He had hopes of going to West Point, but he could not pass the eye test. Because of family financial problems, going to college was not possible. His first job was as a timekeeper on a construction crew for the Santa Fe railroad. He next worked in the mailing room of the Kansas City Star. In 1904 he went to work for the national Bank of Commerce in downtown Kansas City, and in 1906 he was employed by the Union National Bank.
Herbert Hoover had many jobs throughout college and started as a laborer in the Nevada goldfields after finishing his degree:
Hoover worked his way through college in a variety of jobs--as a clerk, delivering newspapers, operating a laundry, and managing special lectures and concerts. During summer recess, he worked on geological surveys in Arkansas and Nevada. He also served as financial manager of the Stanford football team.
After graduating in 1895, Hoover took his first job as a laborer in the goldfields of Nevada. In 1896 he went to San Francisco, where he was hired by a firm of mining engineers. He started as an office boy, but in less than a year he was assistant to the superintendent of one of the company's mines.