"Turn poop into fertilizer."
-- Samorn Selim, Founder and Creative Joy Director of Career Unicorns
Authentic | Vulnerable | Transparent
I am the daughter of illiterate Laotian refugees. Growing up on welfare, I worked my butt off to get out of the ghettoes of Stockton. I graduated from Berkeley Law, landed a 6-figure job with a big law firm in my mid-20's. I had always assumed checking off boxes of big achievements for my resume would bring me happiness.
I was wrong.
I was miserable. I woke up filled with dread every morning wanting to change but didn't know how. I felt too overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck.
After working with my career coach, I reconnected with what brought me joy. Within 3 months, I transitioned to my dream job, coaching law students and alums at Berkeley Law.
Through my work at Berkeley, I discovered my mission to make the world more diverse and inclusive by supporting women of color and first generation professionals.
Since then, I have created my own companies Samorn Selim Coaching and now Career Unicorns. I have successfully worked with over 1,000 clients who want to make a positive impact in the world to land dream jobs, be promoted to leadership positions, negotiate 6 figure salaries, and develop a book of business.
I have been a keynote speaker at Google, Autodesk, Wilson Sonsini, Paul Hastings, UC Office of the President, the National Association for Law Placement, Dress for Success, Lao Student Conference, and other organizations on hot topics including: developing your signature personal brand, managing cultural code switching, and sponsoring women of color and first generation professionals.
I am a board member of the American Bar Association Career Center, and have provided pro bono career coaching to first generation college and undocumented students for the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation and the New Leaders Scholarship.
I have been published in The Recorder, The Daily Journal, American Bar Association, and The Transcript (Berkeley Law's alumni magazine). My book, "Belonging: Self Love Lessons From A Workaholic, Depressed, Insomniac Lawyer" will be released in March 2019.
"Initially, I lacked confidence and struggled with internship applications and OCI. However, Samorn was patient and persistent. She worked with me to edit my resume, practiced numerous interview questions with me, and worked with me line-by-line to perfect my interview responses. Her feedback was honest, constructive, and effective. Because of Samorn, I became more confident in my skills, developed an optimal interview strategy, and was able to land my summer associate position at Paul Hastings, which eventually led to a full time position." -- Margaret Yi, Attorney at Paul Hastings
"As the first in my family to graduate from college and attend law school, I was unfamiliar with much of the legal world. Because she had shared many of these experiences I found Samorn easy to connect and that she understood the challenges that I was facing. Samorn provided very valuable advice, from how to present myself during interviews, to how to prepare for them. Further, she followed up with me as I was going through the on campus interview process and was very supportive. When I obtained a summer associate position at a law firm, Samorn was one of the first people I called, and I am very grateful to have had her in my corner." -- Samuel Diaz, Associate at Munger Tolles & Olsen
"As a first generation professional and woman of color, I had no experience with interviews. It was also difficult for me to reach out to people for help because of my background. So when I heard Samorn's story for the first time, I could really relate to her. As a coach and mentor, she understood the anxieties that students go through during interview season. Her workshop was especially helpful because each of us were able to get individualized feedback on our interview styles, presentation, and even how we dressed. Samorn's feedback was honest but constructive and I was able to absorb that information to prepare myself effectively during interviews. To have someone who's been in your shoes, who's so down-to-earth, break down the interview process with you honestly and constructively is so important during such an anxiety-inducing time. Furthermore, with Samorn, you're not only getting a coach, but a mentor and a friend even after the program ends. That's just how she is!" -- Evangeline Phang, Technology Transactions Associate at Morrison Foerester
"I had no idea how to approach interviews and in retrospect, my resume was an absolute mess. After a couple talks with Samorn and some great advice on updating my resume and how to present myself and my experiences, I felt much better prepared for the internship search. Samorn deserves a lot of credit for the 1L summer associate position I landed. Since then, I have reached out to her several times at important milestones for advice regarding my career and every time I have walked away feeling more confident and better informed. I have always appreciated Samorn's advice and support. She is smart, straightforward, patient and an incredible coach." -- Corporate Counsel at Google
"I am beyond fortunate to have met Samorn during one of the most intense experiences a law student could go through: on-campus interviews (OCI). Not only did I just complete the most rigorous academic year ever, but I also had to fly across the country from my summer job in New York City to San Francisco for OCI. Add to this the impostor syndrome and alienation that many first generation students go through, like myself, and it's a recipe for making yourself feel like you're not good enough. However, Samorn was one of my most trusted career advisors, one of my biggest advocate, and one of the best mentor I've ever had. She made herself available through informational phone calls, Skype video interviews, and many email chains. She provide practical advice, rather than generic feedback. For example, she wouldn't tell me to just "be more confident" or "be yourself." Rather, she would outline interview answers with me and go through several iterations before I could perfect my preparation for OCI. Samorn helped me understand who I am as a person, the skills that I have to offer, and how to present it an organized and impactful way. She invested in me and trusted in me to succeed in a way that is true to who I am. I did not have to be ashamed or hide my identity. And as a result, I was able to land at my top choice law firm. Samorn's ability to coach and advise is absolutely invaluable for anyone!" -- Zachary Nguyen, Law Clerk at U.S. District Court for the Central District of California