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.

While narrowing down universities, you looked at a few factors at the horizontal level and selected your top universities. The T-shape was more like a “—” back then.

In the previous section, we asked that you paint the vertical bar of the T by going deeper into a few critical factors.

You need to complete the T-shape by considering a few factors we disregarded before, breadth-wise.

Academia: We looked at courses, research, and STEM certification in the chapter Choosing the Universities. The second layer of research here involves spending some time searching for factors such as possible industry partnerships and assistantships available, which we covered in the chapter Applying for Scholarships.

Career: If you were able to speak to a few past students, then you might have covered this already. However, beyond looking at the top career paths and placement statistics, take time to go over a few other resources provided by the university for your job search: the events calendar of your department,* resources provided by the career development center,* and in general all forms of content from your alumni.

storyI wrote an article for every month of my graduate school and made it a series with its own catchy title.* Every article was a mini-diary entry from the past month on something new that I learned. I have been told by my juniors that reading the series gave them a good idea of what is to come.

Although mine was more general than job specific, look out for alumni from your school and major who did something similar, in the form of a blog or video. With YouTubers such as Harnoor, Yudi, Parth, Nitin, and more, there is no dearth of information out there.*

Miscellaneous: Now is a good time to take into account a lot of the extraneous, miscellaneous factors such as the living expenses, sport facilities, and student clubs that you didn’t look at before.

storyI realized after joining Columbia that they did not have a dedicated badminton court. The basketball court was used to play badminton on Tuesday and Thursday nights. For an intermediate player like me, it wasn’t a big deal. However, if you are a state or national champion, I’m sure it matters a lot to you.

We listed some factors based on our experience, but this is a highly subjective quadrant, so we recommend you add more factors that matter to you.

Back to the Sheet

At the end of all this T-talk, go back to your best buddy, the Dream Tracker, who has kept track of all your work so far.

actionFor the vertical bar where you dived deeper, keep track of your findings and modify the scores for each of the columns accordingly. You also don’t need to resort to using just numbers. Add a new column to record the qualitative feedback and information you obtained from your research.

For the horizontal bar where you looked at newer factors, create new columns once again to record your feedback.

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