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Harvard as a mid- or late-career choice

January 5, 2014, 10:06 AM

“Education isn't about knowledge, it's about privilege.Would we know about Hannah Arendt had she not studied under Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers? Let me be more specific, education is about the privilege of getting acquainted with the people who matter in your field.

CAMBRIDGE - It is (almost) impossible (for foreign nationals) to get into Harvard straight out of high school, but if you have the potential; you should always try your luck of course. I believe, however, that Harvard is a much better mid- or late career choice.

Go there for a LLM, a MBA, a PhD, or as a visiting fellow and it’s far more rewarding. Here’s how to do it. If you don’t come from your country’s ruling class and if you are not the daughter of the president of China, you may want to start with small steps, get your first degree elsewhere (in your home country), establish a strong network, build your career, travel the world, be outstanding somehow, then call on Harvard, attend conferences at Harvard, and make friends with people at Harvard, read books about how to get into Harvard, contact Harvard professors, and meet with faculty members. Find out what they are looking for.

Dream about Harvard. Attend schools that have exchange with Harvard. Most important is to never give up. Remember it’s a very exclusive club. Fortitude, but more so connection and recommendation, will eventually get you there. Beneath the brand surface, Harvard is run like a big business, so fees for international students are very high. Better to find a sponsor.

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