Chances of Harvard 2+2 / Stanford Deferred MBA Programs? Profile Evaluation


I am considering applying for the 2+2 MBA program at HBS and Deferred MBA at GSB, and I wanted to know if I have a decent shot before I spend the time writing essays and asking for recommenders. Here is some info:

  • Senior Undergrad at USC / UCLA / ND / Georgetown tier school (graduating in May) with full scholarship
  • 3.7 GPA, Computer Science & Business Admin Major
  • 5 internships, including as a software engineering intern at Google
  • Will be returning to Google as a software engineer upon graduation
  • Taking GRE Jan 4th 2019, but my SAT was ~2300/2400 (with 800 math and 800 writing) so I think I will do well

In terms of career goals, I want to work as a software engineer for 2 years, so that I can learn the ins-and-outs of world-class software development, and then move into venture capital post-MBA and use my knowledge to help evaluate the tech at companies. Is this a career path that Harvard would like, or is that not consistent with what they are looking for?

I know I don't have a ton of time, so I need to make a decision about whether to apply or not.

Do I have a good shot?

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Comments (4)

Most Helpful
Dec 9, 2018 - 1:19pm

Congrats on the great undergrad performance as well as your Google offer. Beyond the stats and work, HBS will be looking for a habit of leadership. Meaning, they don't CREATE leaders at HBS, they develop people who have already been leading.

In terms of your goal of going into VC post MBA, not likely as an immediate goal for a software engineer with an MBA. You may need to take a few steps in between to get to a VC role.

Stanford is looking for students who want to change the world, your 'narrative' (which isn't really built out in this post) doesn't scream making a positive impact on society.

There is likely more to what you have to offer that you didn't capture in the handful of bullets. Feel free to reach out for a free consultation with the Stratus Admissions Counseling team and we would be glad to dive into your profile and provide more directed thoughts on what an application might look like.

Good luck!

Susan Cera Director of MBA Admissions Stratus Admissions Counseling - FREE Profile Evaluation -
  • 2
Dec 28, 2018 - 1:04am

In a similar position myself: go to one of the schools listed, same GPA, Finance major, starting FT IB position after graduation. I definitely think it is worth applying.

Out of curiosity, who would you ask to recommend you? I don't feel comfortable asking anyone from my bank and that leaves limited options.

Dec 28, 2018 - 9:10am

It's exciting to think about applying to business school as you wrap up your undergrad but there can also be some challenges. Namely, you likely don't have a 2-3 year track record of progression at a job and a manager who can speak to the impact you have made during your tenure.

But don't fret, deferred admission candidates have other options for recommendations. Keep in mind that the recommendation should be RECENT and RELEVANT.

I'm not sure why you are uncomfortable asking someone from your bank. I presume this is where you had an internship and possibly where you will be working full-time later in 2019. The ask doesn't mean you don't value the position and the skills and knowledge you are developing. Since you are applying for deferred admission, you would be taking the job for 2-4 years before leaving.

Other options...
- An advisor who has observed you in a leadership role in a club or organization in college?
- A professor with whom you have worked directly on research or as a teaching assistant?
- A university administrator with whom you have engaged in some capacity in making a contribution to the school?

Beyond HBS 2+2 and Stanford deferred entry, Columbia just announced a deferred entry program. Darden also offers deferred entry. MIT Sloan has a somewhat stealth deferred entry program that is intended to be for current MIT students (undergrad or another masters) but they have admitted non-MIT candidates.

Wishing you the best as you wrap up your final semester!

Susan Cera Director of MBA Admissions Stratus Admissions Counseling - FREE Profile Evaluation -
  • 2
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