How To Apply To Harvard Business School’s 2+2 Program

Mr. Captain Teach For America

  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.16 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in systems engineering at West Point
  • Work experience includes five years of military service as a captain and field artillery officer; in the second year as a Teach for America math teacher in a low-income area in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Extracurricular involvement as a youth wrestling coach on the base in Hawaii, volunteered at an orphanage in Korea, serves as assistant wrestling coach at his high school
  • “My dream is to improve the inner city schools educational system as a whole, most notably improving test scores and sending more kids to college”
  • Goal: To transition into consulting and ultimately become the leader of an educational reform organization
  • 28-year-old male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40%
Wharton: 40%
Northwestern: 50%
Columbia: 40%
MIT: 40% to 50%
Yale: 50%
Dartmouth: 50%
Duke: 50%+

Sandy’s Analysis: Your GPA feels a little low, but I think it’s the equivalent of a 3.5 at a more typical university. I would bet your class rank is about 45% to 65%. Your 720 GMAT means that if they like you, you’ve given a school some insurance. You are not going to fall apart. You can do the work. Even GMAT worshipping schools like Wharton will say they will take a small hit to our GMAT average if we think you.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Most business schools may claim they have a military expert on staff but that is rarely the case. Very often your application is read by the same admissions lady and in most cases all they know about the military is that you are a pilot, a Navy Seal, or you are everybody else. They don’t know what a selective military assignment is. You have had a typical military career. You’re a captain who went through a lot of field artillery gigs like a fire direction officer, a fire support officer, and a platoon leader.

It’s a perfectly fine military gig. But it’s not Delta Force, the Navy Seals, or being a pilot. I think your decision to work for Teach for America is a real plus. I think it shows his bonafides as someone who is a liberal, likable military type. Most Harvard, Stanford military applicants present with a kind of liberal mindset. You are in that pattern of liberal military candidates who are interested in leadership. And with Teach for America, you have been more influential in your career goals than you were in the military.

Your goal to transition into consulting, with the longer-term objective to become a leader of an educational reform organization is perfect. You have a clear, centered story with the military as an anchor and Teach for America as a transition. The goals are a perfect growth from that very rich soil. This is a real attractive story.

My only concern about your Harvard chances is that there could be some guy like him with better numbers. If you are competing with another candidate from any service academy with a 3.7 GPA, they might prefer that guy. Your 720 GMAT helps. The more I read your profile and go through it, the more attractive I think you are. If you can execute a strong application, your chances are pretty good. You could very well be the most likely white male with a 3.1 GPA to get into Harvard. I also think you are the kind of guy who could take it into the end zone if you get an interview.