• Question: What was your dream job as a child and what did you do to make it a reality?

    Asked by oifeherb on 1 May 2020.
    • Photo: Sonia Lenehan

      Sonia Lenehan answered on 1 May 2020:

      Great question! I actually always wanted to be a vet! I grew up on a farm and loved animals! I did not get the points for it, but that was ok because once I got to college I realised that there were so many jobs that I had never knew existed and that I was really interested in! So I ended up doing a science degree and taking neuroscience (all about the brain!) and I loved it. So now I am doing a phd on how the brain develops in the first 18 months and how the environment can play a role in this development! So even though I did not get the points and I was disappointed, not getting the points gave me the chance to explore more of the world and to discover a job I never knew existed!

    • Photo: Hazel Rooney

      Hazel Rooney answered on 1 May 2020:

      Really great question and always a lovely one to be asked as it gives you a chance to see if your dreams have been realized or if you have taken another path! For me, my dream job growing up was to be a vet because I absolutely loved animals. I didn’t actually get to do that though so I studied Agriculture Science in university instead and that’s how I became an animal scientist :). And my job involves working with pigs everyday so I’m still getting to do what I love!

    • Photo: Aisling Ryan

      Aisling Ryan answered on 1 May 2020:

      Great question! My dream job as a child was to be an artist, because I love to draw, but I didn’t really know what job directly related to drawing so I started to look at ways I could ‘fit’ drawing into another job.
      I tried a few different subjects in school like technical drawing (I was terrible at this and did not enjoy it!) and I also love languages so I thought maybe I’d be best suited as a teacher.
      To be honest I never liked science when I was growing up! When I was in transition year science was split into chemistry, biology and physics as separate subjects and I realised that I actually found chemistry really interesting. From here I just started to google jobs that involve chemistry and found pharmacy. I then realised medicines are made using chemistry, which I found super interesting. I ended up studying a subject called medicinal chemistry in college, which is where I learn how to design medicines, so it ended up being a ‘creative’ subject and suiting my artistic side as well as making me qualified for a lot of different jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. Medicine is very important and nearly everyone needs it sometime in their lives so there will always be jobs available!
      At the moment I am in the final year of my PhD in medicinal chemistry. Once I am finished I want to apply for a job in a pharmaceutical company 🙂 For me, I have found sometimes you might have a dream ‘interest’ and that interest can actually be applied to lots of different types of jobs 🙂

    • Photo: Louise Mc Grath

      Louise Mc Grath answered on 1 May 2020:

      My dream job was to become a Forensic Scientist (also known as CSI)! I went to college and studied Chemistry with Forensic Science. Even though I am working in chemistry now, I am constantly looking out for Forensic Science jobs! I can still make my dream a reality!

    • Photo: Dimitar Shterionov

      Dimitar Shterionov answered on 1 May 2020:


      I first wanted to be an architect 🙂
      Then an astronaut… or maybe first I wanted to be an astronaut.

      Once I discovered computers (and the computers we have now, but the old bulky machines that you can tear apart and rebuilt on your own) I knew I wanted to work with computer. I wanted to study about computers and thus I went to university to do a bachelor in Informatics (where I studied about computer architectures, operating systems, programming and many others).

      Then I worked as a software engineer and then I decided to do a master in science program in Artificial Intelligence! After that I did a PhD and then I worked in a company… and so on 🙂 …

      Now I work as an assistant professor. I teach students about computers and do research in the field of Machine Translation 🙂 It’s cool to be a scientist 🙂

    • Photo: Jun Lin

      Jun Lin answered on 1 May 2020: last edited 1 May 2020 9:13 pm

      I wanted to be a singer and I took music and singing classes.

    • Photo: Aruna Chandrasekar

      Aruna Chandrasekar answered on 2 May 2020:

      I loved the environment, the animals, and everything that has to do with nature. keeping this passion in mind I pursued science in my high school and took up chemical engineering in my college. All these subjects shad something to do with nature and the environment.

      My current Ph.D. topic focusses on the “use of natural gas in a decarbonized future”. So in a way, I have made my dreams a reality. But every day we wake up with different dreams. I now dream of becoming a teacher and a science communicator like Richard Feynman and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I hope I can make those dreams a reality as well.

    • Photo: Aileen Doran

      Aileen Doran answered on 4 May 2020:

      I changed my mind so often I’m not really sure! The main ones were archaeology (I loves the Ancient Egyptians) and primary school teaching. Then I focused on trying to be an astronaut and a doctor for a while! I think they all suggest I liked learning new things, especially about space and the history of our own planet. I ended up in Geology, so I guess it kind of covers most of them (learning about the past of our planet, sharing knowledge). And there is a whole astrogeology section of geology where people study other planets!

    • Photo: Roisin Jones

      Roisin Jones answered on 6 May 2020:

      Hey oifeherb, thanks for the question! I always wanted to be a scientist of some sort, even though the type of science I wanted to do changed as I grew older. At first I thought I wanted to do computer science, then electronic engineering, then physics and finally chemistry. I always worked pretty steadily in school, because I was lucky enough to enjoy school things, but I think the most important thing I did to help myself get to where I am today is to try stuff out: I wanted to be a computer scientist, so I did an online course in computer programming and discovered that it wasn’t for me. Then I turned my attention to electronic engineering and I did two summer courses for secondary school students in microelectronics in UCC and found out that I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t see myself making a career of it. I was really torn between astrophysics and chemistry for a while, but I thought hard about it and realised that I enjoyed my chemistry classes more and understood them better and decided to go with that as a college choice. Fortunately I loved it and I still work in chemistry now! So I think the short version of that is try lots of stuff to figure out what you like and then stick with it!

    • Photo: Lucy Blennerhassett

      Lucy Blennerhassett answered on 6 May 2020:

      I think I had too many dream jobs! I changed my mind all the time, it was so hard to keep up. However, I did want to be an actress for quite a long time (hard to believe now) so I went to drama after school and performed in theatres until I was about 16….then I became interested in science! Life is full of surprises 🙂

    • Photo: Enda O'Connell

      Enda O'Connell answered on 6 May 2020:

      I’ve wanted to be a scientist for a very long time. When I was in school, I read lots of popular science books about things like evolution and how the body works and did Chemistry and Biology for my leaving cert. I had a really good Biology teacher, who made the subject really interesting. I then studied science in university and have been working as a scientist since.

      If you want to read a brilliant book about somebody who wanted to be something when he was young and did everything he could to make it happen, check out ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life’ by Chris Hadfield. He watched the moon landings when he was young and wanted to be an astronaut. He became very focused on this, took flying lessons to become a pilot in Canada, then got selected to work with NASA and eventually went to space three times! He even got to make this awesome music video in space https://youtu.be/KaOC9danxNo.

    • Photo: Anna Zakrzewska

      Anna Zakrzewska answered on 11 May 2020:

      I love your question! It makes me reflect how we abandom our dreams and nevertless they return in our life 🙂 As a child I wanted to be an archaelogist, that idea faded away with the history lessons… However, I have never lost interest in old pieces, I enjoy visiting museums, love flea markets, and would like to live in an old house. Even though I’m not an archaeologist today, I try to preserve any vintage items around me. Thank you for this question!

    • Photo: Ciara O'Donovan

      Ciara O'Donovan answered on 11 May 2020:

      My dream job when I was younger was to become a primary school teacher but over time I changed my mind. I found the older I got the harder it was to make a decision about what I actually wanted to do. I just applied for courses when I was leaving school that had modules that sounded like aspects of subjects I enjoyed most in school. That landed me with a course and now a job I really enjoy!!