Exercise 1

A. Listen. What do Gina and Hana talk about?

B. Listen again. Then answer the questions.

1   What is Hana doing when Gina starts talking to her?

2   Why is Hana applying to graduate school?

3   What advice does Gina give Hana about her application essay?

4   What does Gina offer to do after Hana revises her application essay?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Hana:   I’m still waiting for a couple of letters of recommendation, and I need to finish this application essay.

Gina:   Oh, those things are so hard to write. Is there anything I can help you with?

Hana:   Well, actually, could you do me a big favor? __________looking over these two paragraphs and giving me some __________?

Gina:   No, not at all. I’d be happy to.

Hana:   __________. I really appreciate it.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Gina:   Hi, Hana! What are you up to?

Hana:   Oh, hi, Gina! I’m just working on my application.

Gina:   Your application?

Hana:   Oh! Didn’t I tell you? I’m applying to graduate school. I decided to get an MBA.

Gina:   No kidding! That’s great!

Hana:   Yeah. And the best part is that TSW is sponsoring me and has agreed to pay my tuition.

Gina:   Even better! Are you almost finished?

Hana:   No, it’s taking me a long time to get everything together. I’m still waiting for a couple of letters of recommendation, and I need to finish this application essay.

Gina:   Oh, those things are so hard to write. Is there anything I can help you with?

Hana:   Well, actually, could you do me a big favor? Would you mind looking over these two paragraphs and giving me some feedback?

Gina:   No, not at all. I’d be happy to.

Hana:   Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Gina:   Hmm…this looks really good. I like how you describe your experience working at TSW. But do you mind if I make a small suggestion?

Hana:   No. Please, go ahead.

Gina:   Well, I don’t see much here about your long-term goals. Maybe you could add some more about how an MBA will help you in the future?

Hana:   You’re right. I’d totally forgotten about that. I’ll add that in.

Gina:   Let me know if you want me to read it over again after you revise it.

Hana:   Actually, that would be awesome. Thanks again for your help!

C

Hana:   I’m still waiting for a couple of letters of recommendation, and I need to finish this application essay.

Gina:   Oh, those things are so hard to write. Is there anything I can help you with?

Hana:   Well, actually, could you do me a big favor? Would you mind looking over these two paragraphs and giving me some feedback?

Gina:   No, not at all. I’d be happy to.

Hana:   Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Exercise 2

A. Listen. What did Gina and Hana just learn?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 Why does Hana think the meeting is interesting?

 Why isn’t Gina interested in working in another country?

 Why does Hana think working in another country could be a good idea?

 When could Hana and Gina be given more information about the changes?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Hana:   Did you know about the new office opening up in Turkey?

Gina:   No, I didn’t. But I think it’s a good idea. We do a lot of business there.

Hana:   Do you think this will affect any of us?

Gina:   Well, there’ll be a lot of work for those of us in HR. New people will have to be interviewed, ___________, and trained.

Hana:   Do you think some people ___________ transferred there, too?

Gina:   It’s possible.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Hana:   No fair, Gina! How do you always beat me to the snack table?

Gina:   Ha! You snooze, you lose, Hana! Got to keep my energy up.

Hana:   Is that a chocolate chip cookie? There better be another one in there!

Gina:   Ha-ha, here, have half of mine.

Hana:   Ah. Thanks!

Gina:   Interesting meeting, huh? Lots of big announcements.

Hana:   Yeah. Did you know about the new office opening up in Turkey?

Gina:   No, I didn’t. But I think it’s a good idea. We do a lot of business there.

Hana:   Do you think this will affect any of us?

Gina:   Well, there’ll be a lot of work for those of us in HR. New people will have to be interviewed, hired, and trained.

Hana:   Do you think some people could be transferred there, too?

Gina:   It’s possible. They’ll need help getting started, at least in the first few months.

Hana:   Have you ever thought about working in another country?

Gina:   Nah. That’s not for me. I’m pretty happy where I am.

Hana:   But it could be a good opportunity, right? I mean, if you do well there, you could be promoted and move up in the company fairly quickly.

Gina:   Are you thinking about making a move like that?

Hana:   Maybe. I’d have to think about it more first. I wonder when we’ll be getting more information.

Gina:   I don’t know. It sounds like there’s a lot of planning left to do. We probably won’t get the details until the end of the year.

Hana:   I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Gina:   Yeah. It looks like the next presentation is getting started. We’d better head back in there.

C

Hana:   Did you know about the new office opening up in Turkey?

Gina:   No, I didn’t. But I think it’s a good idea. We do a lot of business there.

Hana:   Do you think this will affect any of us?

Gina:   Well, there’ll be a lot of work for those of us in HR. New people will have to be interviewed, hired, and trained.

Hana:   Do you think some people could be transferred there, too?

Gina:   It’s possible.

Exercise 3

A. Listen. How was Eiji Nakatsu inspired?

B. Listen again. What verb does the speaker use instead of the underlined phrasal verb?

 There’s a reason that employers care about problem-solving skills!

 Today I’m going to talk about one of those people and how nature helped him solve a problem.

 You may look for inspiration in what other people have done or written about.

C. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What problem did Eiji Nakatsu need to solve?

 Why was Eiji Nakatsu interested in the kingfisher?

 What was the unexpected benefit of the new design?

 Besides studying nature, how else do people look for inspiration?

Answers & Audioscripts

Inspired by Nature

Listen. What’s that sound? Anyone? It’s a high-speed train. I’ll get back to that in a moment. For now, imagine this. You’re working at an office facing a big problem. Would you ever think of looking out the window for answers? Maybe you need to develop a new project, or find a faster way to serve customers, or organize a big event.

No matter what your job is, you are certain to face problems at work occasionally—there’s a reason that employers value problem-solving skills! And whether the problems you face are large or small, there are times when you may need a little outside inspiration to help you solve them. For engineers, designers, scientists, architects, and artists, that source of inspiration is often the natural world. Today I’m going to discuss one of those people and how nature helped him solve a problem.

Ever hear of Eiji Nakatsu? He was a manager and an engineer for Japanese high-speed trains in the late 1990s. The Japanese high-speed, or bullet, trains are some of the busiest trains in the world—they move millions of people every day. It was Nakatsu’s job to make these trains go faster. His problem was that as the trains got faster, they also got louder. And a higher noise level was not acceptable to either the passengers on the trains or the residents in the neighborhoods the trains passed through. One of the major problems was that every time a speeding train entered a tunnel, it would push the air out of the other side really fast, making an extremely loud noise called a tunnel boom. Now, the engineers knew that they needed to redesign the front of the train—the nose—to fix the problem, but they didn’t know what shape to try.

Well, Nakatsu was a bird-watcher—he had turned to birds for inspiration with previous problems, and this time he remembered the kingfisher. The kingfisher is a bird that dives from high in the air into the water and barely makes a splash as it goes in. It occurred to Nakatsu that it might be the shape of the bird’s bill, or beak, that allowed it to enter the water so smoothly. He had engineers analyze the shape of the kingfisher’s bill and they began testing similar shapes. In the end, the new trains were designed with a nose that looked very much like a kingfisher’s bill. These trains were faster, they maintained the noise levels of previous designs, and they had the unexpected additional benefit of using less energy.

Nakatsu’s bullet trains are far from the only example of a design problem that was solved with inspiration from nature. There are robots that walk like spiders, a swimsuit based on the skin of a shark, and a paint that doesn’t get dirty, which was created after its designers studied how a lotus flower keeps its petals clean. This kind of engineering is known as biomimicry, with the idea being that we can find solutions to human problems by studying, and mimicking, how nature has solved them.

Of course, not all the problems we need to solve relate to design or engineering. And perhaps you’re not likely to solve your problems by studying nature. You may seek inspiration in what other people have done or written about, or turn to a mentor, or focus on brainstorming your own ideas, or all the above. But even if studying nature can’t help you solve your problem, it will help you relax, and maybe then you’ll be more creative.

Exercise 4

A. Listen to the article. What is the main idea?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions, according to the article.

1   Why is it important to start by asking yourself what you really want to do?

2   What should you focus on instead of job titles?

3   What can you do to get hired after you figure out what kind of job you want?

4   Why shouldn’t you worry if you don’t find your perfect job right away?

Answers & Audioscripts

What Kind of Job Is Best for You?

You’re ready to look for your ­ first job, or maybe you’re ready to change careers. Unless you’re one of those unique people who has always known what you’ve wanted to do, you may be confused about how to choose and get the job you really want. Since most people spend about 35% of their lives working, this is an extremely important thing to learn how to do.

Start by asking yourself a basic question:

If money were not an issue, what job would I really want to do?

Of course, it’s not always possible to do exactly what you want. For example, it may not be realistic for you to suddenly become an astronaut or a professional soccer coach. However, if you can ­ figure out what interests, beliefs, needs, and skills you have, you’ll have a better chance of ­ finding a job you love.

There are many tools that can help you do this, such as online career tests. But you can easily decide on your own what job is going to be the most interesting and satisfying for you by asking yourself these questions:

  • What interests me the most?
  • What beliefs and values are the most important to me?
  • What are my personal requirements about salary, location, and level of challenge?

In other words, ask yourself what job will make you want to get out of bed every day, excited to go to work.

Now that you’ve identi­fied the kind of job you want, let’s look at the best ways to see if you are a good match for this job by focusing on your abilities rather than job titles. Consider the following questions:

  • What do I really do well?
  • What skills do I like using?
  • What other qualities can I bring to a job?

Once you’ve determined what job is right for you, there are some basic things you can do to make sure you get hired.

  • Research the company you’re applying to.
  • Find out everything you can about the position.
  • Prepare yourself for answering interview questions and selling yourself.

Even if you don’t ­find the perfect job right away, don’t worry. Nowadays people change jobs an average of twelve times in their lifetime. With the experience you’ve gained from your ­ first attempt, you’re more likely to have a better chance of ­ finding the right job for you the next time. Also, as you decide which job is best for you, always remember to stay open-minded. You may even find something you like that you never expected.

Exercise 5

A. Listen. What is the topic of the presentation?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What job does Junio want?

 Why did Junio get interested in this type of work?

 What qualifications does Junio have?

Answers & Audioscripts

Hi! My name is Junio Gomez, and I’d really like to work at your physical therapy clinic.

I’ve actually wanted to be a physical therapist ever since I was fifteen, when I hurt my knee during a soccer game. I had to have surgery, and I was worried that I’d never play soccer again.

But then, I started going to a physical therapist. She helped me do exercises to strengthen my knee and made me feel better whenever I got frustrated or discouraged. Thanks to her skill and dedication, I completely recovered and I realized what I wanted to do with my life.

At university, I got a bachelor’s degree in biology, and a certificate in physical therapy. I also started volunteering at a local physical therapy clinic. Since then, I’ve been learning more about diagnosing, treating, and working with the patients.

I want to keep doing this job as a career because I love helping patients recover from injuries, just like I recovered from mine. There’s nothing better than seeing people make a breakthrough and leave the clinic with a smile on their face, ready to go back to their normal lives.

I know your clinic has a reputation for providing great treatment and truly caring about your patients. It would be an honor to be a part of your team.

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