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Jennifer Wilson

Assistant director, faculty lecturer, Texas Tech University

She has zero assets under management, has never worked as an adviser, nor is a CFP, so when Jennifer Wilson attends a meeting of financial planners, she is often asked what she’s doing there. “I get that all the time,” laughs Wilson, who is assistant director of the personal finance program at Texas Tech University, teaching about-to-be advisers and training them in how to implement pro bono financial literacy education.

She came to the position circuitously. Growing up on an organic poultry farm in Washington state, she studied meteorology at a community college. “I decided I didn’t want to be a weather lady,” she said, and moved to family in North Carolina where she earned an undergraduate degree in managerial finance.

Wanting to work with individuals, she joined the federal AmeriCorps volunteer program and did financial literacy training around the country for two years. To learn more about financial planning, she enrolled in Texas Tech’s graduate program and became a teaching assistant before landing her current assignment. “I love teaching and helping to train advisers,” Wilson says. “And if you’re an adviser looking for an intern, I can help you.”

—Evan Cooper