Profile: New College & Career Center adviser, Nazzie Moeinazad

College advisement in a post-pandemic world


Ayush Natarajan and Neel Vats

The College & Career Center got a new face after the return to in-person instruction. Nazzie Moeinazad has assumed the position of part-time career counselor after the retirement of Paula Friedman from OPHS last June. As an adviser, she’s responsible for career-oriented activities like internships and job-shadowing.

“I have a Masters Degree in Counseling and Guidance from California Lutheran University and have been an educator for 23 years, 17 of which I have been working at Las Virgenes Unified School District as a teacher,” Moeinazad said. 

The new adviser also has experience in the field of college and career counseling. 

“I worked at Moorpark College as a career counselor, so I wanted to pursue that into a larger student population,” Moeinazad said.

As many students, particularly juniors and seniors, return to the center, they bring questions after a year and a half of distance learning.

“Most of the questions students have had so far are about what classes they have to take, internships, job-shadowing, volunteer hours and jobs. That’s what I’m helping to address with Mrs. Prince,” Moeinazad said.

Last year’s pandemic affected most aspects of school life, the center included. Career opportunities and her personal teaching career had to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

“Some companies closed because they couldn’t keep their work virtua,” Moeinazad said.  “ I was teaching, and it was totally different from being in-person. I had to change my lesson plan, a lot of the work for my [special education] students – everything. It wasn’t easy.”

Students who may know what the College & Career Center is but not how to get involved comprise a growing number of the school population. To such people, Moeinazad offers some advice.

“I always say to be proactive and start early. A lot of students don’t know what they want to do, so,in my opinion, doing various job-shadowing opportunities and internships, especially for those in 10th and 11th grade, are important to see what options are available. The most important thing is to see what opportunities are there and to be proactive and not wait until senior year to decide what you want to do,” Moeinazad said. 

Collaborating with Mrs. Prince, Moeinazad has supplied additional student resources. Some of the newer changes following the return to school include a new website for the center with accessible information on career activities like community service.

“If you go on [the site], you can see all the information we put out along with e-news,” Moeinazad said.

Outside of the center, Moeinazad enjoys being with her friends, family, and doing other activities she couldn’t during last year’s pandemic.

“I like to spend time with my family,” Moeinazad said.“Just being with my family and going out — my friends and I go for a monthly dinner to just catch up and that was one of the hardest things last year. I like to take walks too.” 

As traffic steadily increases to the center and its various events, Moeinazad sends a message to those few who may be intimidated or confused by it.

“I’d like every student to stop by, sometimes they may not even have any questions just come and say ‘hi.’ Mrs. Prince and I are always welcoming of students, our door is always open. I’d love to meet everybody. Just come in and feel free to ask any questions, we’re here to help,” Moeinazad said.