The first time as a tragedy, the second time as a farce. That was my experience participating in the law school's on-campus interviewing (OCI) program. OCI is the reason that the jean-clad scruff who usually sits next to you in Tax was randomly replaced by a dashing young man in a nicely-cut suit today. He may have even smelled good. But you can believe his palms were sweaty.
Like some others out there, I went through it not once but twice. But unlike most OCI-vets with two tours behind them, who went off and graduated--strange concept--I have been around to ponder and reflect on my own experience while watching the next wave of achievers make their way to the front.
I call my first year, 2002, my tragedy year because... well, you try it. To be successful at OCI I had to learn how to package myself, and I found that to be very dehumanizing. Which is just another way of saying lonely, I suppose. My second year of OCI, 2003, was a farce because by then I had only one place in mind--a firm here in Madison--as the place I wanted to work. But I still interviewed with a bunch of others, as a safety net. Rather than being a dehumanizing experience, it was simply a disingenuous one.
I wouldn't be writing about this if I hadn't ended up at the place I wanted (thank heavens). Happy endings are a good thing. And looking back I'm even ok with the tragedy part of it--knowing as I do now that it was a growing experience for me. I could have done without the farce.