Jasmine Webber is the Director of Recruitment for Northwestern Mutual at their Lake Elmo office in the Twin Cities.
A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Webber grew up in a part of the country where NFL football is king, but she was also raised in a household that valued having a strong work ethic and being entrepreneurial-minded.
For context, Webber’s father was a Chinese immigrant who opened the first Asian-American restaurant in Green Bay.
Her father experimented with this concept even though there was little evidence that this type of cuisine would appeal to a market like Green Bay, and he ended up operating the business for 40 years, along with several other businesses and properties he still owns.
Along the way Webber gained firsthand knowledge regarding the power of personal and professional investment.
“That restaurant was a big part of my childhood, and without even knowing it, the business instilled certain values and taught me crucial entrepreneurial skills,” says Webber, who in addition to being an excellent student was also an exceptional swimmer.
“I swam year-round for the high school and YMCA club teams in Green Bay and went on to receive a swimming scholarship to St. Cloud State, where I became a two-time All-American and formed lifelong friendships.”
In addition to excelling in the pool, Webber’s four years at St. Cloud State taught her many things (she was a business management major), but perhaps the most important was learning the power of having a strong network and surrounding herself with like-minded people who also possessed a growth mindset and a desire to positively impact those around them.
“I was heavily involved with the Herberger Business School as president and vice president of three business organizations, and I was able to build friendships with people in a variety of different disciplines and areas of expertise. I even met my husband through the business school!” Webber shares.
“I loved walking around campus and knowing a lot of people, and usually wherever I went I knew at least one person. That was a cool feeling, and again it was a reminder of how important it is to have a strong community.”
Webber would go on to graduate from St. Cloud State’s revered Herberger Business School with a 3.66 GPA, and instead of returning to Green Bay to pursue her professional aspirations, she transitioned to the Twin Cities, where she would spend time working for Lifetime Fitness, among other companies.
A wife and mother of two beautiful children, Webber has found joy and fulfillment in the Twin Cities, but it wasn’t until July 2021 that her professional career started to gain traction when she learned of an available position as a recruiter with Northwestern Mutual, a financial services company.
“I actually had been a client of Northwestern Mutual for several years because my friend was an advisor for them, and I was able to see firsthand how she went from being an intern to building a career within the company,” Webber explains.
With Northwestern Mutual, Webber’s job would be to recruit people outside the organization to become financial advisors, a job that certainly fit Webber’s skillset.
But what was more appealing to Webber was the type of workplace culture Northwestern Mutual had fostered.
“I had conversations with leadership throughout the interview process and felt that they valued having a solid company culture built on relationships, development and community impact, and because I am such a huge proponent of community, those values really aligned with mine,” Webber says.
More specifically, Webber was attracted to the way Northwestern Mutual invested in their employees and their long-term career development.
“From the time I started with Northwestern Mutual to now, I have grown immensely,” Webber mentions.
“I’m a much better recruiter, friend, wife, mother, and human being now than when I first started. I still have a lot of growth to go through, but I’m confident that I have the people and the resources around me to develop so much further.”
Less than two years after being hired as a recruiter, Webber’s investment has already paid dividends.
In February of 2023 she was promoted to Director of Recruitment by Sarah Walter, her mentor who is also the first woman in Minnesota to assume the role of Managing Director for Northwestern Mutual.
“Sarah is someone who I have always looked up to and had a lot of respect for, so when the opportunity came to join her new team after I got back from maternity leave, I jumped on it because we work very well together and I have a ton of belief in her and the development she provides me and new advisors,” Webber says.
In her new role as Director of Recruitment, Webber is still very much involved in acquiring outside talent for Northwestern Mutual.
She says she loves meeting new people, which is key because often Webber must scour a vast array of industries in order to find individuals she believes can become successful financial advisors.
“Good financial advisors can come from anywhere,” Webber says.
“There is not one specific demographic or industry where I primarily recruit from because we find talented people in all different sectors. That does make my job very difficult, but it also makes it very fun.”
As for what personality traits Webber looks for when she sits down with potential recruits, typically the people who end up becoming financial advisors for Northwestern Mutual want to make an impact and help people in a meaningful way.
“We do very holistic financial planning at Northwestern Mutual,” Webber says, which means their advisors look at their clients’ whole financial picture in order to gauge what’s right for them at that time.
“We are also looking for people who are financially motivated.”
To become a financial advisor, Northwestern Mutual doesn’t require recruits to have a financial background or a specific type of education.
Rather, they just need to have a strong work ethic and the desire to positively affect their clients’ financial futures.
“We will teach the technical side of our business, so once we find someone with the right characteristics, we can train and develop them into amazing financial advisors. We also provide licensing, mentorship, coaching, and continuous development,” Webber notes.
“So what we are looking for are individuals who are relationship driven and want to make an impact, increase their income, and do all that while operating autonomously and independently.”
At present, Webber is ever evolving, but the constant theme throughout all her professional endeavors has been her commitment to providing value to the people in her life, and moving forward, she will continue to help as many individuals as she can.
“No matter what I’m doing, I want to continue to provide value to people; whether it’s making introductions to careers, people in my network, or giving some encouragement. That’s where I derive a ton of enjoyment,” the Green Bay native says.
“And hopefully as time elapses and I continue to showcase my value, I will move up within Northwestern Mutual and be able to help others grow and develop as individuals and leaders, and introduce this life-changing career to top performers. Obviously, the future is unknown, but I’m excited about the possibilities that are out there.” QS
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