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Carolyn Everson
Carolyn Everson
Now: Corporate vice president, global ad sales, Microsoft
First Job: Waitress

I was a waitress at a pancake house! And that taught me to deal with all kinds of people, to always smile and to remember where I came from...as a matter of fact, while at MTV, I literally hired a waitress from our local pancake house after she impressed the heck out of me by remembering our order the following weekend.

My first job when I graduated from Villanova was with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). I joined their strategy practice as a business analyst--the only woman that year out of 14 and the only one not from an Ivy League.

Strategy consulting is an amazing teaching ground and I also had a fantastic boss, Charles Roussel, who I am still close with today. Charles gave me my shot, despite showing up for the interview on crutches and with a head cold and not from one of their target universities. Once at Andersen, Charles pushed me to do high-level assignments, present in front of senior management and to always be practical with my recommendations. That had a tremendous influence on me and still does today as I always try to boil things down to the 3 things we need to do.

NEXT: Charles Best
Last updated October 29 2010: 7:00 AM ET
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