My undergraduate concentration is in a business-related field, and I have had a lot of business exposure. Is 2+2 the right program for me?
When the 2+2 Program was originally created it primarily targeted students who are not already on a business track (i.e. students studying the liberal arts, sciences, engineering, etc.). However, we are now encouraging students from all undergraduate majors to apply (that includes those with concentrations and experiences in business-related fields).
(The purpose of the program has shifted slightly since I applied & was admitted in 2008!)
And now, back to the original blog post, written in 2007.
Except, HBS never seemed to see perceive that as a problem. Until now. What happened?
The Internet. That's what happeend. A business degree used to be a prerequisite to jumpstarting most high-powered careers, at least in the corporate world. Now, a lot of brilliant college grads (or college dropouts) don't need to go to law school, medical school, grad school or business school in order to make a name for themselves. They just start a company like Facebook, and after a few years of feverish programming, they're household names.
This is not okay with Harvard Business School.
HBS is an exclusive club. But when it's excluding the it-crowd—22-year-old future self-made billionaires—what happens to their club? It loses some credibility. HBS needs the world to perceive a Harvard Business School degree as the mark of greatness, but that mark is only as valuable as its reputation—which is created by the people who hold degrees, and diluted by the degree-less success of their drop-out counterparts.
2+2 is their solution: catch them while they're young. Take the whiz-kids who have the potential to be great no matter what, and brand them before the secret gets out. By the time they graduate, they're locked into the brand. Fortunately, HBS still has enough cred that it's a mutually beneficial relationship. The future entrepreneurs of the world probably could use a little schooling, and they could certainly brandish their HBS club badges to great effect—in a corporate world where that badge still means something.
But all in all, I'd say it's HBS that stands to gain the most from this deal. Five years out, when the first branded 2+2 class graduates, HBS will hand them degrees, and claim that they're bestowing passports to the future. The real secret is, this future is happening no matter what. The passports are increasingly irrelevant. But maybe, just maybe, Harvard Business School can keep this fact quiet and maintain their relevance in the twenty-first century, by hitching themselves to the inevitable stars.