利奥波德和她的同事们每年到访约60家本科学校，宣讲2+2计划，有些学校传统上并非不是哈佛的生源地。（“我们喜欢位于密歇根州弗林特的凯特林大学（Kettering），”即前通用汽车学院（General Motors Institute），以工程学院和合作项目著称）如果说有什么问题的话，那就是这个项目近年来太成功了，产生了利奥波德称为“松鼠钻进喂鸟器”的现象，也就是喧宾夺主的问题。
Like most top-tier B-schools, Harvard has long preferred that its MBA candidates arrive with at least some job experience. It stopped accepting students straight out of college a decade ago. But according to Leopold, Harvard was losing too many fast-track candidates to law schools, public policy schools, and Ph.D. programs. The 2+2 option was conceived as a way to "get on a college campus and attract a crowd," Leopold says. "We could then talk about this degree that doesn't open one door, it keeps many doors open. We don't want you to come now. But what if you think about it now?"
The students Harvard wants to attract most through 2+2 are "STEM people -- science, technology, engineering and math. People that don't know a lot about business, but they're going to end up in business, and they're going to be really good at it because they know how to do things, make things, think through things." Start with that, Leopold says, add what Harvard can teach -- business know-how, collaborative skills, the art of persuasion --and "it's like having a backhand and a forehand."
Leopold and her colleagues promote 2+2 with visits to about 60 college campuses a year, not all of them traditional Harvard feeder schools. ("We love Kettering in Flint," the former General Motors Institute, known for its engineering school and co-op program) If anything, the program has been too successful in recent years, giving rise to a predicament Leopold describes as "squirrels at the bird feeder."
The squirrels in Leopold's analogy are "people who've known they want to be investment bankers since they were in diapers," and see 2+2 as a shortcut. Not that Leopold has a problem with investment bankers. ("Some of the most generous and kind classmates I have are on Wall Street. Therefore I would never, you know, geez….") It's just that, well, cute as they are, squirrels are aggressive, Leopold says. They crowd out the songbirds. Then she tells one more story.
"It happened downstairs in the admission office," Leopold says. "Everybody congregates down there. They're all nervous. They're all thinking this is worse than the dentist's office. I go down to pick someone up and bring her upstairs for an interview. And this other young woman I was watching from a distance, she stops halfway up the stairs and says, 'Wait, I need to go back downstairs.' She had told the person sitting next to her that she should just go up the stairs at 3:00. She said, 'I have to tell them no, someone will come and get you.'
"Those are the things that really get me," says Leopold. "Wow, when you're so young and self-absorbed and you can already think about somebody else, that's, like, really beautiful." Accept!