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. This spring we’re speaking with current MBA students who were admitted through 2+2 to learn what they did during their deferral years.

Here’s an interview with Adrian Obleton (MBA 2023).

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

It has always been important to me that I’m able to make a difference in the world. To have impact on any real scale, you need to be able to lead others. Several of the most inspiring leaders that I knew personally were HBS grads. They encouraged me to consider the 2+2 program. I was fairly certain that I would do an MBA at some point and 2+2 would give me more flexibility in my decision making before then.

How long did you defer your 2+2 admission?

I deferred for 4 years.

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

I spent 2 years at Bain & Company splitting my time between PE due diligence and supply chain transformation. I then spent 6 months at a PE fund investing in technology businesses. Finally I spent a year and a half at Turbonomic, a mid-sized VC-backed software company, in their strategy and operations team. I also spent the last 2 years attempting to launch an edtech startup in my nights and weekends.

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

I was able to make choices and take risks that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I felt free to leave a toxic work environment because I knew that I was coming to HBS. Also, I felt comfortable taking the financial risk of trying to self-fund my own startup. It ended up not working out, but I wouldn’t have even taken the chance if not for 2+2.

What advice do you have for prospective MBA students considering the 2+2 program?

Think deeply about what you want your life to look like. The people you want to be with, the career aspirations you have, and the impact you want to have on the world. Understanding these aspects of yourself will not only help you craft a compelling admissions essay, but more importantly, it will help you be thoughtful about where you spend your time.