Gretchen Yehl knew that she wanted to work with children. She also knew that she didn't want to be a teacher. After college and graduate school, her path took her to Intertek, a product testing laboratory, where she is a foreseeable-use research scientist and the only child development specialist on staff.
Yehl's job is to see how kids and their parents actually use toys, clothing, wearables, and food that companies make, and to make sure that real-world behavior is taken into account in product design. Her job allows her to work with kids and their parents on a daily basis. But she also has the opportunity to work with engineers and other scientists.
Her advice is to take every opportunity that is afforded to you. You never know where you might land, what you might like, and what you might learn about yourself along the way.