It's never too late to go after your dreams. At least not for Barbara Beskind, who at the ripe age of 91 decided to go for her dream job. "As a 10-year-old I wanted to be an inventor,'' Beskind told the Today show. "I've arrived. But it took me about 80 years."
Beskind was 10 when the Great Depression hit, and it was during that time that she learned to be creative with materials. "I wanted to make a hobby horse, and I made it out of old tires,'' she said. "I learned a lot about gravity because I fell off so many times."
Her career goals changed when a high school guidance counselor told her that engineering schools didn't accept females. So she signed up for the U.S. Army, later becoming an occupational therapist. She also wrote books and kept her creativity going by painting on the side.
But two years ago, she read about the design firm IDEO in Silicon Valley and decided that she would pursue a job with the company. IDEO is known for designing Apple computer mouses and other tech innovations. "It took me about two months to write my resume, paring it down from nine pages,'' Beskind said. "Then I wrote the letter and sent it by snail mail."
She got the job.
Now, Beskind travels into the Palo Alto office every Thursday. The company gets an email every time she comes in, and Beskind is known for giving out hugs to start the day. She sits at a couch rather than a desk, where she focuses on and tests projects related to aging.
"Our culture is telling us aging equals decline,'' IDEO associate partner Gretchen Addi told Today. "And Barbara is very solidly standing there and saying, you know, 'I'm gonna call you on that.'''
If this doesn't motivate you, we don't know what will.
You should also check out:
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
Kim Kardashian Carried a Crystalized Glass Slipper to a Lakers Game
She's a courtside Cinderella!
By Melony Forcier
The Red Carpet For 'The Color Purple' Was Back-to-Back Dazzling Looks
Have you seen Ciara?!
By Fleurine Tideman
Cartier's New Exhibit Takes You on a Journey Through Time
The show celebrates the luxury watch house's profound legacy in full.
By Emma Childs
Half of the Shondaland dream team, the woman whose work brings 'Bridgerton' to life, is one of the most influential producers in Hollywood. And she’s ready for everyone to know it.
By Jessica M. Goldstein
Payal Kadakia Is Finally Sharing Her Secret Sauce to Success
In her new book, LifePass, the ClassPass founder gives you the tools to write your own success story.
By Neha Prakash
The Power Issue
Our November issue is all about power—having it, embracing it, and dressing for it.
By Marie Claire Editors
J. Smith-Cameron Is in Control
She’s Logan Roy’s right hand. She’s Roman’s ‘mommy girlfriend.’ And she’s a fan favorite. Here, the Succession star takes us behind the scenes of Gerri’s boardroom power plays.
By Jessica M. Goldstein
What Makes an Olympic Moment?
In the past it meant overcoming struggle...and winning. But why must athletes suffer to be inspiring?
By Megan DiTrolio
'The Other Black Girl' Gets Real About Racism in the Workplace
"It really hits home how many spaces don’t allow Black women to really show up as their authentic selves."
By Rachel Epstein
Melissa Moore's 'Life After Happy Face' Podcast Looks at Killers Through New Eyes
The true crime expert and daughter of the Happy Face Killer opens up to Marie Claire about destigmatizing the label of 'criminal's kid.'
By Maria Ricapito
Simone Biles on Her GOAT Leotard: Don't Be Ashamed of Being Great
The world's greatest gymnast shares how she takes care of her mental health, the road to Tokyo, and the story behind her epic new leotard style.
By Megan DiTrolio