HBS 2+2: Secure a spot at HBS before you graduate from college

The Wall Street Journal Online reported last week on the new HBS program to widen the MBA applicant pool. Read the full article here. Excerpts are posted below:

Called 2+2, the initiative allows college students to lock in a spot in Harvard‘s M.B.A. program by the end of their junior year. Before they start classes, accepted students must work for two years. The school is providing free career counseling and other resources to help students secure these short-term positions…

Liberal-arts students generally lack exposure to what a graduate business degree can offer, says Andrea Mitchell Kimmel, associate director of M.B.A. admissions at Harvard Business School…”There’s a myth out there that business is putting on a gray flannel suit every day and going to a big office,” she says. “No one ever tells [undergrads] that business involves areas like nonprofits, government, education and social enterprise.”

By providing deferred admission, 2+2 will also help Harvard Business School attract more women applicants, says Carl Kester, deputy dean for academic affairs. The demographic is one that M.B.A. programs in general have historically struggled to recruit. “Young women who are considering an M.B.A., but believe they need for five or six years of work experience before applying, are often faced with concerns about when they might start a family,” he says. “By comparison, many professional-degree programs can be completed in less than five years.”

To participate in Harvard‘s 2+2 program, undergrads must apply by July 1 of their junior year, which costs a nonrefundable fee of $100. By comparison, the regular application process for the most recently admitted class was $235. Up to 90 students will be admitted to the Class of 2013 next fall, which will account for roughly 10% of Harvard Business School’s total student body that year.

The jobs students select must be approved by the business school, Ms. Kimmel says. “Since they have a coach from September of their senior year, we don’t envision that there will be a problem,” she says.
From wsj.com, Sept 13, 2007

View the HBS 2+2 press release.

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