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Career Choices

I recall very clearly that while growing up, I wanted to be a number of things when I got older. They ranged from being a fashion designer, to a lawyer, a doctor & my favourite one so far: an air stewardess. The last one probably stemmed from the fact that Dad worked in the airline & we were lucky enough to get cheap tickets to travel places. I remember that I looked forward to going on a plane each trip, as I loved the whole experience. From the checking in at the counter, right down to the crappy plane food. Yes, I was a strange child…

And to think I like eating airplane food…

I vaguely remember that the air stewardess thing lasted till I was about 12 or 13. Around about the time I realised I probably had a bit more growing to do before I could qualify. By the time I got to around 16, I stopped growing & I am now at my full grown height of… 156cm. 2cm too short to make it to become a stewardess. Oh well, there goes the dream of serving crappy plane food to people…

Around about my teenage years, I also was fascinated with writing & becoming an author of sorts. I wrote a few articles & short stories. I also was quite fascinated with cooking & baking at that point. I quite clearly remember an assignment that I had to do for school to do with career paths & voices. We had to come up with a career goals we were interested in & come up with ideas or ways that we were to achieve that. I remember that I wrote that I wanted to become a chef & how I’d do that was to read up on books & learn from others around me. Oh how naive I was back then. My teacher wrote a note on my paper asking me to think about vocational qualifications I could obtain to follow that path. I remember thinking to myself, “oh whoops, I definitely need to do more research into this”. FYI, those were the days where I didn’t have Internet at home & I was relying on what I knew about things from people around me. It was Malaysia, need I say more?


Chef Kristine


Then I somehow grew up slightly and decided that I wanted to become a marine biologist when I was 17. I think it was cause my Dad’s cousin’s husband is a marine biologist & the whole family lived in exotic places. I might have also watched one too many dolphin or whale related movies…. Either way, it was either that or be an author. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about but I love writing, I figured that it’ll work out one day.


Then I moved to Australia to study when I was 18. I had no idea what I was going to do at university but I had one year to think about it as I was doing a foundation year in Perth. The year went by pretty quickly and I still didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, though I was still pretty gung ho about marine biology. My Aunty then dashed my hopes and told me people who were marine biologists would have to have had interest in it since they were young or have done some work in it before. Needless to say, I had no experience in it and my plans to become a marine biologist were shelved. That really didn’t solve the problem picking a course to study at uni the following year. The list of courses were endless, I felt like just randomly sticking my finger onto the brochures and whatever it landed on, I’d study it. Now, thankfully I didn’t do that. I was going to apply for journalism as I did have an interest in that, but in the end, I applied for 2 unis, picked biomedical science at one and food science & nutrition at the other. I got accepted to both but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. So my Aunty put me in touch with her friend’s daughter who is an Occupational Therapist and she spoke to me about what OT was and I made the decision to reapply for OT and managed to get in through a very weird way that I’ll save you the boredom from reading.


Fast forward 4 years, I graduated and got my current job which I’ve been at for 4 years. All in all, I guess what must be said is that the career I am now isn’t one that I would have imagined I would end up with. I can say for sure that I am passionate about the disability sector and helping people in whatever capacity I have. The industry I’m in is well known for not paying well, but at the end of the day I can say that the work I did that day, made a difference in someone’s life.