An internship with the Edward D. Jones office in Magnolia, Arkansas, is helping Jessica Miller, a senior financial planning major at Southern Arkansas University, develop the skills and experience she needs to decide where she wants to go in life.
Miller is a native of DeQueen, Arkansas who expects to graduate in May 2018. Though financial planning is now her passion and led her to her internship with Edward Jones, she began her undergraduate career as a nursing major.
“When I got here, I took Mrs. Edward’s financial planning class,” Miller said. “My brother, who was also a Mulerider, said, ‘You’re going to love it.’ She was talking to me one day after class, and she asked me my major. She said, ‘No, you need to be in business.’ I changed majors, and it was the best decision I’ve made.”
Miller was already familiar with the campus of SAU; her older brother, John, played Mulerider football. “I was already used to coming here for his games. I have very much enjoyed my experience here. I’ve gotten to see us grow – we aren’t a small little school anymore. I’ve always enjoyed coming to Magnolia.”
She cites her strong work ethic, leadership and team skills and problem-solving ability as examples of her growth as a student at SAU. She has served as a Presidents Ambassador; as an orientation leader for Becoming a Mulerider; and was a student worker in Early Intervention Services on the SAU campus. Miller was also secretary for Fincher Hall, is a member of Enactus, belongs to Phi Mu Fraternity and is a member of Phi Beta Lambda.
After graduation, she plans to pursue a career as a financial advisor through Edward Jones. She plans to go through a licensing program in St. Louis that will allow her to work as a broker. Once she obtains the necessary licenses, Miller said the company “lets you kind of pick where you want to go.”
Miller said she is getting to do “a day in the life of a financial advisor” every day at Edward Jones. She handles and sets appointments, makes calls to check on client needs, “and you just go out and knock on doors and let people know that you are in business and able to help them with their financial needs.” She also plans branch seminars, having recently completed one on “outsmarting scammers.”
“I’m getting to see the whole spectrum of financial planning,” she said, noting that Edward Jones allows its planners “to be their own boss. There is no real formula for organizing the way your business is run.”