Refugee attends GTCC to re-establish her life, career in the U.S.

Published on: February 13, 2024
Azadeh Hazemi on the job at Masterbrand
Azadeh Hazemi was able to settle into a new career with GTCC's help after fleeing from Iran and re-establishing her life in the U.S.


When Azadeh Hazemi came to the United States as a refugee from Iran, she had no idea what her life was going to look like. Having earned her bachelor’s degree in Iran, Hazemi wasn’t able to get a job like the one she had before leaving her home country.

After four years of living in the U.S. and working a lower-wage job, Hazemi was introduced to Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC). The World Relief organization, the same organization that helped her resettle in the U.S., introduced her to the college and encouraged her to consider furthering her education.

After learning about the multitude of programs the college offered, Hazemi enrolled in the supply chain management program. GTCC's program arms students with knowledge and skills necessary to manage the flow of goods, data, and finances from their creation to the final destination. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, supply chain management jobs are projected by grow 30-percent from 2020 to 2030.

“Supply chain management is close to what I did in Iran, and it’s an in-demand job,” said Hazemi, explaining why she chose to pursue her associate degree in the field. “When I was working my last job, I saw how valuable of a degree it is.”

Through GTCC, Hazemi was also able to take English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses to help her learn the language. Without the opportunities GTCC gave her, Hazemi explained, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

“GTCC gave me a lot of confidence because it showed me my future. I am completely alone in America, so it’s scary sometimes to see how alone I am here,” said Hazemi. “And then, GTCC helped me find myself, my abilities, and gave me a lot of confidence to talk to people and learn how to communicate with them.”

Before graduating from GTCC in December of 2022, Hazemi was able to find a job as a shipping clerk with the help of one of her instructors. Everything she needed to know, said Hazemi, she learned in her supply chain management courses. After nine months in that position, she was promoted to the schedule planner position, her current position.

Hazemi is also currently enrolled in an online bachelor’s degree program at UNC Greensboro. She was unsure of whether she could attend another program, having lacked confidence due to her age and English-speaking abilities, but her GTCC instructors encouraged her to continue her education.

As a nontraditional, international student, Hazemi credits GTCC with changing her life.

“GTCC was one of the biggest and most important decisions in my life. I appreciate every organization that can help refugees and people who are not able to find resources on their own."

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