Job: Equity research associate, Piper Jaffray & Co.

Salary: Adam gets an undergraduate base salary of $55,000 to $60,000, plus annual bonus.

Education: Graduated from University of Minnesota in 2004 with degrees in economics and finance.

How I got the job: Adam was the first undergraduate to participate in the equity fund at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. The program, called the Carlson Funds Enterprise -- formerly known as the Golden Gopher Growth Fund -- is designed primarily for MBA students interested in investment banking, money management, consulting, business development, venture capital and corporate finance. In his senior year, Adam impressed Prof. Tim Nantell enough to get in, and later the program's director, Joe Barsky, introduced Adam to his contacts at Piper.

On working for Piper: "Since high school, I knew I wanted to be in the investing community. This is exactly what I wanted to do."

What's next: Adam will be preparing for level one of the chartered financial analyst program in December, a three-level program to obtain that certification.

Smart money: "My grandma taught me never to purchase anything with a credit card that you can't pay for today. I've followed her advice, and I have no credit card debt."

Stupid money: "Investing in speculative penny stock with little or no earnings and liquidity. Plus eating out way too much -- it's boring but extremely true. I eat out at least 15 times a week. I've never brought my lunch to work."

Last big purchase: A 48-inch plasma TV and a 1999 Saab 9-3.

Next big purchase: "I'm a huge Dave Matthews fan. I'm planning three trips around the country to see him."

Patrick Kennedy