Jason Mraz's first summer job? Sweaty, hard work

Fri Aug 1, 2014 4:06pm EDT
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By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Summer jobs: The very mention brings up memories of low pay, long hours and sweaty, clueless teenagers who don't really know what they're doing.

Memories like that are still vivid for some of the nation's greatest achievers. Since last August, Reuters has been gathering the first-job stories of successful Americans, including sports legends, business titans and media superstars.

This month, to coincide with the nation's monthly jobs report, we spoke to a few of them about those memorable summer jobs that got them started.


First summer job: Fence builder

"My dad was a fence contractor in Mechanicsville, Virginia, so my first paying gig was building fences. It involved a lot of digging holes, cleaning up construction sites and distributing lumber. It was for $5 an hour, which, at the time, was more than minimum wage."

"It was hard manual labor, and I certainly would rather have been at the pool with my friends rather than driving an hour to some muggy, mosquito-infested area to build a fence around a horse field. But I was getting paid, so I didn't mind."   Continued...

Singer Jason Mraz performs on NBC's "Today" show in New York July 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson