you can find some great tips from the Cassels Brock Summer Students of 2016.
Before I begin I should say there is no one size fits all solution to the recruit. While these are all great tips the big take away is that you should try to be yourself. It’s not just about winding up anywhere – it’s about starting your career in a place you’ll feel happy and fulfilled. I know while your applying it just feels like you really need a job-any job, but trust me you’ll be much better off if you treat the process as a two way street and try to find a place that you love. And besides, you are awesome and smart and qualified, and even if you don’t land an OCI there are a million more great opportunities coming your way.
Here are some of the reasons this years summer class chose Cassels:
- “The people – but also the tools and resources the firm provides for business development. This summer I’ve been able to attend multiple events and it was great being able to interact with our clients and develop my networking skills.” (Taschina, Dalhousie)
- “The people, that’s why I’m here I connected well with the people.” (Florence, UofT)
- “From the moment I walked into my OCI I felt the most comfortable here and all summer that’s continued. I feel really comfortable with the people at Cassels.” (Meghan, Osgoode)
*It should be noted that literally everyone said the people (because the people here really are that awesome) so I just picked some samples.
And without any further ado onto the recruitment tips!
- “Don’t let your cover letter be a regurgitation of your resume, highlight a few skills and leave white space.” (Kojo, Osgoode)
- “Your application is the first piece of your writing the firm will read, don’t just talk about your skills show them! Be clear, concise and persuasive.” (Tegan, UofT)
- “Have your cover letter tell a story- highlight the best moments of your career.” (Taschina, Dalhousie)
- “Make it a conversation.” (Meghan, Osgoode)
- Think of an anecdote or a story for everything on your resume. Also, watch out for the skills and interests section, a lot of lawyers will ask about this.” (Richard, Windsor)
- “Be prepared but relaxed, have some questions ready for your interviewers.” (Koen, UofT)
*these tips are also great for in-firms.
- Be friendly and approachable to everyone, don’t discount the importance of being kind to other students, support staff and everyone else you meet.” (Florence, UofT)
- “It’s a two way street- figure out what you like and where you will fit.” (Sam Chan, UofT)
- “Do your research, know each firm well and, if possible, find out your interviewers in advance and learn about their career.” (Jasmine, Western)
- “Get a card from everyone you meet and as soon as you’re done chatting with them write down a few things you spoke about. This will be so helpful for thank you emails.” (Tegan, Uoft)
And just remember you got into law school, you are doing awesome at life and everything will work out!
For me, baseball has always been a big part of summer. I grew up playing and going to Jays games, so I was thrilled when I found out Cassels has a softball team.
The Miner Leaguers take part in the Bay Street softball league, playing once a week against another firm. Last night we played our final regular season game and came out on top with a big win! This year we’ve been really successful and, with the victory yesterday, should finish somewhere in the top three spots in the league and have home field advantage going into playoffs.
Playing softball has been amazing – and not just because of how much I love the sport. It is a great way to meet more people from the firm and get to know them outside of the office, especially since we always go for wings and beer after the game. The team has a lot of long time players but Meghan and I, the new recruits, were welcomed with open arms and immediately felt like part of the team. There are regular players who come out every week and other spots are filled by subs or more occasional players so lots of people participate.
Sadly, I’ll be leaving for exchange before playoffs so for me it’s time to retire my glove ’till next season. But the Miner Leaguers will be fighting for that top spot so you can bet I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!
There was yet another amazing student event last night! The students, as well as members of the student committee headed over to the Open Roof Festival for food, music and a movie – talk about a jam packed evening.
First, was some great food and drinks. Amsterdam Brewery provided beer and wine and there was a food truck on site selling arepa’s which are Venezuelan cornmeal sandwiches. (I wish I had a picture to show you but they were all eaten before I had a chance to take one – instead here’s a picture of me and Meghan).
While we enjoyed our drinks we got to listen to singer-songwriter Tomi Swick. There was also giant Jenga, ping pong tables, and everyone got to be outside on a beautiful evening.
The finale of the evening was a screening of the film “Off the Rails” which tells the true story of a man named Darius McCollum. Darius has Asperger’s syndrome and a love of the transit system which resulted in him impersonating transit employees and driving their routes. His love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times. We all really enjoyed the film – Darius’ story really shed some light on flaws within the criminal justice system. Here’s Koen and Kojo enjoying the film.
It was another evening to remember – thanks again Shannon! It’s no wonder Open Roof Festival’s uses the hashtag #MOVIESMUSICBEER – I certainly enjoyed all three!
Happy Fashion Friday! When I was going through the recruit I read this blog and my two favorite kinds of posts were OCI Tips and Fashion Friday posts, so today I figured I would combine the two.
I’m sure you will all wind up putting a lot (if you’re like me maybe too much) thought into what you wear. This post isn’t about that. This post is about all the other stuff you should bring. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where she just keeps pulling things out of her bag – that is what I felt like during OCIs and in firms. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you should probably go watch Mary Poppins it’s a classic. Although another good reference would be Hermione’s handbag from Deathly Hallows. Now if you don’t get either of those references I really can’t help you but I digress.
Here is a list of things you should carry with you during OCI’s and in firms:
- Gum, toothbrush, floss etc.: nobody likes bad breath and you will be eating… a lot.
- Make Up: For touch ups – these will be looooong days.
- Advil etc: Hopefully you won’t need it but you might. And I wouldn’t want to be trying to find time to run to the drugstore while already dealing with a headache.
- Tide to Go: for obvious reasons.
- Hair ties, bobby pins etc.: Your hair will look fly when you leave the house in the morning but after running around and sweating it may be more fly-aways than fly. Be prepared.
- Hairspray: Good for your hair, also good for stopping runs in panty hose. Sometimes they can’t be stopped so…
- Extra pantyhose
- Flats: Some people can rock it all day in heels I am not one of those people. I walked everywhere in flats and changed into the heels in the lobby of the building (the building lobby not the firm reception area – made that mistake once – regretted it).
- Band-Aids: Sometimes even flats can rub you the wrong way.
- Granola bars or other snacks: Yes there are lots of places to buy food but no you will not always have time. Oddly, even with all the firms feeding me, I still ate about 3 granola bars a day during in firms.
- Hard copy of your schedule and locations: Your phone may die but the show must go on!
- Copies of your resume: No one I know got asked for a copy but this is definitely a time to be better safe than sorry.
- Umbrella: Weather dependent of course. It should be noted that you can take the path everywhere but I still get lost down there so I liked having the option of popping up to the surface.
It should be noted that most people brought way less stuff with them than I did. But, it should also be noted that I gave a lot of Band-Aids, bobby pins, Advil and even a pair of pantyhose to people. I carried a large structured bag – a good idea because they look professional even when bursting at the seams, other people carried much smaller bags and only carried what they deemed to be essential opting to pick up anything else they might need in between interviews. The reality is you need to pack for you. If you’re like me and it makes you calmer to be prepared for any possible situation, bring lots of stuff with you. There is a room to leave stuff in during OCIs and firms have coat rooms where you can leave the bag during interviews. If you would rather travel light that’s fine too (just make sure you know where the closest Shoppers is in case of emergency).
Until next time!
-Tegan (with guest contributions from Meghan who I bothered while trying to make sure this list was complete)
Happy Canada Day!
I so am excited to present my first Fashion Friday that I’ve used my day off to do it! I have decided to start by talking about shoes because we have a love/hate relationship. On the love side: shoes can make an outfit. They can be a great way to add a pop of colour to a look, dress up an outfit, and there are so many amazing styles to choose from. On the hate side: shoes can hurt! The first week of work I was determined to look fierce at all times. By the second week, I was coming to work in flats.
I polled the female summer students and we all do the same thing: Come to work in flats and then change into heels for the day. We sometimes throw our flats back on to go get lunch, and some days just stay in our flats all day.
Here are some of the shoes Meghan and I keep in our office:
Even with cute heels, for work, comfort is key – you don’t want to be the person who takes the elevator one floor. Also, you don’t want to be in super high heels – I would say 2 inches is about the max.
Bottom line – if cute shoes make you happy, wear them. Just be sure they look professional. If not, going for comfort is also totally fine. Again, just choose dress shoes that are professional. No flip flops, no sandals.
Now those are the shoes we wear to work. OCI’s and in-firms are a different story. There will be a Fashion Friday post with OCI and in-firm tips, but you’ll have to stay tuned…