Last week started really well, with a few successes – an admit to the NYU part-time program, Columbia EMBA program, and Chicago part-time program. It is so satisfying to hear from clients who have been successful in their applications. In the last few weeks I’ve been busy putting the final touches on the first round deadlines for Columbia, Cornell, Haas, Kellogg and more. While many people get started on their MBA application months before the deadlines, it is amazing to me how many applicants still end up submitting their applications on the day of the deadline.

Many people find the pressure of an approaching deadline to be a good motivator, but this strategy can backfire and is not for the faint of heart. True, sometimes when you know you HAVE to get the essays ready by midnight, you can find that creative idea or just force yourself to stop procrastinating and finalize the essay. The problem is that, under intense last-minute pressure, your judgment  might be impaired, and you might submit an application that is either not optimal, or even damaging to your chances. Do yourself a favor – don’t save everything for the last minute. If there’s an essay you are fighting with, force yourself to start it today. It’s not going to get easier as you get closer. Talk to someone – a friend, a family member, a consultant – and get it done. If you’re having trouble finding a good story, it’s likely that writing it will also take a significant amount of time.