4 Singaporean personalities share their childhood dreams

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For Claire Jedrek, Sara Wee, Shu An and Trixie Khong, their childhood dreams played a major role in shaping their future and the woman that they’ve transformed into today.

June 21, 2016

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a child? Was it a scientist? Did you fascinate about being a CEO? Or did you dream to be an astronaut?

Not many can proudly say that their career path today is a reflection of their aspirations when they were little.

According to the recently released SK-II Global Dreams Survey, only 17 per cent of Singaporean women turned their childhood dreams into reality and are satisfied with who they are today.

While childhood dreams might be inconsequential to some, it is in fact one of the most powerful phases in life because these ambitions manifested before the demands and responsibilities of adulthood sunk in. It was before people or the world told you that your goals were far-fetched or impossible.

We ask four Singaporean personalities, who are successful in their own rights, how their childhood dream has influenced their career choice today.


Claire Jedrek

Singapore’s professional female car racer and TV host

Q: What was your childhood dream(s)?
As far as I can remember, from the age of 5, I loved competing in sports activities, had endless nattering capabilities and was constantly writing. I have vague memories of wanting to be a live TV journalist, reporting the news and travelling the globe – probably because the TV channel was always on the news at home.

Q: What are you doing now in your career? Why did you take this route?
A large part of my life now revolves around The Karting Arena at Bukit Timah, an electric go kart facility where my husband and I open our doors to a whole mash of demographic – ages 9 and above.

I started off in the world of media from the age of 17. One thing led to another and I began emceeing and presenting, leading to the areas of fitness and sports. I became involved in karting 4 years ago and was given the opportunity to commentate the Singapore Karting Championship. At that time, I realised that I needed to kart competitively to understand what I was commentating about.

In 2014, I delved deeper into Motorsport and started racing cars competitively. Then, I started filming and presenting more in the same realm, which led me to many unexplored opportunities. The rest is really history.

Q: What would you say is your biggest achievement thus far?
My biggest achievement gained is my outlook on life. Once being a half-empty kind of female, I now realized that life is all about choosing how you want to view it. I take everything with a positive outlook, focusing on how I would get over, around, under or through a hurdle.

On a race circuit, there are so many external factors you cannot control i.e. the weather, other drivers, the track conditions, the hardware. What I am certain of is what I can control – myself, my abilities, commitment, dedication, skill sets and experience. That’s just like life.

If I make a mistake on a turn on circuit and I spend a split second too long on the ‘If I had done that’ or ‘buts’, I’ll definitely make a mistake on the next one. Life is the same, move forward and think about how to get what you need for the job (whatever it is) to be complete.

Sara Wee

Musician and fitness enthusiast

Q: What was your childhood dream(s)?
I always knew I wanted to do music but I also really wanted to work with animals.

Q: What are you doing now in your career? Why did you take this route?
I’m living my dream and singing for my supper! I was studying myself to the ground during my GCE O Levels and decided that the conventional path really wasn’t for me.

Q: Is your current career very different your childhood dream?
Not at all! I’m one of the lucky few that are really living it.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully still rocking out onstage and doing yoga everyday!



Oon Shu An

Singaporean actress

Q: Is your current career very different your childhood dream?
As much as I kind of had a childhood dream, I think they were more of loose ideas than actual dreams! I don’t know if I ever really knew what I wanted to do. Even now! I never thought I would be a full-time actor!

I think the shapes of our dreams change as we grow up. I wanted to be a psychologist or a ballerina because I liked the idea of talking to people about their emotions and I like grace and fluidity that ballerinas had. With acting, I feel like I can do that especially in the rehearsal process and with physical theatre I could explore controlling and moving my body.

So the short answer is – yes, in a way, I am still pursuing my childhood dream.

Q: On a scale of 1-5 (1 being least), how happy or unhappy are now, at this stage in life?
All over the place. There are some things that I’m really happy about and some things that I’m not happy about. That said; the nice thing about growing older is that now, I’m super driven to change the things I don’t like.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Whatever comes! I want to work with more artists, create more work, roll with the punches, fall into the universe.


Trixie Khong

Founder of jewellery label By Invite Only

Q: What was your childhood dream(s)?
My childhood dream was to be a shop owner. I didn’t care what kind of shop I’d open, as long as I could be a cashier, serve customers, take orders and be a boss. I used to play pretend at home by setting up a store with blankets as shelters and using my Mum’s makeup or clothes as products.

Q: What are you doing now in your career? Why did you take this route?
I am a jewellery designer for the brand I founded called By Invite Only (www.byinviteonly.info).

It was a hobby at first to make more pocket money when I was still schooling. Somehow the designs got more traction and a friend decided to help me with branding and setting up a website. At that time, I was still studying to be a Chemical Engineer at Temasek Polytechnic. When the brand took off, I decided to pursue communications and new media in NUS to learn how to market my products instead of continuing my Chemical Engineering route. The opportunity presented itself to me and I took it.

Q: What would you say is your biggest achievement thus far?
I think being able to pursue my passion and work at it for 8 years now is my biggest achievement. I started with zero knowledge in jewellery-making or design and I came from a completely different field of study. Somehow, I managed to build my business with little to no capital and through self-teaching and experience.