7 minutes


Updated June 8, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

During the seven months that I worked on Admitted, I would pause at random moments during the day and think, how lucky am I? How lucky am I to be able to work with people who were almost as passionate about working on the book as me? How lucky indeed.

It really did take a village to get this book to you.

Let’s start with my tiny and irreplaceable village back home: my mother, father, brother, grandfather, and sister-in-law. I like to think I got the writing gene from my grandfather, who mesmerized me with tales when I was young and filled with imagination. My mom and dad have never stopped me from taking on a new venture, even if it meant I would put myself in challenging situations, and for that, I’m forever grateful. Whenever I face a major dilemma, my brother is who I turn to. Hearing him say something always makes it feel right. Finally, I can never thank my sister-in-law, Anu, enough for her constant support and encouragement.

There are six people without whom I could not have launched this book. Saikishore Raju was the first among the six to join the team. I’ve rarely seen someone with as diligent a work ethic as Sai. He tirelessly worked on the structure of many chapters and compiled a tremendous amount of research. I’ve known Rishabh Singh for three years. There is one thing I can say with certainty about him: he is one of the smartest people in the area of higher education I have ever met or will ever meet. Without Rishabh’s involvement in writing and design, this book would be incomplete.

Two of the best decisions I made during the seven months was to get Komal Telagavi and Nidhish Rajan on the team. Komal was an absolute pleasure to work with. She is as creative as she is hard-working. Even when she had to spend six hours with me on calls, she never once complained. Nidhish joined late, but one wouldn’t think that given the amount of work he managed to do in two months. Despite his full-time job, he worked so much that he would make me think that I should work harder. His work ethic is only trumped by his compassion. Karthikeyan Eswaran, my friend from NITT who I hadn’t heard from in three years, emailed me exactly a month before we sent the full manuscript to the printer, generously offering his help to edit the book. In that month, he edited every chapter of the book meticulously and wrote the chapter on securing your loan with me. Finally, my dear friend and senior, Shrinivas Padmaputra, made it possible for me to get this to your hands. Anyone who knows him will agree when I say he is one of the most generous people one can meet. I can never thank him enough for his contribution throughout this process.

Aside from my core team, there are two people who deserve special mention: Keerthi Kumar, a talented designer and videographer whose name you see on the back cover, joined in the final few weeks to work tirelessly with Komal and compile the entire book. And, my best friend, Siddharth Chamarthy. Sid is the person who knows most about my journey, including the ups and downs. I would randomly give him a call to brainstorm an idea or just let out my excitement about the book, and he always listened. And, he wrote the chapter on visas with me.

The following people proofread and gave suggestions to improve specific chapters: Akshay Vasan, Kaivalya Gandhi, Aditya Aslesh Kumar, Srivatsan Ramesh, Utkarsh Binay, Smitha Sridharan, Harshahn J P, Aatman Vora, Lakshmi Manoharan, and Abhilash Somasamudramath. Proofreading and giving feedback requires intense concentration, and I’m very thankful to all of them for giving me that.

From the beginning, I wanted to get a testimonial for my book from a few key people. These are the names you see on the back cover. It is my immense honor and privilege to receive a review from Dr. Srinivasan Sundarrajan. He will always be my inspiration, and the best director NIT Trichy has ever seen. The scholarship that was a turning point in my academic life was the S.N. Bose scholarship. So you can imagine my amazement when Aseem Z. Ansari and Naveeda Qadir, founders of the program, themselves agreed to review my book. Mindi Levinson was my wonderful career counselor at Columbia who went above and beyond to help students. Finally, I’m thrilled that Ramya Bhaskar, a fearless entrepreneur in EdTech, also agreed to review my book.

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I’m also honored to have gotten reviews from Vidya Srinivasan (a mentor and woman I look up to), Saiman Shetty (co-founder of ResumePuppy), Shivani Srilakshmi, and all my proofreaders. Last but not the least, here’s a huge shout out to the YouTube celebrities and influencers Harnoor Singh, Yudi J, Robert Adams, and Roshni Chellani for giving me a review and also for providing you all with content that makes your day!

Finally, how can I end this without thanking you? You, who trusted me enough to open up your pocket and spent many hours reading this book.

I don’t consider Admitted to be a mere book.

This might sound romantic, even ridiculous, but Admitted to me is a part of me. It is a part filled with passion. So much of it. I enjoyed even the most mundane of tasks I had to perform related to the book. So you now have a part of me, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

If you enjoyed reading Admitted, please tell a friend about it.

Help Me Spread the Joy33 minutes, 370 links

Hi again,

If you read till here, you now possess the output of hundreds of hours of research, brainstorming, writing, and designing in your mind. That’s quite powerful!

I love reading books because they are entities that stand the test of time. I get a glimpse into the author’s mind, get access to their knowledge and experiences, all in a few hundred pages. I hope with Admitted, you got a glimpse into mine.

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