This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that Hartford entrepreneurs have for their work and this city. It examines how entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and provides examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in Hartford.

In this edition, we interviewed Jessica Howard of American Cultural Immersion, LLC / Global Immersion, Inc.

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your business partners.

I’m the president and founder of both American Cultural Immersion, LLC and Global Immersion, Inc. My passion for helping non-native English speakers and underserved populations succeed in business, language and communication started during my graduate years at John Hopkins University. It was then that I recognized the need for accent reduction, ESL, and overall cultural training in the international community. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Washington University, a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling with a focus in cross cultural counseling from John Hopkins University and a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate from Georgetown University. I’m well versed in teaching English, Accent Reduction, Cultural Immersion, Career Coaching and Public Speaking. I have over 10 years of experience working in a wide variety of situations and helping students reach their full potential so that they can succeed in business and cultural situations.

2. Why did you decide to be based in Hartford?

Hartford has all of the amenities of a large city, while still maintaining the charm of a small New England town. Business in Hartford is on the rise and I wanted my company to be a part of that growth. Hartford also has a growing international community, making it a strong match for ACI services.

3. How do you think your work impacts the community and vice versa?

I’d like to think my work impacts the community because our services are changing people’s lives for the better. Many students come to us lacking confidence and self-esteem because they are ashamed of their accent. Our programs aim to help individuals communicate more effectively. When a person is empowered with confidence, their potential is limitless.

4. What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?

My advice to any aspiring entrepreneur who is hesitant is to just do it. If you are truly passionate about something, then work hard and be patient and things will eventually fall into place.

5. What’s it like being an entrepreneur in Hartford? What are the benefits, but also what are the difficulties and challenges?

There are many benefits of being an entrepreneur here, but the city’s amazing networking scene is definitely a plus.

6. What’s your vision for your business and personal development over the next five years?

I hope to grow as an overall company and to continue to provide the best accent reduction/ESL services in the Greater Hartford area.  

The following are links for American Cultural Immersion, LLC / Global Immersion, Inc. online: