The HBS 2+2 program is a deferred admission process for current students in their final year of study, either in college or a full-time master’s degree program. If you are admitted through 2+2, you work for two to four years in a field of your choice before enrolling in the regular HBS MBA Program. We sat down with Matthew Young (MBA 2025) to hear more about how he spent his deferral years.

Why did you decide to apply to HBS via the 2+2 deferred admissions process?

I decided to apply to HBS via 2+2 following my junior year of undergrad. During my internship that summer, I had the opportunity to work in Boston with an HBS alum who took me to visit campus for the first time. Business school was something I had been aware of, but after hearing her talk about HBS and walking around the campus – I knew that I wanted it to be a chapter in my journey. My undergrad experience had primarily been lecture-based, and the case method seemed so interesting to me. As I researched more about the 2+2 program, I learned that I could “lock in” my opportunity to attend early and figured that it would be a win-win situation to apply through the 2+2 program.

What job(s) did you work during your deferral?

I ended up using all four years of my deferral despite thinking that I would only do three years when I applied. During my deferral, I did a summer internship at The Walt Disney Company before starting my full-time job as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company in New York. I spent two years at McKinsey as a consultant working primarily in their Mergers & Acquisitions and Financial Services group before making a career pivot. In 2021, I joined the NFL’s Washington Commanders for the last two years of my deferral. I wrapped up my time in Washington as the team’s Chief of Staff, where I had the opportunity to pursue many strategic priorities including the sale of our team to HBS Alumni Josh Harris (MBA 1990).

Did 2+2 change your path or alter your post-undergraduate plans?

The 2+2 program allowed me to have flexibility in my career path, while knowing that it would eventually include HBS. I knew that I would spend at least two years in consulting, and originally thought that I would spend my third year trying something new before enrolling. At the end of my third year of deferral, my coworkers and I felt that there was more impact I could have if I spent another year at the Commanders. The 2+2 program allowed me the flexibility to spend that second year with them knowing I’d have a spot in the Class of 2025.

What advice do you have for prospects considering the 2+2 program?

The biggest advice I would share with prospects is to embrace the introspection that the process requires. The Admissions team knows that you can’t perfectly predict what your path will look like leading up to HBS, but certain things like the passion, values, and mission that guide you today are likely to be the same through your deferral and when you arrive at HBS. Let those items shine through and focus less on the titles you’ll hold or the companies you plan to work at. The deferral period lets you explore those passions risk-free and sets you up well for the MBA journey.