You may know where they are now, but where were some of today’s most powerful and influential people before the power and fame? Many held an internship position that created a foundation for their future success!
BY DAN DRULLINGER
When you hear the name Bill Gates, your mind conjures up a lot of thoughts; Microsoft, computer genius, intern. Wait, what? Intern? Believe it or not, one of the world’s wealthiest human beings held an internship position in his youth.
In 1972 Bill Gates was a congressional page for the U.S. House of Representatives. While it may sound cool, a congressional page is simply another term for an intern around Capitol Hill. Duties include everything from clerical work to manual labor. Just two years after his internship, Gates went on to co-found Microsoft, one of the world’s leading computer services corporation. Gates held many different positions within the company, including chief executive officer and chief software architect. In 1986, just 12 short years after the founding of Microsoft, Gates became the youngest self-made billionaire in the world (age 31). For nearly 14 consecutive years, Gates was the wealthiest man in the world. He held this position from 1995 to 2009 (except in 2008, when he ranked third – oh no, rough year!).
In January 2000, Gates stepped down as CEO, but remained close with Microsoft as a non-executive chairman. Since making a name for himself with Microsoft, Gates has gone on to author and co-author many books while also proactively running a foundation aimed at combating poverty and advancing healthcare known as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates is a pioneer in the interwoven lands of business, computing and technology. He has been touted one of the most respected CEOs by Industry Week. This is the same guy who once hustled campaign buttons on Capitol Hill as an intern. Sure, some of his duties may have been a bit different than yours, but hey — he was once where you are right now!