7 Celebrity Career Role Models for Collegiettes

You never know what you’re going to find when you read the headlines. You might see a story of someone who believed in her product so much that she refused to give up even when 60 people told her it was absolutely no good at all. Maybe there will be a story about a woman who survived an attempted assassination. Or a story about a reality TV star who retired from MTV primetime. Do these sound like people to look up to? Where can you find successful women to look up to as role models these days, anyhow?
 
Would you believe me if I told you there’s a success story—or three—in there? Check out seven women who have fashioned super awesome careers, even in the face of adversity.
 
1. Tina Fey

The world’s funniest woman has it all—a comfy seat on Saturday Night Live, seven Emmy awards, a super popular—and hilarious—book that dominated the New York Times bestseller list for over a month, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and on and on. A pretty impressive list for someone who, at the age of five, was attacked by a stranger and now sports a scar from a cut on her face. She didn’t let it affect her dreams, and she went on to tour with celebrated comedy group The Second City. She impressed coworkers with her biting wit, met with SNL producers to show off some sketches, and began writing for Saturday Night Live. The self-proclaimed nerd didn’t stop there—she co-wrote and starred in everyone’s go-to movie Mean Girls and created 30 Rock.
 
Lesson learned: Your talent can take you in a hundred different directions. Don’t be afraid to try variations on what you’re good at.
 
2. Lauren Conrad

Who ever thought a girl who got her start on a MTV reality show would end up being famous and successful for all the right reasons (like promoting a healthy balance of school, friends and family)? Whether you loved the show or hated it, you can’t deny that Conrad’s reason for staying on it—building a platform—was brilliant. Reality TV show days behind her, Conrad now has several books, two fashion lines, and one badass beauty website to her name.

Lesson learned: Humble beginnings can lead to big payoffs. (Also, know when to let a good thing go.)
 
3. Kathryn Stockett
Down on your luck? Bummed about being turned down from a job or an internship or, heck, even a guy for the umpteenth time? Kathryn Stockett, author of the hit novel-turned-film The Help, feels your pain. The mega-popular book was turned down 60 TIMES before an agent picked it up, took a chance, and sold it to Amy Einhorn books. What would have happened if she had given up after her fifth rejection? Or her 15th? Or her 50th? Don’t dwell on what isn’t working out; instead, keep your eye on the prize and push forward.

Lesson learned: Believe in yourself and your ideas. Persevere.
 
4. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

Child actresses turned straight-to-VHS movie stars turned Barbie dolls turned book heroines turned fashion designers… is there anything MK&A haven’t done? Catapulting to stardom before age 5 may sound like a dream come true, but Mary Kate and Ashley don’t always see it that way. They had little say in their career until they bought out the owners of Dualstar on their eighteenth birthday. Now the girls are focusing on business and fashion; their three lines (The Row, Elizabeth and James, and Olsenboye) keep them busy.
 
Lesson learned: Stand up for yourself. Do what you love.