What 17 Successful People Did Their First Year Out Of College

OPRAH WINFREY  Promotional photo of US TV presenter in 1989. Photo Harpo/King World
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By Aaron Taube

Many successful people count the first year after college as a defining moment in their young careers.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk founded his first company during that time; Stephen King published a short story that would later become a movie; and Sheryl Sandberg learned she wanted to pursue a career in business instead of law.

But while these people enjoyed success from the moment they left campus, others initially experienced frustration.

For instance, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's first post-grad job ended in failure when he was cut from a Canadian Football League team, and Albert Einstein spent his first two years without any job at all.

As an example of the many directions the road to success can take, we chose to highlight what Oprah Winfrey, Carlos Slim, and 15 other fascinating and successful people did the first year after they left college.