Nicole Dreiske

Executive Director, International Children's Media Center

Nicole Dreiske is now the executive director of the International Children's Media Center, but her first job was selling pastries at the Little French Pastry Shop in Winnetka when she was 16.

Dreiske says she enjoyed her first job, aside from an unflattering uniform and the constant temptation to sample the pastries.

"I gained five pounds that summer," says Dreiske.

One of the most important things Dreiske says she learned at her first job was that little things can go a long way with employers.

"Showing up on time," says Dreiske, "being pleasant to customers, and not complaining about the long hours gave me a big edge over the other girls working that summer. Having a positive attitude made a big difference."

Dreiske says that one of the hardest aspects of her first job was scheduling. She explains that working long hours during the summer meant she had to prioritize work and cut out free time she would normally have spent with friends.

"Ultimately," says Dreiske, "[my first job] was extremely helpful and formative. It helped me establish some great habits that have supported me throughout my career: personal discipline, effective priorities, and a positive attitude."