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How Execu|Search Put Me To Work: Matthew Cowan

This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Matthew Cowan; you can find our past testimonials here.

Matthew Cowan is an experienced legal professional who came to The Execu|Search Group for help with attaining his career goal of working as in-house counsel. There were specific obstacles in his way that he identified before working with Director of Legal Services Melissa Haber, who helped him overcome these hurdles to land a temporary-to-full-time position. He is now a Senior Corporate Counsel at a leading professional services company in New York City.

Matthew had a successful partnership with our firm and was more than happy to speak with us about his experience: 

On his background…

Since starting law school, I’ve always known that I ultimately wanted to serve as in-house counsel.  I knew that landing this type of opportunity would require me to have a solid legal foundation, and as a means of building that foundation, I worked as an associate at a litigation defense firm in New York City that specialized in maritime law. From there, I then joined a commercial litigation firm where I could not only hone my skills as a litigator, but also develop a business acumen.  With a combined eight years of legal practice under my belt, I believed that I had gained the necessary experience to become a valuable asset to a corporation as its in-house counsel.

On what he was looking for…

Despite my experience, I still faced challenges when searching for opportunities. I knew such positions were highly coveted and more often than not require prior in-house, or alternatively big law firm, experience.  I had neither.

When I partnered with Execu|Search, I was looking for an in-house position that would utilize my strengths—namely, my litigation background—but would also provide me with the opportunity to expand into transactional work.

On how TESG worked to meet his needs…

TESG looked at my past work experience in order to find a position that I would be well-suited for.  On a daily basis, Melissa provided me with updates on positions that might be of interest.  I was fortunate that shorty after partnering with the firm, I was submitted as a candidate for the corporation that I currently work for.

On preparing for the interview…

Melissa worked with me to ensure that I understood the position and her client’s expectations of a prospective new hire.  She walked me through my resume and advised me on what I should focus on during my interviews.  Moreover, she provided me with talking points to utilize during my interviews,  feedback after the first round, and further advice for my follow-up interview—all of which helped me land my current role as a Senior Corporate Counsel.

“Matthew was an absolute pleasure to work with and we had a great professional rapport from the beginning,” says Melissa. “He was great in the interview process and his follow-up skills were fantastic. He’s been professional and attentive throughout the process; he even went the extra mile to write me a thank-you card once he landed the position.”

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