Campus & Community

HBS program casts wider net for undergrads

3 min read

A future in business might be right for anyone — and for some, the earlier the better. That’s the thinking behind the Harvard Business School’s (HBS) 2+2 Program, a new effort to expand the School’s applicant pool to students who might not normally consider a business degree or career.

The program, which launched last week, will grant college students an early acceptance to the HBS M.B.A. program contingent upon their successful graduation from college and the completion of two years of approved work experience.

“Young men and women today enjoy a far wider array of educational and career options than ever before,” said Carl Kester, HBS’s deputy dean for academic affairs. “With this program, we want to reach a new group of applicants and encourage them to see the versatility, value, and opportunity provided by a Harvard M.B.A. degree as they set out to make a difference in the world. Many undergraduates underestimate the versatility of an M.B.A. and the positive effect it can have on many careers. In reality, M.B.A. graduates, and HBS graduates in particular, are working in a wide variety of positions in many diverse fields.”

After the contingent early admission, Harvard will help graduating students find two-year work appointments by coordinating with a network of organizations that have agreed to act as recruiting partners. Google, Teach for America, and McKinsey & Company are already on board and are just a few of the 100 organizations expected to participate in the program.

“Google believes that attracting diverse and talented employees is key to our continued growth and innovation,” said Kim Scott, Google’s director of online sales and operations. “This program will give us another channel to find people with broad talents and skills who might not traditionally look at either a business degree or a tech company, but can be highly successful here.”

Undergraduates will be eligible to apply to the HBS 2+2 Program by July 1, after the conclusion of their junior year of college. They will be notified of the school’s decision in September of their senior year. ?

Once admitted to the program, students will participate in on-campus summer academic programs and have access to a dedicated career coach as well as an online network of current HBS students and peers in the 2+2 program.

“College students are at an important juncture during their junior year,” said Andrea Kimmel, who directs the 2+2 Program. “HBS 2+2 will help to open their minds to a host of new career and education options available to them as they set forth on their journey of exploration after college.”