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 technology.

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. 

I resolved 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.