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Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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Above: author Gretchen Rubin; Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp; and chef Joanne Chang’s incredible creations.

OK fine, we’re technically already grown-ups around here. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to emulate some of our professional and personal idols as we get older. We recently asked the Living Proof team to share the best advice they’d ever received, and we liked their answers so much, we thought we’d ask another question: who do you want to be when you grow up?

Katie Sullivan, Communications:

When I grow up I want to be Katia Beauchamp, the founder of Birchbox, not just because she created an amazing company (duh) but because of the way she treats her employees. I spent an afternoon at Birchbox HQ and saw what a supportive, creative, energetic environment she’s built. She’s got killer personal style, too. Total girl crush.


Yingxia Wang, Chemist:

When I grow up I want to be Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery. She has a Harvard degree in Applied Math & Economics but is now a James Beard Award semifinalist and owner of my favorite Boston bakery. While I don’t necessarily want to follow her career path exactly (I don’t have any plans to quit formulating hair products anytime soon), I admire her energy and determination in pursuing her passion, and doing it all with grace. 

Aubrey Thu, Retail Marketing:

I wouldn’t say I necessarily want to be her when I grow up, but I’m inspired by Gretchen Rubin on a daily basis. She’s an author and she studies habits and happiness. A few of her books include The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. She has totally inspired me to put more of my focus on myself, figuring out and then spending more time doing what makes me happy, creating better habits, making better choices, and being more mindful. I feel like she has helped me enter a more mature and happy phase of my life. I also love listening to her podcast, Happier.

Sara Turner, Postdoctoral Fellow:

When I grow up, I want to be Dr. Paula Hammond, the head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT.  She has devoted her career to designing new and important biomedical materials, and in the meantime has trained an army of thoughtful and innovative scientists.  I’m glad that there are role models like Dr. Hammond out there for us to look up to!

Casey Diehl, Marketing:

When I grow up, I want to be like my parents! My mom is a super strong kick ass cancer survivor, super gorgeous and gives the best advice to help push me to my full potential. My dad is the hardest worker I know, has a contagious laughter that fills a room, and loves getting family and friends together to go sailing, skiing, biking or anything outside!

Anne-Marie Kline, Marketing

I’m inspired by Aaron Sorkin. I would love to be able to write like he does and develop amazing female characters like he has done with Sloan Sabbith (Newsroom), MacKenzie McHale (Newsroom), C.J. Cregg (West Wing), Dana Whitaker (Sports Night), Harriet Hayes (Studio 60) and Jordan McDeere (Studio 60).   

Image Credits: Gretchen Rubin, Jami Saunders, Joanne Chang