I don't wish to be cold-hearted, but if the OP says that he sees colleges as just a means to a career, then perhaps the Ad Com made the right choice. While Harvard students do use it as a steppingstone, Harvard and a college education is an end in of itself, not merely a way-station on the path to a career.
My admissions essay mentioned nothing about careers at all. Ultimately, in the aggregate, I was a weaker candidate than many other people who have applied and would have been rejected regardless of my mindset. Of course I wanted to get into Harvard. Everyone who applies does.
When I was in high school, no one knew what they would be doing or how they will become functioning, independent adults.
During my senior year of high school, the recession loomed large on everyone's minds, and suddenly, liberal arts degrees didn't seem so sexy anymore. Vocations became sexy. Every adult I spoke encouraged me to get a vocational education of some kind. Ultimately, I settled for a vocational program, and I've learned a lot within that program. I will most likely be gainfully employed after graduation.
Most people have at least sixty years left to live after college. Education is rarely ever an end to itself - it is an enabler, a way to allow people to achieve great things - big and small, public and private. I am simply telling Harvard aspirants that even if they do not get into Harvard, they will make something of their lives, provided they take advantage of the opportunities presented to them throughout life, both at the university and outside of it.
Life is a process of continuous advancement and improvement. It never stops at any point during one's life - and it certainly doesn't require attending the right university for the optimal result.