The 2+2 Program was unknown to me until late in my senior
year as an Electrical and Computer Engineering student at the University of Texas at Austin
(UT). By happenstance, a recent UT alum and friend told me about the opportunity.
Up to that point, I had followed my passion for technology to UT’s computer
architecture department, and I had enjoyed technical internships at Sandia National
Laboratories and Apple. But something didn’t feel right. I had always been
fascinated by the nexus of business, technology, and policy – but to this point
my educational and professional experiences had been limited solely to
I decided to take my first foray into business through UT’s
inaugural M.S. Finance Program directly following my bachelor’s degree. I began
to see the impact technology and business could have together, but I needed
more than a rigorous finance education to round out my business skills.
to apply to the 2+2 Program in order to develop my
foundational general management skills. I saw the 2+2 Program as a no risk,
high reward opportunity to secure a spot at HBS, enabling me to experiment
during my two years pre-HBS.
After graduating with my M.S., I found myself considering
consulting. Knowing that I had been accepted in the 2+2 Program, however, gave
me the confidence to speak with my career counselor about other potential
opportunities. Ultimately, I took a summer sabbatical to serve at the U.S.
Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria in the Political and Economic Section. Finally, I
had the opportunity to pursue my passions at the nexus of business, technology,
and policy before my HBS matriculation!
While at Post, I contributed to enhancing U.S.-Bulgarian
bilateral relations. My report on rule-of-law and human rights challenges was
presented to the U.S. Ambassador and Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. I examined
the root-causes of the Bulgarian banking crisis, summarized my findings in a
seminal analytical report and investigated viable opportunities for American
foreign investments in the Bulgarian transportation sector.
By consistently delivering visionary solutions I was invited
to join the Ambassador’s daily briefing team. My time at Post allowed me to
experience firsthand the multitude of challenges facing Bulgaria and provoked
me to contrast them with the American values I cherish—strong rule-of-law,
individual liberties, human rights, and the belief in helping others.
In addition to feeling liberated from a career perspective,
the 2+2 Program introduced me to the 2+2 community—a stellar group of soon-to-be
students that I was able to get to know well before matriculating to HBS. From
casual dinner conversations in cities around the world to formal 2+2 events at
the HBS Clubs of New York and San Francisco, I made many of my friends before I
ever set foot on the HBS campus. The 2+2 Program has truly changed my life.