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What Was "Scandal" Creator Shonda Rhimes' First Job?

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(NEW YORK) -- Long before writer and producer Shonda Rhimes started in Hollywood, the creator of hit TV shows including Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice had a very different career path.

"I was 16 and had been volunteering at the local hospital," she reveals in Marie Claire.

Ultimately, it was her love of fashion that made Rhimes switch jobs.

"One day, I wanted a miniskirt and a hot-pink, off-the-shoulder top -- it was the '80s, and I wanted to look like Madonna," Rhimes explains. "My mother told me that I could wear trashy clothes when I had my own money. So I got a job scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins."

Rhimes eventually made her way from the ice cream counter to Hollywood. Her latest project is the new ABC drama, How to Get Away with Murder, starring Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis, who will play a law professor with a questionable moral compass. It premieres Sept. 25 at 10 p.m., right after the return of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.

Despite her track record of hits, Rhimes admits she still gets nervous when she pitches a new TV show. She also admits that "having three shows from Shondaland air on one night on one network" is a career highlight. 

"Owning Thursday night on ABC this fall is incredibly exciting!" she adds.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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