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A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, Paige Finch, one of our summer interns, tells us about 25 famous people who were once interns!

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(00:00) Hi, I'm Paige the intern. Welcome to my boss' salon. Oh, the fireplace isn't working. Normally that's the intern's job to fix but... I'm kinda busy right now. This is Mental Floss on YouTube, and did you know that Steve Jobs was an intern at Hewlett-Packard when he was just twelve years old? Jobs needed parts for a school project so he found Bill Hewlett himself in the phone book and gave him a call. By the end of the conversation he had an internship. That summer gave him experience putting in screws on an assembly line but, perhaps more importantly, it introduced him to future business partner and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak who worked at Hewlett-Packard at the time.

(00:30) And that's the first of many famous interns that I'm going to tell you about  today.

(Intro)

(00:41) Speaking of computers and people named Bill, when Bill Gates was a junior in high school he delivered messages and prepared the house chambers for sessions as a congressional page. This work may not have influenced Gates' career as directly as Steve Jobs' internship did, but Gates did later claim that this was when he learned to stay out of politics. Maybe if he had stuck with it he could've been the fifth face of Mount Rushmore.

(00:58) As an eighteen-year old Dick Cheney was Congressman William A. Steiger's intern. Apparently he didn't learn the same lesson as Bill Gates.

(01:04) On to a completely different topic, fashion. Designer, director and Jay-Z song title, Tom Ford, interned at the French fashion house Chloé. Former New York Ranger Sean Avery had an internship at Vogue in 2008 and, if you're a fan of the Hills you know that Lauren Conrad was an intern at Teen Vogue.

(01:19) While they were in college Mary-Kate Olsen interned for Annie Leibovitz and Ashley for fashion designer Zac Posen. Finally, both fashion designer Betsey Johnson and author Sylvia Plath worked as interns for Mademoiselle magazine. Clearly this fashionable donkey has been reading Mademoiselle magazine.


(01:30) Oprah Winfrey began her career in television with an internship at WLAC-TV, a local news station in Nashville, Tennessee. After her internship the station hired her as a full-time anchor. Wow, I have more in common with Oprah than I though: I'm an intern, I'm from Tennessee, I'm hosting this show which is kind of like being a news anchor... maybe someday I'll be a billionaire. Oprah also starred in the 1984 film The Color Purple which was directed by another former intern, Steven Spielberg.

(01:53)When he was seventeen and a family friend who worked at Universal Studios gave Spielberg a somewhat unofficial internship. He wasn't technically allowed on the lot, but he snuck into work every day and made connections with people in many different departments. He even created the short film called Amblin' during his time as an unofficial intern, and when executives at the studio saw it they offered him a seven year contract, making him the youngest directer ever hired by Universal.

(02:15) During high school, Brooke Shields was an intern at the San Diego Zoo. She helped clean, prep eucalyptus branches, and conduct daily checks in the koala exhibit.

(02:23)Some people like Roger Goodell ended up running the companies where they were interns. For the record, I totally plan on doing that. Goodell had been rejected jobs at several football teams when he finally decided to apply to the NFL. Don Weiss, the executive director of the league, simply told Goodell that there weren't any jobs available but, if he was ever in the area, Goodell should stop by. 

(02:41) Goodell was definitely not "in the area" but he called Weiss and told him that he would stop by tomorrow. He drove seven hours to get to the NFL headquarters and they decided to hire him because he seemed nice. Today, he's the NFL commissioner.

(02:52) In the summer of 1980 Ursula Burns worked at Xerox as a mechanical engineering intern. Apparently she did a great job because she was promoted several times to positions such as executive assistant and vice-president until, in 2009, she was named CEO of Xerox. This made her the first African-American woman to be the head of a Fortune 500 company.

(03:08) Yet another celebrity who learned at a young age that politics was not for him is Conan O'Brien. He briefly worked on Barney Frank's campaign but ultimately decided that making copies every day was too repetitive for him. So now he just does the same talk show every day instead.

(03:21) Speaking of Conan, Mindy Kaling, John Krasinski, Mike Birbiglia, and Ellie Kemper were all interns for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Kaling has called herself 'the worst intern that's ever worked on the program' because, instead of doing the work she was supposed to do, she would kind of just stalk Conan.

(03:36) Although Brian Williams never graduated from college that didn't stop him from getting an internship with Jimmy Carter's administration. Williams opened mail, put letters under a signature machine, and got coffee. Everything an intern is supposed to do. Although President Carter had no say in the decision to hire Williams, the two did meet once during the internship.

(03:52) Sean Combs, a.k.a. Puff Daddy, a.k.a. P Diddy, a.k.a Diddy, got a job as an intern at Uptown Records while he was studying business at Howard University. He'd drop out of college upon becoming a talent director at the company, working to develop artists such as Mary J. Blige. He actually ended up getting fired from Uptown but his own company, Bad Boy Entertainment, went on to become extremely successful.

(04:10) While Tom Hanks was studying theater at California State University, Sacramento, he met Vincent Dowling, the head of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. Dowling asked Hanks to work as an intern for the festival and the internship eventually turned into a three-year job that led to Hanks dropping out of college. Is it just me or does Tom Hanks' decision to leave school early and enter the adult world sound a lot like the plot to the movie Big?

(04:28) I hope Castaway wasn't based on Tom Hanks' life. Ira Glass talked his way into an NPR internship at NPR headquarters when he was nineteen years old. Even though he, admittedly, had never heard of public radio and didn't come from the kind of family who would listen to it. Now you may know him as the host of the wildly popular NPR show This American Life.

(04:45) Finally I return to John's salon to tell you that when Anderson Cooper was a college student he had a stint as an intern for the CIA. According to him the job was bureaucratic and mundane. There's also an X-Men character named Silver Fox who was in the CIA, coincidence?

(04:58) Thanks for watching Mental Floss on YouTube which is made with the help of all these nice people. Every week we endeavour to answer one of your mind-blowing questions. This week's question comes from Fossilfighters101 who asks: why do people have dimples?

(05:08) Hey look the fireplace started working again. Anyway, although they look cute, dimples are actually a minor muscle deformity. The muscles in the face of a person with dimples are actually too short, so they pull in the skin creating the indentation. That's why lots of babies have dimples and lose them as they grow up. The muscles lengthen enough that they no longer pull on the skin and the dimples lessen and disappear.

(05:26) If you have a mind-blowing question you'd like answered leave it below in comments. Thanks again for watching--again I'm Paige and you can check out my channel over here--and as we say in my home town, don't forget to be awesome.