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Thursday, July 11, 2024

UC Davis students discuss ‘dream jobs’ growing up, whether they are pursuing them now

Childhood dreams don’t always come to fruition, but for many of these 12 students, they inspired their future careers

By JALAN TEHRANIFAR — features@theaggie.org

This story will be showcased on The Aggie’s social media. Check out our Instagram account to see the students behind these dreams and current career paths. 

Most children grow up with an idea of a career they want to pursue when they get older — oftentimes something inspiring and far-fetched, like being the first astronaut to land on Mars or being a rock sensation. As wonderful as these ideas may be, life doesn’t always go as planned, and people often change their minds about what they want to do in terms of work.

​​Many students attend college to study in order to qualify for a good job, be successful at their desired work, learn new things and grow as a person. Part of this is deciding whether or not to pursue your childhood dream job or find a new one.

Savina Bouathong, a fourth-year nutrition major, grew up with the hopes of becoming a chef. Although she didn’t pursue cooking as a career, she still enjoys it as a hobby and finds herself working in the food industry.

Bouathong talked about how her experiences growing up inspired her to take on cooking. “My dad was always sick, so I wanted to go into a profession that prevents chronic diseases,” she said. Bouathong would study ingredients and chemicals in food products. “I’m not a chef, but I do cook on my downtime,” she said.

Sarah Hull. Photo by Jalan Tehranifar / The Aggie

Sarah Hull, a third-year psychology and human development double major, said when she was in fifth grade, she wanted to be a veterinarian.

“Animals, I love ‘em,” Hull said. “But now I am interested in psychology, and I want to be a social worker maybe. I guess I didn’t want to be a vet anymore because you have to go through a lot of schooling. With psych and human development, you still get to help people, but you don’t have to go through the years of science.”

Jessica Bracken.
Photo by Jalan Tehranifar / The Aggie

Jessica Bracken, a third-year communications major, grew up wanting to be an artist but now sees art as a hobby.

“[Communications] seemed interesting,” Bracken said. “I’m trying to go into editing now. I’d rather have [art] as a hobby, it’s more fun that way.”

Selena Yepez Alanis, a first-year design major, wanted to be a teacher as a child but changed her mind when she realized she would have to work with children all day, every day.

“I don’t like kids that much,” she said. “I like artistic things, and I fell in love with art.”

Brian Kumar.
Photo by Jalan Tehranifar / The Aggie

Brian Kumar, a fourth-year human biology major, grew up with the dream of becoming a firefighter but chose a different path, still with the hopes of saving lives.

“Someone said to me that I could be a pediatrician, and that they saw me in that area, and I guess I took that and ran with it,” Kumar said. “I feel like I’m letting my younger self experience the world how he wanted to.” 

Gabrielle Peralta. Photo by Jalan Tehranifar / The Aggie

Gabrielle Peralta, a fifth-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, said her childhood dream was to become a professional ballerina, but her dreams were crushed by her flat feet. 

“I couldn’t tiptoe,” Peralta said. “My feet were very fat, and I just couldn’t dance. I don’t have a sense of rhythm. I don’t feel like I let my younger self down though; I think I just grew up.”

Brianna Fu, a fourth-year human development major, wanted to become a teacher as a child and though she’s considering giving up teaching as her dream, she’s still passionate about working with children.

“I might minor in education, so I’m still thinking about it, but I kind of want to go into healthcare for kids,” Fu said.

Rishi Thakkar (left), Alexander Korobkov (middle), Vincente Valdenbenite (right)
Photo by Jalan Tehranifar / The Aggie

Rishi Thakkar, a third-year computer science major, gave up on his dream of becoming an astronaut because of his height but fell in love with computer science and the world of technology.

“I’m studying computer science — but that’s because I was too tall to become an astronaut,” Thakkar said. 

Alexander Korobkov, a second-year sustainable landscape design major, dreamed of becoming a rockstar, and he has yet to let that dream go. 

“I’d say I’m on the way there,” he said. “I’m a musician studying architecture now so I’m an artist, I guess. I’m studying architecture so I can have a job and then I can go play [music].” 

Vincente Valdenbenito, a third-year sustainable environmental design major, wanted to be a NASCAR driver and design his own cars. However, he is currently studying a different type of design.

“As a kid, I wanted to be a racecar driver,” he said. “I wanted to pimp out cars and stuff. Now, I’m not really doing that. I don’t know what I’m doing honestly. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do.” 

Briana Fedwik (left) and Alex Ikuma (right).
Photo by Jalan Tehranifar / The Aggie

Briana Fedwik, a first-year computer science major, dreamed of going to space as a child but grew up and found a different dream.

“I wanted to be an astronaut like everyone else,” she said. “I love space, and I really wanted to go to space, but it was just a dream job. I’m studying computer science, because now I want to make video games instead of going to space. I’m fulfilling my dreams in a different way because now I can make games about space. “

Alexandria Sato Ikuma, a first-year physics major, didn’t have an idea of what career she wanted to pursue as a child.

“I didn’t know then, and I still don’t know,” Ikuma said.

Written by: Jalan Tehranifar — features@theaggie.org



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