7 Super Successful People Who Started At The Bottom

These famous people started from the bottom and moved on up.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

There are many successful people who were born into priviledge, getting easier access to a solid education, having a built in network of influential people, or inheriting family businesses. And while being priveledged doesn't take away from their achievements, it's the successful people who came from humble beginnings who are sometimes the most impressive. In celebration of the assitants starring on Nick Cannon's Like A BossWhether they fetched coffee as unpaid interns or paid their dues as assistants, these famous names started from the bottom. 

1. Oprah Winfrey 

She’s worth a billion now but the famous TV host and media maven got her start as a humble intern at WLAC-TV (a CBS affiliate) in Nashville. She did such a great job that they promoted her to a fulltime position as an anchor-reporter. She was the youngest person and first African American female be an anchor in Nashville. The rest—is history.

2. Mary-Kate Olsen 

Mary Kate Olsen was a household name when she was in diapers. When the Full House star wanted to make her jump into fashion, she interned for celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who has shot everyone from John Lennon to Michael Jackson.

3. Spike Lee

The prolific director earned his degree from Morehouse College and then interned at Columbia Pictures.  He then joined NYU’s film school and went on to start his own 40 Acres production company.

4. Mindy Kaling

Most of us were introduced to Mindy Kaling on The Office but the funny woman got her start as an intern on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. The college sophomore was so “star struck” that she ended up just following Conan O’Brien around and being “the worst intern.” 

5. Sean Combs

Everyone remembers when Sean “Diddy” Combs made members of Making The Band walk to Brooklyn to get him cheesecake. The strange request probably comes from his own time as an intern. As a college student at Howard University, the budding media mogul got a job at Uptown Records, where he would be crucial in shaping the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci.

6. Steven Jobs

Steve Jobs changed the way we live. Before he controlled our phones and computers, the late computer whiz called Hewlett-Packard president William Hewlett to “ask for parts for a high school project.” He got the parts and a summer internship with the company—where he met Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

7. Lauren Conrad

We literally saw Lauren “LC” Conrad make the transition from high school student to intern at Teen Vogue on reality TV. The FIDM student steamed clothes, made copies and ran around Paris as part of the job. Her sweat paid off. She’s since launched her own clothing line and lifestyle website and graced the cover of her former employer Teen Vogue.

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