G.B.C. sample answer: University studies

Japanese students in class
Japanese university students enjoying their course

This time, we're going to consider a G.B.C. question about you. As we have mentioned before, personal questions should, in theory, be the easiest to answer. However, because they are considered easy questions, it is important that you have a really good answer prepared.

So, our question today is: What did you study at university? What did you gain from that course?

Here is my sample answer:

My major at Keio University was macroeconomics, which mainly involved using econometric techniques and methodologies to predict future economic trends. I also studied various minors, such as sociology and music theory, which I particularly enjoyed. In retrospect, I gained a lot from university. Of course, I developed a fairly deep knowledge of my subjects, but at the same time, my university was rather progressive. Indeed, it was experimental in many ways. Most universities in Japan aim at imparting academic knowledge in a relatively narrow field. By contrast, my university education focused on a broad knowledge of many areas. My present job at a consulting firm is similar to a large extent, as it is very varied in scope. All in all, I feel I benefited greatly from my university studies.                

This can be regarded as a good answer as:

  • First and foremost, it answers the question perfectly and concisely.
  • It clearly describes the respondent's studies.
  • It explains what the respondent gained from his/her studies.
  • It mentions why his/her university was different from other universities (this kind of experiential information makes answers far more interesting).
  • It gives a clear recap of the respondent's initial opinion: "All in all, I feel I benefited greatly from my university studies."
  • It uses some sophisticated vocabulary:
    • in retrospect: thinking now about something in the past
    • indeed: really or certainly, often used to emphasize something
    • impart: to communicate information to someone