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Kaelyn Griffin: Hi, my name is Kaelyn Griffin and I'm a second-year MS/MBA student here at Harvard Business School. In this video, I wanted to talk a bit more about how I view the MS/MBA Program and why I decided to apply to it.

I actually applied to the standard MBA Program here at Harvard Business School through the 2+2 Program back when I was still in undergrad. Basically what happened was, I was given an opportunity to apply for a spot in a later class here at Harvard Business School, after I completed two to four years of real world work experience. I applied and was accepted as a standard MBA. But while I was out working, they came out with this MS/MBA Program which is a two-year joint degree program with the engineering school and it's a Master of Science of Engineering Sciences as well as an MBA. So I decided to apply! And I was admitted. And I'm part of the second cohort of this program, so it's still really new.

The class sizes are also pretty small. Each cohort is about 30 people right now, a bit less so in the third cohort because of COVID. But it's a very close-knit cohort. We all come from technical backgrounds of some sort, most of us are engineers. We all kind of connect on a certain level because we all have an interest in staying somewhat technical, but we also came back to school. We came to get an MBA. We all have high ambitions for ourselves and high hopes of what we could be doing in the future.

I think one of the things that makes our program unique is the focus on entrepreneurship. From what I've heard from some other MS/MBA programs, our program—through different speakers, through projects or courses that we have to take—focuses a lot more on starting our own startups or being able to join startups that tend to have a more technical focus to them. And this can be both software and hardware. I think one of the hopes of the program is that once we graduate, we will be equipped to be technical leaders that can go out into different companies or start different companies that can work on tough technical problems, and being able to make a real difference in the world because we have the background that we do. And I think that's really interesting. I think it's something that the program is still learning how to do to the best of its ability.

Because it is still so early, there's still a lot to learn as far as what projects work, and what's the best use of our time when it comes to being able to network versus being able to work on projects. And I think that's another big plus of the program right now—because it's so new, they are taking a lot of our feedback to heart. So I hope hearing a bit about my perspective on what's been good and what some of the challenges are with the MS/MBA Program is interesting and helpful, especially if you're thinking about applying.

I definitely think it's been a great experience both from the types of people I've met, the types of networking opportunities I've been given, and just the skill sets that I have been given through the program that I might not have been given through just a standard MBA program. I do think even if you switch careers and you decide not to stay in a technical field, a lot of the things that we're learning and a lot of the speakers that we've been introduced to still give you a new type of mindset and a new skill set that will be helpful in any direction that you decide to take your career.

If you're considering applying, I definitely would encourage it. And I wish you the best of luck. Thank you.

Learn more about the joint MS/MBA Engineering Sciences Program here.