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14 Celebrities Who Paid Their Dues At Internships, Just Like You

Even Conan O'Brien had to start somewhere.

Springtime is here, which means the sun is coming out, flowers are blooming... and you're probably planning your summer internship.

It may feel like a drag spending your summer at a desk instead of at the beach, but you're following in the footsteps of many, many successful people before you who gained internship experience prior to their big breaks. Hey, we've all got to start somewhere.

Here are 14 celebs who put in time as interns.

  1. Brooke Shields
    San Diego Zoo

    In high school, Brooke Shields interned at the San Diego Zoo. And zoo life isn't all about cuddling cute animals, either; someone's gotta scoop that poop.

  2. Oprah Winfrey
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    Before she was handing out cars and being an all-around badass mogul, Oprah interned at WLAC-TV in Nashville in the early '70s. She eventually went full-time at the station before embracing her destiny of ruling the world.

  3. Mindy Kaling
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    Before Mindy was, well, Mindy, and successfully running her own show, she interned in another hilarious writer's room: Conan O'Brien's at "Late Night," to be exact. Surprise!

  4. Conan O'Brien

    Picture this: little Coco, walking the halls of the House of Representatives. Before O'Brien forged his path in comedy writing, he interned for Rep. Barney Frank in Washington, D.C.

  5. Tom Hanks
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    Before winning two Oscars, Hanks worked for the Great Lakes Theater Festival doing odd jobs like hanging lights and building sets, as well as working backstage. Hanks kept the internship for three years.

  6. Chloë Sevigny
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    Before she was named an "It Girl" by Sassy Magazine, Sevigny was an intern there, discovered on the sidewalks of New York City. It just goes to show, sometimes where you start is exactly where you end up.

  7. Aubrey Plaza

    She didn't just play one on TV, folks. Aubrey Plaza served as an intern at places as varied as Samba Post-Its (she had to paper a bathroom with post-its once) and "Saturday Night Live." She also worked in NBC's famous page program.

  8. Donald Glover
    Buzzfoto

    Before he was rapping as Childish Gambino or acting on "Community," Glover was an intern in Comedy Central's Summer School program.

  9. Lauren Conrad
    MTV

    You've seen "The Hills," so you know L.C.'s Teen Vogue days well. Remember her makeover? Who would have known then that she'd end up in its glossy pages someday?

  10. Ashley Olsen
    FilmMagic

    No, "Full House" doesn't count as an internship. But Ashley Olsen's time as an intern at the fashion house of Zac Posen does, a gig she took to learn the ropes of the fashion industry.

  11. Anderson Cooper
    Getty Images

    Before he became one of CNN's most recognizable anchors, Anderson Cooper spent two summers of college interning for the CIA. Yes, that CIA.

  12. Diddy
    WireImage

    Before founding Bad Boy Records, Diddy interned at a label. In fact, he dropped out of Howard University in 1989 to work at Uptown Records.

  13. Aziz Ansari
    Getty Images Entertainment/JP Yim

    After earning a marketing degree from NYU, Aziz Ansari took on a business internship... in the offices of humor newspaper The Onion. And, well, let's just say he's not desk-bound anymore.

  14. Steven Spielberg
    NBC

    Before making big-budget movies at Universal, Spielberg was an unpaid intern at the studio. He caught the attention of higher-ups and was offered a seven-film deal after showing off a short film he'd made entitled "Amblin."