The very first thing I remember wanting to be was…
A doctor. I remember sitting in our house in Sodus, NY (so I was no more than 5) looking at an anatomy book (really) and thinking I should be a doctor.
And from there I draw a blank until maybe, high school, when I wanted to be in fashion. So the list starting in high school, through college was:
- Fashion Designer
- Something else in fashion when I realized I was not really a designer
- Architect (still in high school)
- International relations person (no idea what I wanted to do) specializing in Russia (applying to college)
- Domestic security expert (freshman in college)
- No idea (sophomore in college)
- Corporate lawyer (later in my sophomore year in college when I realized I liked to argue and wanted to make a little money)
- Cosmetics industry executive (junior in college; this interest led to an internship at Estee Lauder in London, where I realized I could not focus on lipstick all day)
- Investment Banker (senior in college. for obvious reasons. I wanted to make money and live the Wall Street dream)
So what happened?
First job out of college: Kidder Peabody as a junior investment banker. Kidder was quickly sold to another company – I was in the last analyst class at Kidder! So I moved to another firm – Peter J. Solomon Company, to be a mergers and acquisitions banker (a junior one – don't be fooled). I could write a LOT about being a banker. Bottom line: I loved it. Worked my tail off averaging 80 – 90 hour weeks for three years. Amazing training. Shaped so many aspects of who I am professionally today (I think first jobs really do that).
And then what? For another post. But fun to remember where my head was a long long time ago. Funny thing is, I am still interested in cosmetics, not really in law, definitely in fashion, am bummed I speak a little as opposed to a lot of Russian, would love to design our own house one day (though will hire a proper architect of course), and domestic security…well, no knowledge of that (my experience in NYC on 9/11 does not qualify).
And the story of what I want to be when I grow up continues with a few other things in the past including hip-hop start-up, a variety of jobs in the media industry, and now VC.
Of course, these are only JOBS. One thing I have learned is that this question is not only answered with what you do for a living. My current definition is MUCH more expansive.
How do you / did you answer this question?