Headed for a career giving others financial focus

Jasmine Ridgell
Degree: BBA Finance
Hometown: Milwaukee
It’s a fact: Ridgell is now learning to swim.

Jasmine Ridgell aspires to be an investment advisor to assist people in achieving their dreams.

“Being able to help people with that aspect of their life is more meaningful than anything else I can think of doing,” says Ridgell. “Many of us have a vision for our future, and the future of our family. But money often can get in the way—the money that is needed as the initial investment to achieve those dreams.

“Once you attack the money aspect of goals, everything else tends to fall in place,” Ridgell adds. “The future may not be completely smooth sailing, but what needs to be accomplished will be much easier.”

Participating in the Business Scholars Program in the Lubar School of Business while earning a degree in finance and completing the Investment Management Certificate Program paved the way for Ridgell to achieve her own career goal. Business Scholars enroll in classes that are limited in size and focus on in-depth discussion with faculty, critical thinking, written and oral presentations, “real world” application of business concepts and team projects. The investment management curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to actively manage a balanced investment fund, with the David O. Nicholas Applied Finance Lab providing state-of-the-art databases, streaming financial news and financial software.

As an intern at Robert W. Baird & Co., Ridgell conducted research for investment advisors. That internship, which began during her sophomore year, also resulted in a job offer as an analytic specialist.

“Jasmine takes on each new challenge with eagerness, self motivation, and an understanding of the ultimate goal,” says Laura K. Thurow, director of Private Wealth Management Research at Robert W. Baird & Co. “Her enthusiasm was notable from our very first interview, her contributions during her summer internship exceeded our expectations (so much so that we asked her to stay on during the school year) and we are thrilled that she is rejoining the team after graduation.”

Ridgell says her “next steps” include tackling the series of exams required to conduct securities related business and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Examination. In her high-energy way, she also plans on beginning study toward a master of business administration (MBA) degree, pursuing an interest in organizational behavior beginning in spring 2013. “Coupling that study with a master of science in finance, that would be ideal,” she says.

Ridgell’s enthusiasm at taking on the next new challenge doesn’t surprise Brian Hinshaw, her academic advisor in the Lubar School.

“I admire Jasmine’s ambition and tenacity,” says Hinshaw. “After one of my first meetings with Jasmine, I wrote this in my file notes: ‘Wants Business Scholars, finance major, investment management certificate and study abroad. Told her that scheduling all this would be nearly impossible within a four-year time frame.’”

Hinshaw points out that despite some hardships, “Jasmine managed to get it all done, with drive and hard work – and good humor to boot.”