Mary Barra has been chosen to take over as CEO of General Motors, making her the first woman to lead the U.S. car company. Barra has worked her way to the top and started as an intern back when she was an eighteen-year old engineering student at General Motors Institute. She began her career as a factory floor intern more than 30 years ago and went on to receive an MBA at Stanford University.
Mary Barra may be the first female chief at a Big Three automaker, but she isn’t the first to begin her career as an intern and rise to the top! We have seen a variety of highly successful people who started off as interns and worked their way towards success.
Steven Spielberg was a 17 year old intern at Universal Studios. Oprah Winfrey started as an intern with CBS affiliate WLAC-TV where she went on to become the youngest anchor, as well as the first ever African-American female news anchor. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell started as a full-time public relations intern with the New York Jets in 1983.
During her time at GM Barra has had the opportunity to move within different departments at the firm: In addition to her internship, Barra worked as plant manager, executive engineer, head of human resources, and head of product development.