When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up

This is my Final Major Project for my second year in college. My project is about what people wanted to be when they were younger but what job they have ended up doing. There is so much status, choice, pressure, regret, aspiration, hope and success all on a job title. What did you want to be when you were younger?

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JAMES Teacher

“I always wanted to go to university. Even when I was little. My mum was always confused when a four year olds dream was to go to university. I first studied economics and quickly came to the conclusion it was not for me. I wanted to make a difference and give back to my community, so I entered the teaching profession. I have been a teacher for eight years, it’s the best job in the world! Everyday is different and children have such a wonderful perspective of the world around them. Their energy and enthusiasm makes my job exciting and a pleasure.”


MIA Student

“I don’t know what I want to do as a job but I am eager to see what happens in the future.”


MARY Mother

“I always wanted to be a mother. I wasn’t someone who always played with dolls, but I knew I wanted a family. I love having children and sometimes wish that I had more, but I know how lucky I am to have two.”


JEN Dog Walker

“I never knew what I wanted to be when I was younger. I was always jealous of my best friend who started a hairdressing apprenticeship at 16 and is still a hairdresser now! I have had many jobs from being a self-employed childminder to running my own beauty salon. Being a dog walker is my favourite. I have to be very organised with keys, leads, poo bags and treats, as well as knowing which dogs I am walking that day, which order I am collecting them in, as well as which dogs get on with each other – and which dogs don’t!”


CLARE Falconer

“I wanted to be a hairdresser when I was younger. I am now a falconer. I fly birds of prey for school and village fetes, Brownie and Scout groups and weddings. My husband and I set up a non-profit organisation called Hawking for Heroes. Where injured UK service men and women across the country enjoy a couple of hours of pure freedom. They’ll see, handle and fly these magnificent birds of prey in their natural environment with expert tuition from some of the top falconers in the country.”


BRYONY Semi Permanent Make Up Technician

“When I was younger I wanted to be a beautician. After school I went to college to study advanced health and social care. I then worked as a carer in an old peoples home and continued in the health and social care profession for the next couple of years. I became a semi permanent make up technician 18 months ago. I tattoo ladies eyebrows, lip blush and eyeliner. Some have poor eyesight and tremors so they are unable to apply makeup. Whereas other ladies have low self-esteem and through my work I am able to restore their confidence.”


BEN Head Craftsman/Cabinet Maker

“I wanted to be a pilot when I was younger. My first job was a butcher. I have also worked as a tradesman. I have been working as a head craftsman and cabinet maker for three years. I convert campervans, which includes installing flooring, gas pipes, full bespoke kitchens, windows, poptop roofs and heaters.”


NIM Emergency Nurse Practitioner

“I wanted to be a nurse or an astronaut. I grew up in the 70’s where there was a lot of space shows on TV. I’m not sure why I wanted to be a nurse, probably because I had a dressing up costume. I have been working as an emergency nurse practitioner for 27 years in a minor injury unit. I work with a team of nurses providing emergency care for sprains/strains, wounds and minor illnesses like ear ache or a sore throat. I also mentor student nurses and colleagues that are under taking post-graduate qualifications.”


JASON Football Coach

“I had no idea about what I wanted to do. Once I left school I drifted in and out of jobs that gave me no real satisfaction, but helped pay the bills and provide for my family. The jobs I don’t get paid for, a coach for under 10 football development and a parent are the ones that bring me happiness and satisfaction.”


ALISON Beauty Salon Owner

“I never had much of an idea of what I wanted to do when I was younger. I always knew that I wanted to work with people and not be stuck in an office. I went to college to study a HND in Beauty Therapy. Once I qualified, I worked in a hair and beauty salon for 18 months before setting up my own business. I own a beauty salon where I am a senior therapist. Everyday is different. I treat both men, women and children with a wide variety of beauty and holistic treatments.”


SONIA Headteacher

“When I was really young I wanted to be a nurse or a teacher. Initially, I went to university when I was 18 and studied business and finance. I didn’t enjoy it and decided after six months to get a job instead. I qualified as a teacher in 2006. As a newly qualified teacher, I got my first job at a primary school teaching the whole of Key Stage 2. I did the same job for eight years before becoming the co-head. I shared the role with an experienced head who was phasing her retirement. I took on the substantive headship in September 2016 and have already experienced my first Ofsted inspection within five months of being in the role.”


JANICE Community Ranger

“I didn’t really have a clue of what I wanted be when I was younger. With very little career advice available at the time I ended up following a school friend into catering – which I hated. I work for Cheltenham Borough Council as a community ranger. I qualified from Sparsholt in Hampshire with a Wildlife Management Degree in 2007 and began the role of community ranger in May 2009. My job is very diverse and includes working with volunteers in Cheltenham’s local green space, visiting schools and getting them involved with litter picking and caring about where they live. I also run an annual event called Paws In The Park, which is a dog show that helps promote responsible ownership.”


JIM Human Machine Interface Research Manager

“I remember wanting to be a train driver when I was about five. Then I wanted to be musician, then a biologist and eventually an engineer, which made sense as I had always made things, from model railways, electronic things, go carts to patchwork, woodwork and airfix models. I have been working as a human machine interface research manager for four years. I lead a team of people – engineers and human factors experts, who develop new concepts for how users can interact with cars. This includes new methods of controlling things in the car and new ways for the car to give information to the occupants.”


HELEN Maths Tutor

“As far as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher. After school I studied a BSC Combined Studies Degree in Applied Maths and Applicable Physics. I then worked for a few years before doing a PGCE in Maths and Physics. I taught maths for 20 years in a variety of secondary schools but eventually I found it too stressful and decided to have a break. That’s when I started tutoring. I tutor seven children, aged between 13 and 16. I prepare work for them based on what they are doing in school. It’s great because I can really focus on their understanding and take as long as they need on a topic. For students coming up to their Maths GCSE, we work on exam techniques and look at past papers. My aim is to make them feel that they can do maths.”


ROB Train Driver/Route Assessor

“I was very interested in the railway when I was younger – my mum would say I was obsessed. I travelled the length and breadth of the country on ‘all-line’ rover tickets for seven days and nights at a time by the age of 16. However, this interest wouldn’t lead me to joining the railway as I was encouraged to find an electrical or mechanical apprenticeship. After my five year engineering apprenticeship I worked as a design draughtsman for 10 years before quitting engineering to join the railway. I have worked as a train driver/route assessor for nearly 16 years. As a train driver I am responsible for driving 100’s of people at a time on local and inter-city trains to their destination safely and comfortably. The job involves working shifts 24/7 for 363 days a year, learning different types of traction, learning 100’s of route miles, learning the railway rulebook and procedures, maintaining concentration at all times and being medically fit. As a route assessor, I develop existing train drivers by improving their route knowledge and I deliver presentations of new signalling schemes to groups of drivers and managers.”


AMIE Gymnastics Coach/Dance Teacher


“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I was younger, but I always knew that I wanted to work with children. I have been working as a gymnastics coach since 2001 and dance teacher since 2004. As a gymnastics coach I teach children gymnastics, this includes planning various activities, structuring and delivering classes for different age groups and abilities. There is also general administration involved, dealing with payments, emails, enquiries and progress reports. As a dance teacher I teach children street dance from three years old and prepare them for various performances.”


BECKY Hairdresser

“I wanted to be a scuba diving instructor when I was younger. My dreams were crushed when I realised how much it may cost! Once I finished school I studied an NVQ Level 2&3 in Hairdressing. I have been a senior stylist at Vallender Salon for four years. I get instant job satisfaction, it’s inspiring to meet new clients everyday and listen to all their stories. It’s the only job where you can talk all day!”


FLORA Shop Owner

“I wanted to be a journalist or work in the media when I was younger. For a while, I thought I’d like to be a writer like my grandma. I went through a phase of writing short stories and sending them off to literary agents – with no success! I did a degree at Reading University in Modern European Literature. I worked in lots of temporary admin positions when I finished university and also set up a small business promoting local bands. When we moved to Cheltenham I got a job at an insurance company and worked in recruitment and referencing, until I started my family. I took time off work to be at home with the children but did a part-time proofreading course. I started an online shop three and a half years ago. I own and run (single-handedly) Violet and Percy that sells homewares and gifts. I also write a blog along side the shop.”


RUBY Student/Founder and Editor of 1999 Magazine

“I don’t think that I’ve ever had a clear idea of what I want to be! As a young child I decided that I wanted to be a vet, purely based on the fact that I liked animals. However, as I grew up I decided that I definitely wanted to work in the creative industry. It wasn’t really until I started my A-levels and my magazine that I had a clearer idea about what my future may entail. I’m currently studying english literature, business studies and photography. I’m not great when it comes to plans and I am still undecided about what I’m going to do once my exams are over. I want to continue to work on my magazine and hopefully turn it into something I can make a career out of. My magazine is called 1999 and I started it two years ago. My magazine aims to encourage and celebrate creativity and is currently non-profit. I source the majority of the contributors through Instagram and they submit work such as photography, illustrations, poetry etc. Instagram allows me to reach so many people, so the contributors are from all around the world, which makes it even more interesting when it comes to interviews and articles.”


WARREN Senior Test Technician

“When I was younger I wanted to be a comic artist or a builder/bricklayer. I left secondary school after passing my CSE’s and went on a Youth Training Scheme, which led to my first full-time employment. I have been working as a senior test technician for 20 years. I work for an engineering company in product development. I test and validate new products to ensure they reach required specifications. The majority of test work involves the use of steam, both low and high pressure. I am responsible for the calibration control of test equipment used for all test work. I use modern data acquisition equipment to monitor and record tests. I often program new software modules to enable information to be recorded and then analysed by product development engineers.”