Mission Admission: Start Early and Start with One Application

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

MBA candidates often ask us whether they should complete one application and then move on to the next or whether they should attack all of their applications at once. Although no definitively “right” answer to this question exists, we generally advise candidates who start early to make significant progress on their first application before beginning their second or third. Why? Simply put, candidates can learn a tremendous amount from the process of completing their first application and can therefore prevent themselves from repeating some of the same errors two or three times—not just mistakes in terms of grammar and style, but also in terms of approach.

For example, once a candidate starts writing, he/she might discover that achieving “balance” in his/her essays (the appropriate number of words to dedicate to the introduction, body and conclusion) is difficult or that conforming to stringent word counts is tougher than expected. In this case, the candidate would benefit from “battling” through the first few essays and using them as an opportunity to refine his/her message and approach, rather than attacking 9 to 15 essays at once. After working through these issues, with a set of essays completed, the applicant can then progress with more than one application and can do so with the confidence that he/she is not making the same mistakes over and over again.

This is a simple recommendation but, if followed, one that can save an applicant a tremendous amount of time, especially those candidates who intend to start early and make steady progress.

onTrack by mbaMission

A first-of-its-kind, on-demand MBA application experience that delivers a personalized curriculum for you and leverages interactive tools to guide you through the entire MBA application process.

Get Started!

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Columbia J-Term (Round 2)
  • Cambridge Judge (Round 1)
  • HBS (Round 1)
  • Penn Wharton (Round 1)
  • Notre Dame Mendoza (Early Decision)
  • Virginia Darden (Early Decision)
  • Michigan Ross (Round 1)
  • Columbia (Round 1)
  • INSEAD (August Intake)
  • Stanford GSB (Round 1)
  • Yale SOM (Round 1)
  • Northwestern Kellogg (Round 1)
  • Berkeley Haas (Round 1)

Click here to see the complete deadlines

2024–2025 MBA Essay Tips

Click here for the 2023–2024 MBA Essay Tips

MBA Program Updates

Explore onTrack — mbaMission’s newest offering allowing you to learn at your own pace through video. Learn more