I was 14 when I applied for my first job at the local Culver's. For those of you not fortunate enough to have one near you, it's a fast food chain with amazing burgers and custard.

I walked up into my interview incredibly nervous, but so excited to be taking such a big step in growing up. After learning that I got hired, I was ecstatic. When I turned 16, I had the opportunity to become a manager in training and it was something I took with pride. Today, I love seeing it on my resume and telling people about my wonderful years at Culvers.

Now I'm in college, a full-time student and a part-time barista/server on the side. As a "real adult" now, I've had time to reflect on what or who exactly has influenced me and helped me grow into the woman I am today.

Needless to say, it's definitely been through the two fabulous leaders I've had the chance to work for.

At Culver's, my boss Joy, led with an incredibly big heart. She was always concerned about my well-being and was the first to offer encouragement when I needed it. She pushed me to not only work harder but to work better. From her, I learned to go the extra mile for others even if it wasn't necessarily convenient. I learned to never judge a book by its cover and to always give people a chance.

Now, I'm working under another fabulous boss, Megan. I wouldn't even actually call her my "boss" because she's more of a friend. I've learned so much about running a business from her. I've learned to have a better eye, pay attention to detail, and how to connect with people. I learned that the best leaders don't necessarily work above their employees but alongside them. Her ability to be such an influential leader so effortlessly is something I admire to have. I love the way she looks to the future, sets goals and works hard to achieve them. Most importantly, she has taught me to be unapologetically passionate about life and all the amazing parts of it.

From both of these extraordinary women, I have gained endless knowledge and truly built my character. They've given me a better work ethic, understanding the importance of believing in myself, and an amazing work foundation. I couldn't ask for better people to help shape my future.