Golden Opportunity:

Remarkable Careers that Began at McDonald's

James McGovern

James McGovern

Hired 1956

"At fifteen, you’re not really exposed to the world and dealing with people like Ray Kroc—I never had to please anybody like that before—you grow up quick."

Jim McGovern worked in the first McDonald’s System restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. Lester started at age fifteen and had the unusual experience of learning the business directly from founder Ray Kroc. That’s an impressionable time of life, which may explain the passion with which he talks today about the many interactions he had with Ray and what he learned from them. Two of the lessons that guided him in his later career as a supervisor in the electrical industry are timeless yet challenging to implement: no detail is too small; and being honest with superiors when you find yourself in over your head is better than trying to fake your way through.

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