Making the Most of the Career Forum

The OCS-OCL Career Forum offers you a rich opportunity to sample various careers in a smorgasbord of business and non-profit settings. Each of the 60-plus employees participating in this year's Forum are interested in hiring Harvard graduates. Most have hired Harvard grads before and have been pleased with the contributions these people have made. The employers are here to provide information.

Here are some ideas for making the most of the day:

1. Explore the range of entry level jobs across industries--choose ten different fields to sample;

2. Compare similar jobs in different fields--for example, marketing at Procter & Gamble vs. Ogilvy & Mather;

3. Contrast different companies within one field--Metropolitan Life vs. Prudential, Cullinet vs. Data Acquisitions:

4. Discover the spectrum of jobs within one organization--Mutual of New York or Chase Manhattan.

5. Delineate several entry points within a general field--manufacturing, banking, communications;

6. Assess the differences between companies that have management 'training as entry points--Smithkline, Chemical Bank, Chubb--and those that do not--The New York Times, McKinsey & Co. Compare the tradeoffs and advantages of each approach;

7. Find various companies within a general functional area--finance, for example--that offer you a chance to learn a particular skill like trading (commodities firms, investment houses, commercial banks--and more);

8. Generate a list of companies within a general functional area--finance, for example--that offer you a chance to learn a particular skill--research/writing, data processing, creative writing, sales, etc.

9. Compare training programs within an industry--how is Banker's Trust's program different from Chemical Bank, Inland Steel's from Procter & Gamble;

10. Conduct a fact-finding mission to uncover information about summer jobs, internships in organizations that interest you.

These are just a few suggestions for ways to optimize the Career Forum as a resource for information about careers and jobs. If you are sure that you want to pursue employment at a particular firm, drop off a resume with that firm's representative. It is not necessary to plan a strategy--feel free to browse the various exhibits stopping to chat with representatives of companies that catch your fancy. Talk to someone from a company that you know nothing about, but sounds intriguing. Look into a field or occupation that you assume is not for you--you may be surprised to learn how multi-faceted you are.