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Franchise owner, Jack in the Box, Inc.
University of Phoenix alumnus and recipient of the National Restaurant Association’s first-ever American Dream Award, Atour Eyvazian attributes his success to Jack in the Box and University of Phoenix for seeing potential in him.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my education,” says Eyvazian. “It gave me the boost I needed to help me achieve my goals. If you learn more, you become more - and then you have the power to do more.”
Eyvazian has vivid memories of the day he landed in America. Having escaped his war-torn country of Iran he barely spoke a word of English upon arrival.
He immediately moved in with his uncle and cousin who helped him get his first job as a janitor at a nearby Jack in the Box restaurant. The tuition reimbursement program at Jack in the Box helped Eyvazian enroll into the Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Administration program at University of Phoenix.
“Jack in the Box gave me a lot of flexibility that allowed me to go to school,” says Eyvazian. “And University of Phoenix allowed me to have a full-time job and a full-time life while going to school. It was time I needed to invest to achieve my goal. I have great work ethics, and if more people knew about his program, more would do it.”
Eyvazian worked hard and it slowly started paying off. He went from being a janitor to managing a Jack in the Box franchise, and in 1989 the company hired him as an Audit Inspector.
He graduated from University of Phoenix in 1998, but it wasn’t long before he missed school and the instructors who had helped him throughout his academic journey. It led him to return to the University to earn his MBA.
“My instructors taught about creating a business, like in the real world,” said Eyvazian. “Even after I graduated I called up one of my instructors and he gave me advice on business. I had instructors who cared, and this helped me tremendously.”
What was unique about University of Phoenix instructors was the technology they possess and their professional status, says Eyvazian. In his Business Law class, for example, his instructor, an attorney, taught the course, which gave the instruction more context.
In fact the law and accounting classes were his favorite courses because they aligned with Eyvazian’s goal of creating a corporation in the future, allowing him to directly benefit from what he learned in his coursework. At present Eyvazian owns 49 Jack in the Box franchises in the Houston area and has over 1000 employees working for him.
“I encourage all my employees to attend University of Phoenix,” he says. “A lot of my friends attend University of Phoenix because they would hear me talk about my classes, how much fun I had.”