Cultural Shift: CCSNH Bridges the Gap for Germán Guzmán Who Moved From Colombia to New Hampshire

“NHTI gave me the foundation and knowledge … which put me on a path to succeed in life.”

As a native of Colombia, Germán Guzmán wasn’t sure how he would fit in with the other students at NHTI-Concord’s Community College. He was older, over 20 when he enrolled, and English was his second language. But Germán found a way to connect with his classmates through the universal medium of sports. “Everyone plays soccer,” he says with his ready laugh.

Now a resident of Hudson, he came to America as a young adult. His mother was already here, living in Dunbarton, and he joined her in 2001. Germán admits that, at first, he felt some culture shock. “The Latin American countries are not like New England, and especially not like New Hampshire,” he says. The culture shock was compounded by the fact that he spoke very little English. “I could write in English, but my listening and speaking needed to develop,” he recalls.

Germán took advantage of the resources available, studying English as a Second Language at Manchester Community College and mathematics at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester.  But it was at NHTI-Concord’s Community College that he found his academic home.

Since high school, he always had a strong interest in computers and was inspired by his mother who earned a master’s degree in Computer Engineering in their native Colombia. The inspiration led to his decision to enroll in the computer program at NHTI.

The faculty and staff at NHTI were extremely friendly and worked to help Germán bridge languages and cultures. Germán graduated from his two-year program in May 2004, with an associate of science degree in Computer Information Systems. He transferred most of his NHTI credits to Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he shifted his studies to Business Administration with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics.

Through it all, Germán relied on the solid foundation he received at NHTI. In his junior year at Bryant, he received a full-time paid summer internship at Liberty Mutual using his NHTI skills in programming to work in the systems underwriting department.

Germán graduated from Bryant in May 2008 with a bachelor’s in Business Administration. But he wasn’t done learning, and he enrolled in the Harvard Extension School, receiving a graduate certificate in Web Technologies in December 2017 and his master’s in Information Management Systems in May 2021.

After being in New Hampshire for over 20 years, Germán is now comfortable in his adopted country and his profession. He credits the Community College System of New Hampshire with helping him find his place, become part of his community, and catapult his career.

Germán currently lives in Hudson and is employed at Mass General Brigham Hospital, where he is a solutions architect. He has to work closely with various business and engineering teams to identify and implement solutions that support patient experience and virtual care goals.

He strongly recommends NHTI to anyone graduating from high school and anyone seeking a new life in America, including his countrymen from Colombia. NHTI helped set him up for success at Harvard and one of the world’s top hospitals.

“NHTI gave me the foundation and knowledge for my career and to continue my education which put me on a path to succeed in life.”

At 40 years old, he’s still not done learning and is curious about the possibility of attending law school.

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