Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Ice Breaker – What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up

Last Friday, I threw out an ice breaker question, and I loved the response.  So I thought I’d try again.  Ice breaker questions are used to help people get to know each other – to “break the ice” so to speak.  As I stated last week, I love to hear what other people have to say and how they think.  So for today, I’m throwing out another simple ice breaker question.  I’ll answer it first, then it’s your turn.  Answer the question by leaving a comment for us all to enjoy.  Thanks!

Question:  When you were younger (or maybe you’re still younger), what did you want to be when you grew up?  How did it work out for you?

My Answer:  Here you go….

What little boy doesn’t want to be a firefighter.  I think I wanted to be a fireman up until 1st or 2nd grade.  This never panned out; however, I did go through a pretty good stint as a pyrotechnics engineer – I mean pyromaniac.  In fact, I almost burnt the New Jersey Pine Barrens down during a junior high camping trip to Bass River State Park.

I switched over to wanting to be an actor when I was in 3rd or 4th grade.  My parents took me to see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Fiddler on the Roof, so these provided some inspiration.  But I really took on the acting bug when I had the chance to play one of the leading roles in our church’s production of The Music Machine.  I have seen lots of pictures of my debut performance, but I think a video would be pretty hysterical.  Speaking of videos, I had the honor of being the lead reporter in a video featuring our junior high youth group.  The video was called Jerusalem Today, and it brought out some of the funniest outtakes I’ve seen.  Needless to say, my acting career never really took off.

During high school, I thought for sure that I wanted to be a pharmacist.  I loved chemistry, and it sounded like pharmacists made a lot of money.  Honestly, I’m not sure what swayed me from this path.  Perhaps, it was the knowledge that I would have to go to college for an extra year or two to fulfill this dream.  I’m not sure, but I’m not a pharmacist.

As it turns out, I went to school for engineering.  I became a project engineer and project manager in the building automation industry when I graduated college.  Somewhere along the way, I realized that I wanted a more direct role in managing and helping people succeed, so I pursued my MBA.  Now I work as an operations manager in the building automation industry.  I love what I do (most days)!

So there you have it, my answer to the question.  Now it’s your turn….


October 14, 2011 - Posted by | looking back, questions, thoughts


  1. I wanted to be a baseball player. Great thing is I can still do it just not on the level I had hoped for.

    Now I do a lot business analysis and have interests in pursuing more school to get more involved in working with people. I also enjoy technology and the web and do a lot of hobbies to satisfy that.

    Comment by ramblinknight | October 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Being a baseball player would probably be a cool job. I remember as a kid looking up to baseball players like Mike Schmidt and Ryan Sandburg. I used to follow them closely along with all the other players. I still have my baseball card collection that used to occupy hours and hours of my time. I memorized the cards with all the stats and crazy facts about each player.

      Comment by jonstolpe | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. Great post. When I was little, I wanted to be…wait for it….you ready?….A Farmers Wife. Haha yes I was a crazy child! Erm, instead, I recently graduated with a science degree. But who knows, maybe my prince charming is out there ploughing the fields somewhere, just waiting for me to turn up! In the mean time I will keep job hunting, haha!

    Comment by thesilentsoul | October 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Love it! Thanks for the comment and welcome to the Stretched community!

      Comment by jonstolpe | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. I wanted to be in the Corps of Engineers at an early age. Even before I wanted to be an engineer. My next desire was to be a roller coaster designer, which led me to be an engineer. After running out of money after 2 years of college, I joined the army, but the only jobs in the Corps were heavy equipment related. I didn’t want that so I became a Field Artillery Surveyor. Survey was at least related. When I got out I finished my civil engineering degree, then got a masters in civil. After I passed the PE, I moved from the consultant world to the government side by working for a city. A little over a year and a half ago I saw an opening with the Corps. After an extended time, I am finally in my dream job. I had no idea what I wanted to do in the corps, but what I do now puts a smile on my face every day.

    Comment by Jonathan | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  4. I have been blessed, I was able to teach for twenty years. Loved it, but now is time for a change. So when I grow up maybe an artist, just for the fun of it!

    Comment by Joann Rivera | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  5. I wanted to be a film director. I was a troubled kid who ran away from home at 15 and eventually ended up in Hollywood. I scored a job working for legendary rock & roll songwriters Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller and through that made connections and eventually earned a gig directing a music video for a latin pop artist.

    Unfortunately, the job was a nightmare and I decided that I would be a better film buff than a film director. So, I ditched the dream and headed back to the midwest at 19 where I entered into politics, which is just Hollywood for ugly people!

    Comment by Pastor Matt | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  6. Come to think of it…i can’t recall ever wanting to grow up to be anything…lol…

    Maybe a Super hero!

    A power ranger!

    uh…I never really thought about it through high school…either lol…I guess i thought I would always work for my dad…(but his business got really slow)…

    NOW…i want to be a songwriter and lead worship for a living….

    Comment by Arny Sanchez | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  7. I wanted to be a pediatrician…which really cracks my friends up because I have never wanted to have children of my own. Not quite sure what I was thinking with that one.

    Now, I want to be a speaker and author….am doing both and am working on doing both better.

    Comment by Leah Adams | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  8. I love hearing all these answers! It’s so cool to hear from all of you! Thanks.

    Comment by jonstolpe | October 19, 2011 | Reply

  9. […] 4.  Ice Breaker – What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up […]

    Pingback by October 2011 Top Posts « Jon Stolpe Stretched | November 1, 2011 | Reply

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