Jen's MEM Journey

When I Grow Up
by Jennifer Weiss -- September 19th, 2011

Finding my perfect fit in the environmental world

At this point in my life, I should probably never hear the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  But, that doesn’t stop me from asking it to myself (and occasionally hearing it from others).

My problem is … it keeps changing.

With my new classes underway, a new internship and my Master’s Project in full swing, my vision for the future keeps shifting – sometimes imperceptibly, but sometimes in a way that surprises even me.   This is probably a disconcerting piece of news to the Nicholas School Career Services team, to my husband and kids, and probably even to my parents.  But the funny thing is, I’m okay with it.

I like the surprises and new revelations that each day brings.  I am wearing different hats, testing them out for a few days and occasionally placing them neatly back where I found them.   “Thank you, but it just doesn’t fit right.”

There are so many opportunities at the Nicholas School for students to try out new skills or improve their existing ones, that it can be overwhelming at times.  Each time a new job is posted, I think “I can do that.”  And for the most part, I probably could.  The trick is finding out which hat fits me “just right” (to quote the omniscient Goldilocks).

So I’m taking this opportunity during my final year at the Nicholas School to challenge the person that I think I am, force myself to think hard about what I want to be “when I grow up,” and figure out where I fit in the environmental world.

The good news is … I have eight more months to figure it out.

The bad news is … I have eight more months to figure it out.

Do you like my hat?

P.D. Eastman, "Go Dog Go!"

P.D. Eastman, "Go Dog Go!"










  1. Tawnee
    Sep 19, 2011

    Re: When You Grow Up

    I love this, Jen. As with you, it’s hard for me to pin down exactly what I what when I keep discovering new interests and learning new things about myself and the world. But that’s why we’re at the Nicholas School, right – to broaden our horizons! It’s reassuring to me at least knowing that I don’t have to have all the answers right now, nor will what I’m doing right now be something I necessarily have to stick with forever. Enjoy your career exploration this year. I’m sure whatever you’ll end up doing, you’ll be fantastically successful. Just go with what feels the most right to you!

  2. Carol
    Sep 20, 2011

    hat collection

    remember to make room! don’t stop trying those hats on–

  3. Mom
    Sep 28, 2011


    I’ve loved and enjoyed each and every hat that you’ve tried on (opps, make that MOST of the hats you’ve tried on)… You are one smart cookie and you never cease to amaze me. Whatever hat you decide on (for the moment) will be a great fit and look wicked good on you for you have the power to make the hat work AND look good. Good luck!

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