This post originally appeared on the HBS MBA Voices admissions blog.
Ronald Anguas – JD/MBA
I entered the JD/MBA program as an admitted student from Harvard College, where I spent each of my summers working in government and financial services. At that time, I hoped to pursue a career in law after graduation, but I definitely wanted my career to have a business focus, whether that was through commercial litigation or transactional M&A work. Harvard was my first choice because I had an outstanding undergraduate experience there and because Harvard’s JD/MBA program combines both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School — two institutions that are each at the very top of their respective disciplines.
The JD/MBA program did not disappoint. I spent my first year fully immersed in the first-year HBS curriculum and my second year as a full-time 1L at HLS. Those experiences were some of the most intellectually engaging of my life, and during each year, I enjoyed being able to focus on a single program to build the groundwork for future study in the upper-level years.
Harvard affords its JD/MBAs the choice of which school to start at, and I appreciated being able to begin as an HLS 1L during my second year in the program in order to stay with my law school class right through graduation.
Years three and four of the program are when the phrase “joint degree” becomes a reality. JD/MBA students are simultaneously enrolled in coursework at both HLS and HBS, as well as a JD/MBA seminar that provides a forum for discussion and research on subjects that cut across the two disciplines.
Joint degree students can, and do, engage fully in academic, professional, and social activities on both sides of the River. This includes on-campus recruiting at both schools, HLS legal journals such as the Harvard Law Review, and HBS entrepreneurship opportunities such as the New Venture Competition.
It’s an intense two years, but JD/MBA students have the ability to broaden their personal and professional horizons and even take on independent research and writing projects in one discipline or the other (or both) if the course catalog doesn’t include just what the student is looking for.
I’m presently working as a commercial litigator in Washington, DC, and although I ultimately chose to build a career more focused on my law degree, I still make frequent use of concepts learned in the MBA curriculum, and I’m often in touch with classmates and other alumni from HBS.
My four years in the JD/MBA program were extremely rewarding both personally and professionally, and I would certainly make the same decision to pursue both degrees if given the chance to go back and do it all over again.