Ian Noble
Employer: Rick's Cleaners

Position description:
I currently serve as the Director of Operations at Rick's Cleaners in Austin with 15 locations. I strive to continuously learn the dry clean industry with a hands on approach in order develop necessary skills, industry knowledge, and a stronger company. An example of my day-to-day basis includes improving quality control at our plants, personnel improvement, in-store visits, website, social media, mailing list upkeep, and shedding company "fat."

Photo: Ian Noble
How They Got There

Undergrad degree:  Economics

Favorite class in college:  Financial Economics

College to career:  After graduating a semester early, the first thing I did was get out of the country. I spent three months backpacking Southeast Asia. I recommend traveling abroad to any recent graduate if they do not already have a job lined up. Traveling makes you grow as a person, and once you get settled in your career, it becomes difficult to take time off.

Career influences:  Rick's Cleaners is a family business. I was born and raised around it. Although I wasn't sure coming out of college if I would try it out, I quickly grew to love it.

The Ups and Downs


  • Competition is fun and challenging
  • No dry cleaning bills
  • Being my own boss
  • Small businesses give you a chance to do almost everything associated with the company and learn a broad variety of skills (not always the case in large corporations)
  • Management can be a 24/7 job


Regardless of your undergraduate major, go into your job search with an open mind. Many people have already made up their mind that they will work for one of the "The Big Four" or become a teacher, but don't close off other options too quickly.

The more successful people you take advice from, the better. They know what it takes to make it, and can provide better insight than most.

Interested in This Career?
  • The Small Business Bible (2nd Edition)  ( Book )
    Great book for the entrepreneurial mind