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Placement Office Gives Advice to Job-Seekers


Some say "It's not what you know, but who you know." The Office of Student Placement works on this principle, but with a different twist.

A student's knowledge is of value, reasons the Office, when put to work by the right employer. The Office tries to match an employee's knowledge with an employer's potential to make use of it.

Before attempting to place a student, a member of the Placement Office interviews the applicant to guage his qualifications. Once the man recognized himself in terms of his career, Student Placement Director John W. Teele said last year in his annual report, he has become acquainted with the most important "who" in his life's work.

In pointing out that choice of a career is the biggest problem facing most seniors, the annual report showed that after the first interview over half of the student obtained enough information about their chosen careers to proceed directly to the problem of finding a job.

"Career Indecision"

In cases of "career indecision," however, the office has a network of advisers who are ready to help.

Faculty members from every field of study are available and prepared to offer counsel to the individual concerning the application of his knowledge. In the Spring term the Office arranges a series of "Conferences on Careers"--a set of eight informal talks by leaders in industry and professional fields.

Outside the College the Office of Student Placement has organized a group of alumni advisors in all the major cities of every state who are prepared to give additional information about particular careers in that region. In many cases these alumni advisors are closely connected with local Harvard Club advising programs.

"These advisors," says Teel, "are informal and informative men. Their purpose is not to find jobs or offer jobs to the student, but to serve as sources of information on a particular profession or field of business."

Job Placement

More obviously, the Office of Student Placement has become the "go-between" for industry's recruiting programs and the seniors' search for employment. In this regard, last year's statistics show that for every 24 interviews arranged by the office two men were offered jobs, and one accepted the offer.

The Office has accumulated a vast library of information on various industrial and professional fields since its opening in 1945, has traced the growth and development of companies, and has statistically mapped out industrial and professional trends. The library, the back-bone of the Office, is one of the most comprehensive of its type of any college in the country.

Of the companies invited to send men to the Office to interview seniors. Teals points out that a "representative group" of companies and not necessarily a large numbers is invited.

Demand Is Spilt

Statistics show that among those companies seeking Harvard graduates, 44 percent of them want men with non-scientific training, 41 percent want scientists, and 15 percent want men with both scientific and non-scientific training.

Of those companies sending representatives last year, 49 percent were manufacturing, 16 percent were banking. Merchandising and government each made up six percent; five percent were research, three and one-half percent were publishing, and two percent were transportation. Advertising, engineering, and utilities firms each comprised one percent.

Correspondingly, 79 percent of the seniors not planning to go no to graduate school sought employment with business or industrial firms, seven percent in journalism or writing, six percent in government jobs, five percent in the field of fine arts, and three percent wanted to enter the field of education.

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