How To Get Into Harvard’s 2+2 Program
Harvard Business School’s 2+2 program allows students to apply on a deferred basis.
After being admitted through 2+2, students spend a minimum of two years working before enrolling at HBS, according to HBS. But what kind of applicant is HBS looking for its 2+2 program? And how can one stand out?
Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently spoke to an HBS 2+2 admit about her experience applying to the program and how she went about putting together her application.
WHO IS HBS LOOKING FOR?
The 2+2 program at HBS is specifically geared towards applicants whose paths aren’t as directly aligned to the traditional MBA program. According to HBS, some preference for the 2+2 program is given to applicants who work in an operating company, come from a lower socio-economic background, going into a technically demanding role, or pursuing entrepreneurship.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be set on your career goals when applying.
“It is okay if you don’t know EXACTLY what you want to do in the future, post-MBA,” the HBS 2+2 admit tells Stacy Blackman Consulting. “I was hung up on this for a while in the beginning because I felt like I should only apply if I knew the answer to this question. You will probably have a couple of hypotheses for what you want to do. As you self-reflect, you will gain more clarity.”
HOW TO STAND OUT
While you don’t need to have your post-MBA goals set in stone, it can be helpful to self-reflect and start forming potential paths.
“One thing that helped me was sitting down to reflect on my path and taking time to connect the dots,” the HBS 2+2 admit tells Stacy Blackman Consulting. “Why did I pursue the internships and opportunities that I did in college? How did they relate to who I was and what things mattered to me personally? It ended up being an insightful and revealing exercise that helped me convey my story throughout my essays and interviews.”
Additionally, HBS states on its 2+2 application page that it seeks out “innovative thinkers who have demonstrated leadership and analytical skills and want to develop their knowledge and passion to make a difference in the world.”
“Make sure that you’ve demonstrated each of these in some way or another across the entire application—from your resume to the essay to the short answers within the application itself,” the HBS 2+2 admit tells Stacy Blackman Consulting.
Next Page: MBA Interview Advice