HBS 2+2 vs. Stanford GSB Deferral Program

I'm in the very fortunate position of having been admitted to both HBS 2+2 and the Stanford GSB deferral program for seniors on Wednesday. I've been really struggling with the decision - Harvard's brand is unparalleled, but the Stanford GSB seems like a unique environment and culture, especially given the small size and entrepreneurial slant. In May I'll be graduating from Harvard undergrad (working in PE post-graduation), so that slightly has me leaning towards the GSB. Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated, and I'm happy to answer questions re: my background or other things pertaining to making a solid decision. I know I can't go wrong and I'm still struggling to believe I got into both, but I want to put a lot of thought into making a sound choice, and I'd love to get a sense for what people might do in my shoes.

Comments (25)

Dec 13, 2014 - 12:59am

Dam, that's impressive - congratulations! What are your goals post-MBA? That might be a major factor in the decision for you, whereas for someone else (eg Columbia vs Harvard) they might pick one school regardless.

Dec 13, 2014 - 2:16am

Based on your research you'll clearly know more than I do, but given that you've a) already been to Harvard and b) are considering VC, I would personally take Stanford if I were in your shoes.

Just my opinion though - and I have heard about how HBS is getting better and better at entrepreneurship, so if your goals are more aligned with staying in PE on the East Coast (but want the entrepreneurship optionality) HBS may trump GSB. But again, if you're seriously considering VC/entrepreneurship Stanford might be a better bet - as I'm sure you could get East Coast PE (for example) from Stanford if you want to.

Dec 13, 2014 - 1:50pm


That's the general consensus. I also have a bunch of friends from Harvard who are 2-3 years out - all dual admits who opted for the GSB based on that same thinking.

Also - just wanted to ask you this:

Kids going straight from college to PE - is this a rare thing because you were extraordinary or is there a recruiting path straight out of top UGs for PE these days?

Best Response
Dec 13, 2014 - 5:30pm

It's generally rare but there's a decent cohort of people at Harvard who will be working in PE. I'd say about 20-30 of us, out of a 1600 person class. Also, 32-ish% of Harvard seniors last year went to consulting and finance, which is about 500 people, and I figure only 5% of people working across banking/consulting/trading/PWM/investment management/HF/PE will end up in PE right after graduation. Even 10% is possible, which would be 50 graduating seniors.

Dec 14, 2014 - 10:42am

Do you have any geographic preference of where you want to work? Both schools are awesome in either case.

Dec 15, 2014 - 12:13am

4.0 GPA, quantitative major, 720 GMAT, internships at blue-chip investment bank and top-tier PE fund, varsity athlete, five academic awards, entrepreneurial experience, plenty of extracurriculars...any category I left out let me know?

Dec 15, 2014 - 1:00am


4.0 GPA, quantitative major, 720 GMAT, internships at blue-chip investment bank and top-tier PE fund, varsity athlete, five academic awards, entrepreneurial experience, plenty of extracurriculars...any category I left out let me know?

Damn. How many hours do you sleep in a night on average? Very impressive.

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