Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
Q. What is your name?
A. Hi, my name is Natalia Svetlova. However, you can simply call me “Natalia” if it’s okay with you.
Q. Do you work or study?
A. Currently, I am studying at a university for my Master’s degree. Besides I am working as a part-time accountant. Hopefully, I will be awarded my Master’s degree at the end of this year and then work as a full-time accountant.
Q. Is your profession popular in your country?
A. Well, yes, my profession is very popular in Russia. As I’ve already said, I am working as a part-time accountant at a large company in Russia and I hope to work in this field in the future as a full-time executive. You can find many successful accountants in Russia and their jobs are highly appreciated in our society. This is a demanding and well-paid job in Russia as well.
Q. Do you find studying and working at the same time challenging? [Why/why not?]
A. To be honest, it was quite tough at the beginning but over time, I have become pretty comfortable with my routine which involves both working and studying. I am sure a great number of students also work while they study, and they cope with this at a time. In the beginning, it was difficult because I had to attend my classes, prepare my assignments and get ready for exams while taking pressure at the work as well. I had barely 4-5 hours to sleep at night at that time, and things seemed really overwhelming sometimes. But as time progressed, I started getting comfortable with my tight schedule and I have convinced myself that I am doing it for my future. So things are not as tough as they used to be for me these days.
Q. What do you do besides your work and study?
A. Well, I am pretty much occupied with my study and work, but that does not deter me from enjoying a fresh cup of coffee at a restaurant or going to a theatre to enjoy a movie or reading a novel on a weekend that my friends recommend me. I also like to hang out with my close friends, talk to my parents over the phone and run for at least an hour in a park located near my living place.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
Describe a project or a piece of work you did together with someone.
You should say:
- what it was
- what you have done
- why you chose this person to work with
and explain what you did to finish the project.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can take some notes to help you if you wish.]
Model Answer 1:
Currently, I am a student at a university and we have to do group assignments and presentations. I would like to tell you about the group assignment that I have done with one of my friends from the University.
Last semester we had a course on Company Law and one of the assessments for this course was an assignment. We have a case law and we needed to prepare an ILAC (Issue, Law, Application and Conclusion) for this case.
When we have to do a group work, usually, I start the initial part and take necessary initiatives. I try to prepare a draft that we might read, check and change later to make it more appropriate. when I complete this revision, we start our work. Also, at the same time, my teammates prepare their drafts in order to have some information to compare.
The project I am talking about was a university project on ILAC and I worked on it with the collaboration of another student of my class. His name was Michael. He and I come from the same city and study in the same university. I chose this person because he also studies very well at the university and was quite cooperative. Both of us are doing the same degree and the same majors (accounting and finance). I believe that it is important to have cooperative and active team members in a group project or assignment. People with the same goals and mindsets can work smoothly together and can perform better. Additionally, I respect this person and value him as a good friend and good student. One of the most important aspects, why I worked with this particular student, was that he was very supportive, intelligent, reliable.
We had to prepare for the project from the very beginning. Both Michael and I prepared our drafts and to-do list to set our goal. Afterwards, we had to read a lot of reference books and case studies to finish our projects. A lot of discussions, debates, and coffee were needed to finish our assignment. We were very glad to be awarded the grade ‘A’ for our assignment.
Sample Answer 2:
During my last semester, I underwent a thesis with two of my friends. And in fact, it was my group thesis. We three had to struggle a lot for collecting data from the primary sources. Besides, there were plenty of mistakes found in the literature. We all had to make the thesis perfect.
The thesis was about population distribution in rural and city areas and how to control the population flow. Definitely, it was a difficult task for us for some reasons. First of all, this was the very first thesis of our life. Actually, being the very first one, our teacher has asked us to make it in a group. Accordingly, we prepared for everything and did the project together. But on the way to completion, we had to experience a large number of troubles for being newbies in this arena of research and analysis.
I was responsible for preparing questionnaire for the thesis. In fact, we had to take interview of some of the people and the selection process was random. So, I had to prepare the questions in line with the thesis theme. By the same time, I had to care about the issue that there should be no irrelevant questions in the questionnaire lest the respondents do not feel irritated or disturbed. So, to prepare the questions, I took help from many other similar questionnaires. But it was hard to make the suitable questions. Besides, the formatting of the questions was also troublesome as I had never done such a work before. I was unable to find out the right format for me to place the questions. Developing the questions was also difficult and I overcome all the issues finally.
Steve and Smith were with me. I formed my team with them based on some special criteria. Firstly, they are my intimate buddies and we have a nice coordination. If I picked someone else, I think I would have been troubled more. They understand me while the things are similar to me. The coordination among us is excellent and we did some other projects before. But this was a large one in size and took more time than the usual projects. A thesis is completely a dissimilar type of work than the usual assignment. But we realised the issue much later. We had to face some extreme challenges to complete the thesis. Further, the teacher who assigned us the thesis was out of the country for attending some sort of conference. As a result, we all had to wait for his return and got delayed in submitting the thesis paper.
To complete the thesis, I had to do some special sort of things in line with the others. Data collection was the most important aspect in thesis completion. To gather the data, we had to take interviews of some people both in rural and city areas. Cleaning the data and analyse them was the other greatest obstacles we experienced so far. Writing the report took a bit time. But the most unmanageable issue was the report writing. I was assigned to write the report as well but it took several attempts to complete the report and get it checked by the teacher. Finally, after lots of efforts, we were able to complete the project and it took around three months for us. It was really an interesting experience for me and others as well.
Part 3 – Details Discussion
Q. 1. Do you think it is important to do something with another person?
A. Well, it depends on what we are trying to do. For example, if we are doing an individual assignment, it is necessary to do it on our own. If we have to do some group work, of course, it is essential to do it with another person or a group of other people. Generally, I believe that teamwork is an important skill and for that, we need to get involved in different activities with different people. I assume, in today’s highly competitive environment, it is essential to do something with other people so that we can learn to work in a team.
Q. 2. Is it important for children to have subjects in school that include working with other students?
A. Yes, it is highly necessary for students to have academic lessons and activities that involve teamwork and cooperation. We are living in a world where we have to deal with people every single day and should be ready to help others whenever possible. From this regard, we should teach young students to interact with other students as much as possible. Moreover, teamwork and group participation is a requirement at college, university and office and would be useful in every stage of our life. So I would like to suggest that children should be taught teamwork at an early stage in school so that they can apply this skill in the future and become successful.
Q. 3. What subjects, in your opinion, would bring young students together to work as a team?
A. It could be a foreign language learning course where children can talk to each other and have dialogues with teachers and other students. It could also be physical activity subjects where they will play and learn by having interactions with each other. Art, dance and acting subjects are interesting to young students and most of the time need teamwork than individual efforts. Finally, group assignment could be given almost in all subjects including literature, history, physics, chemistry and maths where young students would be required to work with others to finish their tasks.
Q. 4. How could business entities work together with schools or universities to help each other?
A. Business organisations, schools and universities can work together and help each other tremendously. First of all, helping schools and universities is a social responsibility for many business organisations. Besides, educational institutions can take their students to different companies and teach these young and inquisitive students how the real operation in a company is carried out, which can be motivating and important for many students. They can also invite successful executives from different companies to conduct some classes and that would be an interesting and effective way to teach and stimulate students. Since the business entities require to recruit talented and dedicated employees and universities can prepare and supply plenty of them, they can work together to bring out the best among students who would be a part of successful and large businesses in the future.
Q. 5. How can wealthy countries help poor countries?
A. I think rich nations can do a lot to help poor nations. First, wealthy nations can provide financial support so that poor countries can use them to ensure basic needs for their citizens. Secondly, such developed countries can also send skilled teams to poverty-stricken nations to teach them how to use their own resources to become self-reliant. In many cases, poor nations do not have enough skilled workers or technicians to explore and utilise their own resources. Training sessions and skill development courses conducted by rich nations could be a great help in this regard. Third and most importantly, wealthy nations can help develop some infrastructures and facilities for the poor nations and support them in research, healthcare, education and technological development.
Q. 6. How can nations work together to address climate change issues?
A. Climate change and its detrimental effects are not limited to a single country and do not differentiate wealthy or poor nations. So to address it, all nations should work together. First, world leaders should agree to work collectively and set a target and contribute accordingly. They should make a global team of policymakers and then they will create polity to curb the climate change issues. At that point, you may say, we already have it, but sadly, those are dictated by the wealthy nations only and participation of poor or developing nations are inadequate. It should be a global team, not a team consisting of a few countries only. When we have this team and policymakers, they will propose a policy and that would be accepted as a rule. All nations would be then forced to abide by it. I believe that we are responsible for the climate changes and we can make it right. For that, we have to work together as a global team.