What was your first job?


(Andrew Chen) #1

What was your first job ever (non-serious part-time high school jobs count), and then your first career job?


(Zetong Teoh) #2

I can see how this topic is going to be super interesting.

In chronological order:
Retail shop assistant
Telemarketing
Data Entry Assistant
Private Equity Intern
Content Marketing Intern

Now - Digital Marketing Intern
First career job - digital marketing/growth/user acquisition in startups (still finding!)

Meeting people from different walks of life is the most interesting takeaway.


(Stephen Foung) #3

My first job was sweeping the parking lot of one of those arcade/batting cages/go kart places (Scandia). I don’t think I’ve ever had a “career job”. I was a restaurant manager for a few years, but it was while I was in/in-between school, and I hated it.

I’ve also driven for Uber here and there (half for research, and half because there was a point where I desperately needed cash to make rent)


(Matt Hines) #4

Ohh, this is a good one. Very interesting. In order:

DJ at skating rink (awww yea)
Caddy at a golf course
Blue print copier for a construction company << first full-time job
AutoCAD draftsman (same company)
AP clerk (same company)
Auditor (public accounting) << first career job
Now - Accountant at Mid-Size Internet Company


(Alan Chavez) #5

This is going to be a long one. It all started when I was in elementary school. I had a small business selling customized folders to other children in my school. Back then I was living in Mexico, and I used to sell these customized folders for 5 Pesos, which back then it was the equivalent of perhaps 0.4 USD.

I don’t really remember how much money a week I was actually making, but it was between 40 - 50 MXN (like 4 USD) and that for a kid my age, was a lot.

Then when I got my first CD Burner, I started another business of downloading music off Kazaa and selling these CDs. I used to sell custom CDs for 70 MXN (like 5 USD), and I also was making a lot of money doing that. It was my first lesson on getting to know your customers. I was about 12 - 13 years old. My hypothesis back then was that other kids my age would be my best customers. Boy was I wrong. How can a 12 - 13 years old would get his hands disposable $5 USD? Not too many I can assure that. On the other hand, my professors were my best customers.

I used to get a lot of requests of CDs full of old songs from old artists. In that “job” I was making about $600 - $700 USD/mo and that was profit, not just revenue. I was making just as much money as a professor. Not very legal of course, and it ultimately had to stop, but it was a lot of fun.

I also taught myself how to repair computers, so I was also providing that service to local businesses. Then one day, one guy asked me if I knew how to make websites, and I said yes. I didn’t. But I sold them a website, and I learned how to make and host a website. So I started making websites for local businesses.

The only company in town offering that kind of services were charging something like $2,000 USD per month for a website. I would make the website, and host it for 5 years for half the price, horrible mistake I know, but I hardly knew anything about freelancing back then, I was doing it for “the lulz”.

I was also in a technical high school, so they taught us how to code. So I would code all the assignments, and then sell the source code the next day. I was careful enough to code the assignments differently, so that the professors wouldn’t notice that students didn’t actually did them. That was my definition of “customer success” way before a random blogger coined the term.

Also during high school I wrote a book about film making industry in my hometown (I was a weird kid), and organized an ecology forum, the forum was a disaster, but I had a lot of fun raising money to pay for stuff and fly people in. In one of my conversations with the owner of a very large factory in my hometown, he offered me a job on the spot right after I fixed his computer in front of him like in 20 minutes. I worked for him for about 3 months, but I got bored very quickly.

This was my first “official” job as a computer technician. I remember my first day on the job the guy forgot to gave me a mouse, and I didn’t ask for one because I didn’t want to be perceived as whiny or “high-maintenance”, so I didn’t use a mouse throughout the entire shift.

After I left that job, I got another job as a web developer in the very same company that made hideous websites. That’s where I learned the wonders of system administration, and developed very interesting projects. That’s also where I met a guy who ended up being my boss years later, at another company.

When I graduated high school, I landed a scholarship in Mexico’s top college , so I “closed” all my side activities and moved to another city. Within 6 months of living there, I landed a job as a Research Assistant at the university, typically a job reserved for guys doing PhDs and proficient master’s students. I didn’t land this job because I was a genius or something, so here’s the story:

I enrolled in course taught in English, and the professor teaching the course happened to be the director of research in the entire university (not only engineering, which I was studying). First day of class he introduces himself and says that he knew that 95% of his students would fail the class. He was pretty clear about that, so he had a special project due at the end of the semester. If you deliver the special project, then that counts as 40% of your grade, so you basically just need to show up to class to get 30% and get a passing grade. And he explained the project: a program that you input some values, and the program give you the answers.

That very same day I was knocking on his office’s door, not only with the final project finished, but also with a visual simulation of particles interacting with each other and showing the forces on the particles’ surfaces. This animation was also in 3D, so the professor was really impressed and offered me a job on the spot as well. So everything was going well and I learned a lot of weird things that I don’t know if I’ll ever use in my life, but it was fun and paid decent money.

Then I got my permanent residency in the US and I moved to Texas. Landed a job at the University of Texas a math tutor.

Then I started working as a teaching assistant for a data mining class (I was doing bachelors, the class was Master level)

then I got an internship in Argonne National Laboratory developing a new programming language (that was fun too).

When my internship was over, I worked again in UT but this time in the networking department as a NOC Administrator.

While I was NOC Administrator, I got another gig on the side developing websites for the same guy I met years ago working for a digital agency in my hometown. Had 2 jobs for a little while, and it was stressing. Ultimately, ended up dropping out of college for financial reasons.

Continued to work for this guy for a little longer. Started a side business on Etsy selling birthday party things and we made decent money, I also created a SaaS app and made no money.

Right now I’m working as a Software Engineer at a marketing company in North Carolina, it’s been fun, and I’ve been here for 1 year and 9 months, but I want my career to take a different path, so I’m working towards that right now. We’ll see what happens within the next couple of weeks :slight_smile:


(Vinish Garg) #6

A machine boy in a paper mill (5 months, during study)
A customer support executive (inbound calling) for a mobile service operator (8 months, during study)

First career job was as a ‘Technical Writer’

We can gain at least something from any job that we ever take, into our career job later.


(Zach ) #7

Veterinarian Hospital
Vector Marketing - Cutco Cutlery
Best Buy
BeginU (My first startup)
Rounded (Where I currently work)
LIFT Protein Muffins (My 2nd startup)


(Joshua S) #8
  1. Grocery bagging
  2. Bus boy
  3. Sales Associate at Sports Authority
  4. Graduate assistant
  5. IT administrator
  6. Director of Ops @ BioVidria
  7. Director of New Programs @ Mural
  8. VP Product Management @ Mural
  9. VP Product / Platform @ Mural
  10. CURRENT - Start up founder, http://fresh.coffee

(Zetong Teoh) #10

So I keep wondering, for all the founders here, would you encourage a fresh graduate to work at another fast-growing startup or venture into your own endeavor?


What's the best job after graduation?
(Stephen Willis) #12

First Job: Subway “Sandwich Artist” (lol)
First Career: Walmart Assistant Manager


(Holly Cardew) #13

McDonalds :slight_smile:
At the age of 14 it taught me how to be efficient and deliver a meal in 60 seconds.


(Maria Stylianou) #14

Jobs before graduating
Age: 5 – Dancing (very silly) to get some cents (and buy chocolate). [Cyprus]
Age: 16-17 – Selling music CDs (mostly to friends. and their friends.).
Age: 18-19 – University - Overseer of CS Labs.
Age: 20 – Insurance Company: IT assistant (summer intern).
Age: 21 – CERN - CS summer intern. [Switzerland]
Age: 23 – University - Teaching Assistant. [Spain]
Age: 24 – Telefonica - Researcher (doing my master thesis) (graph mining, big data, open-source!). [Spain]

Jobs after graduating
Age: 25 – Novartis - Hadoop Engineer [Switzerland]
Age: 26 – Entrepreneur First - I joined the startup accelerator to build my own startup [London]
Age: 26 – Instructor in web dev courses
Age: 26 – SolidSteps.io - Cofounder

fun :smile:


(Robin Johnson) #15

1st non-serious: Mowing grass
1st career job: Sony ImageWorks …all from networking my ass off…
1st job that wasn’t a job: making games at EA. Haven’t worked a day since…


(Julia) #16

Promoting “panorama companies” by sticking advertising stickers on the shop door. “Push”, “pull”.
In primary school
Telemarketing
That was good beginning :smile:


(McKenzy Germain) #17
  1. A 12 yr old selling christmas trees at Almac Hardware in Brooklyn
  2. Packing bags at C-town Supermarket in Brooklyn
  3. NYC Club Bouncer
  4. Head Shipper at Talbots in SF
  5. Shipper at Bloomingdales in SF
  6. Bouncer at Otis Loungs in SF
  7. College Instructor - 3D Animation
  8. Post Production VFX and 3D Animation Management (Thor, Fright Night, X-Men First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Smurfs 3D, The Legend of Tembo, The Book of Life)
  9. Kwota - original model was for supporting outsourced remote cg production.
  10. Uber and Lyft driver in SF
  11. Snr Mgr Creative Services in Santa Clara

Next role: I develop user behaviors!


(Fahad Quraishi) #18

First job ever was working at a Regal movie theater as a teenager. Loved it.

First career job was as an analyst for Goldman’s hedge fund business. My entry into tech was via switching to a focus on UX / IA, and then that evolved into a product role.


(Imroze) #19

Connecting the dots! Started nd will hopefully end inspired

@age 16; sold <$ 1 ice cream on beach to afford my GF for date
@engineering studies; paid basketball coach
Post study; equity manager@ BIG bank
Post Bank; buss associate @Amazon.com
Post Amz; PM @french consulting company

By then caught up into this rat race of tirelessly working for 18 hrs as a well paid consultant then decided to take break. Was happy to quit 9-5 job. YES higher studies@Australia

Well like every other international student did number of odd job you could possibly imagine. The list is to BIG to share…:grinning:

During this period of holiday(Oops! Study)
Was happy to start 9-9 job which excited me.Worked on high-fidelity prototypes on my idea to address the information overload problem. Came with like-minded people to form a team here in Mumbai, India.

Developed a world class collabration platform; CoBeats.com (note taking application) out of India.

@age 28; Head of growth & product@ CoBeats.com (under parent comp Whiteshark)

Promise to keep me inspired nd build a great story!

Stay hungry, stay foolish :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Imroze


(Phil Anderson) #20

Working at Sears. Learned the fundamentals of dealing with consumers of all sorts, and the foundation for my understanding of Customer Support.


(Tom Kelly) #21

I worked in a TV repair shop during school.

My first serious job was Marketing for a start up that never really started called LetMyFlat. It was a cash only version of Airbnb!


(Aby Mathew) #22

Part time job - Teacher ( Maths and Physics for high school students)
First career job - System Engineer at Tata Consultancy Services
Current job - Co Founder & CMO at TaleHunt