Job Hunting

ONE OF THE MOST disagreeable ordeals for an undergraduate in a liberal arts program is telling an adult one's major and hearing the replay, "Very nice--what are you going to do with that?".

There is, of curse, a graphic and unpleasant response to that question, but a polite student with no career plans has only two ways to answer: the gong way ("I'm planning to parlay it into a billiondollar rubber empire in the South American jungle") or the honest way--"I have no idea."

Career Insights is a new publication devoted to improving the quality of this sort of interchange. Its editors have solicited advice from dozens of successful men and women and printed it up, with lots of recruiting advertisements, in a glossy 100-page magazine (which Harvard's placement office distributed at a recent well-attended exposition.)The result, an introductory note promises," will help you tackle a job search--if that's the next step you've chosen--or just figure out what you want to do.

As it happens, the contents of Career Insights are likely to be of use only to a district group of students--those intent on a life in business. Most of the articles describe the road to success in one area of management o another, most of the advertisements are come-one to join executive training programs.

This bias should come as no surprise, given the magazine's format: Most professions outside the world of finance simply do not lend themselves to tips on how to get in on the job market.("It's just a matter of pounding the pavement and convincing the boss that you want that positional," says post Allen Ginsberg...)

Still, in undergraduates with aspirations outside the realm of Mammon will find it hard not to be a little discouraged by the tone that 'runs through Career Insights, in the most condescending way, executive after executive rationalizes about the value of a liberal arts education on their particular side of the boardroom, "A liberal arts background is important for developing good human management skills," writes one industry chairman. "This is what I call 'human' garment'..."

The corporate controller of another large company offers these ensuring words: "It is not immediately obvious how a liberal arts degrees can benefit an individual pursuing a career in management information services... It is often his responsibility to teach users how to operas their system. This may include preparing easily understood written documentation about the system."

The most depressing pages in C.I., though, are its advertisement. "We're turning outstanding graduates into managers, "boasts one, a little distressingly. "Whatever you want to do in life, you can do at Metropolitan Life," says another. A third has this observation to make:

in the 60's,

The word was love.

In the 70's.

It was peace.

In the '80s,

It's money.

We can help you make it.

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