The Quadrant Framework, Revisited



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.

Time to open your Dream Tracker again.

actionNavigate to the Choosing Universities sheet where you have a trove of information on each university already. We told you earlier that you would make your future self’s life a lot easier by doing all the research diligently. If you did, thank your past self now. If you didn’t, that’s OK too. Re-read the chapter Choosing the Universities once again and apply the quadrant and framework we gave you for just the universities you got an admit from.

In fact, let’s revisit the quadrant once again.

The Quadrant Framework

Three things need to be fixed above:

  • First, the Requirements quadrant isn’t needed anymore, now that you’ve been selected.

  • Second, we need to add a few more factors that you can look at now, since your world has been simplified.

  • Finally, since you saw this for the first time, a lot might have changed in your life. Maybe a university gave you a scholarship, or you obtained one from external sources. Maybe you got a response from a professor in one of the universities who agreed to be your supervisor. Or, something happened in your personal life that needs to be taken into account. Whatever it is, it has to be incorporated here.

The Quadrant Framework

That’s more like it.

When you were choosing the universities to apply to, your mind was primed to think about elimination.

Now, approach this problem from the standpoint of selection.

Learn From the T

There is a famous saying when it comes to hiring: look for someone with T-shaped skills.*

The T here is a metaphor that conveys that companies want someone with both breadth-wise and depth-wise skills, indicated by the horizontal and vertical bar of the symbol T. Think of the T-shaped person as a “jack of many trades and master of one (or a few)”. The earliest reference of this goes all the way back to a paper published in 1978.* Since then, it has been referenced in various articles* as a way to encourage people to acquire skills across varied fields.

We will now use this mental model* to help you make the final choice.

If you found this post worthwhile, please share!