Job Skills Accelerator Equips Students for Career Success

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On June 6, Career Services concluded its second annual Job Skills Accelerator (JSA) program: a four-week immersion designed to equip students with in-demand skills through alumni partnerships, microcredential courses, and professional workshops.   

The JSA program is structured to introduce students to a typical work-week schedule, running 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. During those hours, students engage in mini-courses on leadership, financial wellness, and communicating for work. They also enjoy virtual job-shadow experiences with Ƶ graduates working within their desired career fields. 

“The magic happens when students and alumni connect over these Zoom calls,” says Anne Clauss, the JSA 2024 program director. “Pretty quickly, students start to see how much they have in common with alumni who sat in their seats just a few years or decades ago.” 

Alongside their alumni partnerships, students in the JSA program each complete a microcredential course, with options including the Foundations of Real Estate, and Harvard Business School’s Digital Marketing Strategy. Mina Zaman ’26, who chose an Oracle Structured Query Language course, plans to apply her knowledge to a career in data analytics. Her microinternships with Elizabeth Ellis ’10 of Facebook and Michael Barber ’14 of CAE developed her skills in the field and revealed a deeper truth:

“Whichever career you choose, you have to find meaning in it,” she says. “I want to work in a field that aligns with my identity as an immigrant. For so long, I felt like I was running away from that identity. But this program put everything into place for me.” 

Coming out of the program, Zaman now aspires to work in data analytics in the nonprofit sector. “Through JSA, I feel like I grew as a person and a student,” she says.

To share their newfound sense of self-awareness and growth with their peers, JSA participants delivered a 10-minute oral presentation — their capstone project. Modeled after Dartmouth’s Tuck Business Bridge capstone, the project guided students through a process of reflection and action planning to ensure a lasting impact. 

“Coming into JSA, I knew I wanted to build my communication skills,” says Miles Salinas ’26, who developed his interests in marketing and sales throughout the program. “Now, I would say communication is a strength of mine — I couldn’t have said that a month ago.”

The JSA program was made possible by support from the Alan Greene ’51 Investment Studies Program and the Robert A. Fox ’59 Management and Leadership Skills Program.