Anastasiia didn’t want to leave her home of Odesa, Ukraine, but as the invasion intensified, she found she had no choice. Arriving in Boston in the summer of 2023 with her husband, Anastasiia turned to the International Institute of New England for basic services and employment support. IINE’s Employment Team helped her make the most of her new beginning by pursuing her dream career. Anstasiia shared her story in her own words.
My name is Anastasiia Kadzevych and I’m from Ukraine. Before the war started I lived happily in my native city – Odesa. Since my teen years, I was really fond of fashion. While graduating from the Odesa National University, I started to build my true bond with fashion, and finally, when I got my master’s degree in economics I realized that my true passion is fashion and that I want to make it my job.
I started to build my fashion career by becoming a fashion influencer, starting a fashion blog on Instagram in 2015. Then I also started working with different Ukrainian fashion brands, as a Brand Manager, as a Marketing Team Lead, as a Stylist and even as a Designer.
I can also tell you that living in the USA was my childhood dream. All those 90’s Christmas movies I watched stuck deeply in the back of my mind.
The day the war started, I was devastated, but I didn’t want to leave. I was born in Ukraine and lived there all my life. I was really scared but I stayed. After a year passed by, I lost my job, a lot of my friends left, I saw the bombing of my hometown with my own eyes, and I spent lots of cold winter nights without any facilities that a person needs in 2023—without electricity, water, internet, mobile data, and heat. So I decided that it was time to leave. It was time to go where my heart wanted, to have the possibility to live peacefully, to work and just to live my own life knowing I’m safe and knowing that I can help my parents.
Unfortunately, such sad circumstances brought me here. But I’m forever grateful for such an opportunity to restart my life here, to live in peace, to have a possibility to work, to support my family and just to live my life fully.
Thanks to the International Institute of New England, I have a possibility to work and grow professionally in my favorite industry: fashion.
IINE helped me a lot – to make my CV perfect and to score an interview. My Employment Specialist was always in touch, so I could easily ask any questions. She connected me with the Store Manager of Gucci. That’s such a dream come true. Being the brand’s fan, knowing all the history behind the products, I couldn’t even imagine that one day I could be part of the Gucci team.
I had four series of interviews during two months, and finally, I got the job as a Team Coordinator. It’s part-time for now, but there is a huge opportunity for growth.
I’ve just started my job, and I already really like it. I learn something new every day, I meet lots of interesting people, and I can’t wait to learn more, to do more, to grow professionally.
I’m eternally grateful for the help.
We are proud to have welcomed, resettled, and supported refugees in the New England region for over 100 years. Learn more about our refugee resettlement work here.