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Many undergraduates, particularly seniors, are beginning to wonder if the tide in their affairs is not already lapping at their feet. As the sands of college life disappear they will see one beacon by which to set their course--the Alumni Placement Office. Since 1935 the Office has been under the official aegis of the College, since 1936 the branch at the Harvard Club in New York has been similarly organized. Harvard has definitely assumed a measure of responsibility for its graduates, and particularly for those negotiating the thorny way from college to career.
Dean Plimpton and his associates are determined to provide as many useful services as they can. They are not, of course, able to hand out jobs on a silver platter to complacent seniors. Nor are they able to tell a man who suddenly decided that he "wants a job" exactly what it is he desires, although they spend many patient hours in the attempt.
The Office, however, does try--efficiently, the record shows--to interview men, classify applicants, introduce them to appropriate businesses and to be a veritable mine of information about many diverse enterprises. Unquestionably, the dispersion of the depression accounts, in part, for the successful placement of so many of last year's men. More important, however, is the spirit of action found in the Office--a spirit that led to Dean Plimpton's touring the country in search of potential employers, to the establishment this year of observations trips through business institutions and plants.
The vast majority of that half of the class which does not explore special mysteries in graduate school turns up soner or later in the Alumni Office. Seeking a broader base of acquaintance, the Directors have encouraged interviews with sophomores and juniors, and provided for earlier registration of seniors, with heartening success.
The functioning of the less empyrean regions of University Hall, the informal but informative interviews, and the experimental undertakings clearly demonstrate a real and increasing competence in dealing with graduate placement. Every man who occasionally considers his future bold venture from this safe little college oasis will find the exploration of its effective but little-known machinery interesting.
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