Which MBA Essays Should You Work on First?

While not all Class of 2018 MBA applications have been posted yet, several programs have listed their essay requirements online so that applicants can get going on their drafts. But how should you pick which school to start with?

Some people prefer to start with the essay set that’s due first—which is totally fine—but that might not be the best strategy for other b-school hopefuls. It might simply come down to what you feel most motivated to work on right now, because we all know that if you’re dreading something, you’ll find reasons to keep putting it off.

Since you have two or three months before the majority of Round 1 deadlines, another tactic is to start with the school you want to get into the most. You will inevitably end up circling back and revising those essays as the due date nears, but it may help lower your stress level to know that you’re giving yourself the absolute most time possible to work on your dream school.

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Another option is to review the essays for all of the schools you’re interested in and then pick the most extensive set to begin drafting. That way, you may be able to leverage some content—such as your short- and long-term career goals—for your remaining applications.

Or you could take the exact opposite approach: start with the school whose essays seem the least daunting. It’ll be that much easier for the words and thoughts to start flowing if you already have ideas about what to write. This process is about creating momentum to carry yourself through the coming weeks, and getting one school crossed off your list sooner rather than later can be a huge motivator.

So if a voice in the back of your head is telling you to start with School X, listen to that voice and get going!

Think of it this way:

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