Tag Archives: 2+2 program

Is There Such Thing as Too Old, Too Young for an MBA?

The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite 5 to 7 years of work experience …

Many prospective business school students confront whether now is the right time to get an MBA.

The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite 5 to 7 years of work experience under their belts. The prevailing wisdom held that older candidates would have more to contribute to class discussions because of their substantial real-world experience.

Flash forward to today and you’ll see schools taking a closer look at younger candidates, including those with no work experience. The reason for this shift is that business schools fear some applicants would attain so much success after only a few years that they would not want to go back for an MBA.

Some candidates really are ready for business school right after graduating from college; some have started a company while in school, played a strong role in a family business, or gained relevant experiences in other areas.

But as more MBA programs welcome younger applicants, and in some cases actively court them with programs geared toward younger students—such as Harvard Business School‘s 2+2 Program, Yale School of Management‘s three-year Silver Scholars M.B.A. Program, and the deferred enrollment option for college seniors offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business—anyone over age 28 may feel that she or he doesn’t stand a chance of getting in.

When a client asks, “Am I too old (or too young) for an MBA?” I respond that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career. Sometimes these things can be linked to age, but that’s not a certainty.

Instead, think about what you want to gain from and what you can contribute to an MBA program. You may be 22 but have a ton of insight to share and highly focused career goals. That would give you a leg up on the 28-year-old who is lost and just using the MBA as something to fill the time.

While older candidates do face certain obstacles, these applicants get into the top programs every year, and can and should apply if an MBA is the necessary stepping stone to advance their career. If you’re contemplating business school in your mid-30s, the key is to demonstrate confidence, how you’ve progressed professionally, and what you’ve contributed on the job.

A 38-year-old candidate who has spent more than a decade in the same position without showing progression will have a hard time being admitted to a top MBA program. This is not because of age. Rather, it is because the candidate may not demonstrated growth during that time.

If you’re applying to an elite school like Harvard, which values great leadership, you should’ve already developed terrific leadership skills. Many people with great leadership skills have achieved so much by the time they near 40 that they’re not interested in going back to school.

However, if one of these people is interested and can demonstrate great achievement balanced with a legitimate need or desire to return to school, then they have a good chance. Proving that you are a strong and accomplished 40-year-old leader, and balancing that with the fact that you want to improve in order to get to the next step, is tough to pull off. That said, “old” people are admitted every season!

Younger applicants, meanwhile, have their own set of obstacles to overcome. They’ll need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that they have the focus and maturity required to succeed in an MBA program.

Since a huge part of the b-school classroom experience is the exchange of ideas from diverse individuals, younger candidates will also need to prove that they have enough life experience to contribute to an incoming class. Business schools are looking for authentic experience, not just students who subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Finally, younger applicants will need to show an admissions team they have a strong reason for returning to school so soon after graduation.

Regardless of whether you are young or old, if you can achieve what is written above, you will have a good chance of getting into a program that is the right fit for you. Your age should never be the sole deciding factor of whether to apply to business school.

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HBS 2+2 Program Now Has Single Application Deadline

Earlier this month, Harvard Business School announced a significant change to the application process for its 2+2 program. This deferred admissions program is designed for college seniors, who, if accepted, work for two years (or …

Harvard Business School-Flickr

Earlier this month, Harvard Business School announced a significant change to the application process for its 2+2 program. This deferred admissions program is designed for college seniors, who, if accepted, work for two years (or more) after their college graduations before entering the b-school.

Going forward, there will be a single deadline for these applicants—April 3, 2017—and one decision notification in mid-May.

In an update to the Director’s Blog, outgoing head of MBA admissions Dee Leopold notes that the change now offers the admissions team the opportunity to see applicants’ fall term grades and activities, and allows the team to review the entire pool at once.

While applicants can submit their materials earlier, Leopold stresses that this is not a rolling admissions process and no application will be considered prior to the April deadline.

“Many participants elect to work for three years and some for four,” adds Leopold. “You’ve heard us say this before and we’ll say it again: 2+2 probably should be re-named ‘Flex+2’…Your plans for employment need to be approved by us but we encourage a wide range of career exploration.”

Interview dates have not yet been set, though successful applicants can anticipate interviewing in late April-early May.

Image credit: Michael A. Herzog (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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How to Determine When the Time Is Right for an MBA

This post originally appeared on the U.S. News–Strictly Business MBA Admissions Blog. Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an M.B.A.? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they …

This post originally appeared on the U.S. News–Strictly Business MBA Admissions Blog.

Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an M.B.A.? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they feel that their current career trajectory has stalled. For others, pursuing an M.B.A. straight out of undergrad is a no brainer, as they avoid putting their lives on hold for two years””and forgoing a potentially significant salary to do so.

The Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the Graduate Management Admission Test, reports that applicants under 24 are the fastest-growing group among those who take the GMAT. But how do you know whether you’re really ready to tackle the intense demands of a full-time M.B.A. program? Whether you’re wrapping up your senior year or have already clocked three to five years in the workforce, there are several factors you should evaluate to determine if it’s time to take the M.B.A. plunge.

First up, make sure your head is in the game. Business school admittedly includes its fair share of cocktail-fueled socials and late-night carousing, but most people will tell you that they’ve never been busier, or slept less, than when in b-school. Between classes, quizzes, team meetings, recruiting, clubs, and a veritable smorgasbord of special events, the life of an M.B.A. student can seem like a nonstop circus act.

Taking two years to get an M.B.A. is not just a business decision, it’s a life decision that may include the interests of boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and children. Do you have the discipline to balance the grueling workload of an M.B.A. program with your existing work or personal obligations?

If the answer is yes, the next step is to get real about what it’s going to cost you. Assuming the cost of an M.B.A. program is one of the most expensive academic decisions you’ll ever make once you factor in living expenses, course-related travel expenses, and, for older applicants, the loss of two years of income while pursuing the degree full time. You can certainly find inspiration in No Debt M.B.A., a blog by a 20-something professional with a seat at one of the top five M.B.A. programs who plans to graduate in 2013 with no student loans. But most applicants to the elite schools should brace themselves for six-figure debt””at least for a while.

On the bright side, GMAC’s 2012 Alumni Perspectives Survey reports that on average, alumni across all participating graduation years recouped one third of their financial investment in their graduate degree immediately after graduation, and saw a 100 percent return on investment after four years.

Deciding whether you have enough work experience is a trickier issue, as more schools roll out the welcome mat for younger applicants. One example is Harvard Business School, whose 2+2 Program specifically courts outstanding college seniors. Most M.B.A. programs still require at least two years of work experience, but not the five or even seven years that used to be the norm. If you can demonstrate maturity, highly focused career goals, leadership skills, and enough life experience to contribute to an incoming class, your age or thin amount of work experience become far less important.

It’s no surprise that an M.B.A. expands your skill set and your network of contacts, as well as significantly increases your long-term earning potential. Candidates should talk with family, friends, and mentors””and potentially an M.B.A. application adviser””early in the application process to determine where they are in the so-called “window” for business school.

But only you can judge when all of the necessary elements have come together to make the time right.

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You’re Never Too Old or Too Young for Business School

This post originally appeared on the U.S. News — Strictly Business blog. The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying …

This post originally appeared on the U.S. News — Strictly Business blog.

The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite 5 to 7 years of work experience under their belts. The prevailing wisdom held that older candidates would have more to contribute to class discussions because of their substantial real-world experience.

Flash forward to today and you’ll see schools taking a closer look at younger candidates, including those with no work experience. The reason for this shift is that business schools fear some applicants would attain so much success after only a few years that they would not want to go back for an M.B.A. Some candidates really are ready for business school right after graduating from college; some have started a company while in school, played a strong role in a family business, or gained relevant experiences in other areas.

But as more M.B.A. programs welcome younger applicants, and in some cases actively court them with programs geared toward younger students””such as Harvard Business School‘s 2+2 Program, Yale School of Management‘s three-year Silver Scholars M.B.A. Program, and the deferred enrollment option for college seniors offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business””anyone over age 28 may feel that she or he doesn’t stand a chance of getting in.

When a client asks, “Am I too old (or too young) for an M.B.A.?” I respond that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career. Sometimes these things can be linked to age, but that’s not a certainty.

Instead, think about what you want to gain from and what you can contribute to an M.B.A. program. You may be 22 but have a ton of insight to share and highly focused career goals. That would give you a leg up on the 28-year-old who is lost and just using the M.B.A. as something to fill the time.

So while I have seen posts in online business school forums that essentially tell people there is “no chance” past a certain age, and older candidates do face certain obstacles, these applicants get into the top programs every year, and can and should apply if an M.B.A. is the necessary stepping stone to advance their career. If you’re contemplating business school in your mid-30s, the key is to demonstrate confidence, how you’ve progressed professionally, and what you’ve contributed on the job.

A 38-year-old candidate who has spent more than a decade in the same position without showing progression will have a hard time being admitted to a top M.B.A. program. This is not because of age. Rather, it is because the candidate may not demonstrated growth during that time. If you’re applying to an elite school like Harvard, which values great leadership, you should’ve already developed terrific leadership skills. Many people with great leadership skills have achieved so much by the time they near 40 that they’re not interested in going back to school.

However, if one of these people is interested and can demonstrate great achievement balanced with a legitimate need or desire to return to school, then they have a good chance. Proving that you are a strong and accomplished 40-year-old leader, and balancing that with the fact that you want to improve in order to get to the next step, is tough to pull off. That said, “old” people are admitted every season!

Younger applicants, meanwhile, have their own set of obstacles to overcome. They’ll need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that they have the focus and maturity required to succeed in an M.B.A. program.

Since a huge part of the b-school classroom experience is the exchange of ideas from diverse individuals, younger candidates will also need to prove that they have enough life experience to contribute to an incoming class. Business schools are looking for authentic experience, not just students who subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Finally, younger applicants will need to show an admissions team they have a strong reason for returning to school so soon after graduation.

Regardless of whether you are young or old, if you can achieve what is written above, you will have a good chance of getting into a program that is the right fit for you. Your age should never be the sole deciding factor of whether to apply to business school.

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MBA Acceptance Rate – HBS 2+2 Program More Selective Than Ever This Year

Here is some interesting information about an MBA acceptance rate. This year Harvard Business School admitted just 12% of applicants (100 college seniors) to the school’s 2+2 Program””the lowest acceptance rate since it launched three …

Here is some interesting information about an MBA acceptance rate. This year Harvard Business School admitted just 12% of applicants (100 college seniors) to the school’s 2+2 Program””the lowest acceptance rate since it launched three years ago, The Harvard Crimson reported last Friday.

The 2+2 Program, which requires accepted students to work for two years after graduation before entering Harvard Business School, saw 828 college juniors apply this year, which is a slight dip from 844 last year, when 115 students, or 14%, were admitted.

“This is a strong pool and not getting into 2 + 2 definitely does not mean that HBS is not in your future,” says Deirdre C. Leopold, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid. “This is one vehicle, one moment in time.”

In the 2015 cohort, The Crimson reports that 60% of admitted students have engineering, hard sciences, or technical undergraduate majors, according to Leopold, up from 50% last year. Of the remaining admits, 6% are business undergraduate majors and 34% study humanities and social sciences.

Next fall will be a seminal year for the program, as the first cohort admitted to 2 + 2 in the fall of 2008 enters Harvard Business School, Leopold explained.

“This is a big year watching these 2013 be mainstreamed into the Class of 2013,” says Leopold. “It’ll be exciting.”

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