Up through the Mailroom

Hollywood power players Michael Ovitz and David Geffen started their careers working in the mailroom at William Morris. Today, with so many more opportunities available to college graduates, is there any benefit left to starting in the mailroom?

Not too long ago, one of the best ways to break into a company was through the mailroom. In fact, Hollywood power players Michael Ovitz (a top talent manager in the business), Barry Diller (uber-mogel), and David Geffen (one of the founders of Dreamworks) all began their careers in the mailroom of the William Morris agency. The mailroom phenomenon became a staple of American work culture in the 1950s with Shepherd Mead’s book, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a satire instructing how a young professional could start in the mailroom and work his way up to CEO.

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