At the age of 16, she was scouted in her hometown of Buffalo, New York, and had gone to Personal Best modeling school at age sixteen. In Paris, she signed a contract with the IMG Agency and over the next six months landed campaigns for Cover Girl, Chloé, and Gap.
She was soon walking the runways for New York’s top designers, including Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger. Tyra Banks called her "the model of her generation." In June 2007, she signed a contract with cosmetics company Maybeline.
In 2003, White was chosen for a coveted shoot in Sports Illustrated's famed Swimsuit Issue. She was also featured in the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 issues.
Jessica was part of Elite Plus, a part of Elite Model Managment, in New York City. On October 14, 2009, she was featured on America's Next Top Model.