Between her studies, three internships and her extracurricular involvement with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Maimouna Mbacke ’20 has found a way to combine all her passions to work toward becoming an innovative entrepreneur.
Maimouna initially heard about Iona from a family friend while visiting Senegal. After researching the School of Business and hearing about the extensive alumni network, Maimouna visited campus and fell in love with Iona. She is currently studying marketing and plans on minoring in entrepreneurship. On campus, Maimouna is the vice president of the Model United Nations team. She is also the vice president of Engagement and Communication for Iona College’s Entrepreneurs Organization and holds a position on the student advisory board for the LaPenta School of Business. She also writes for the “Ionavation” blog and hosts the “Ionavation” podcast.
Maimouna currently holds three internships. On campus, she interns at the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation where she is able to see her "ideas come to life. It is such a motivating and nurturing environment, and it has helped with identifying and learning how to leverage my skills,” said Maimouna. She also interns at Majestyk Apps and Madison Allied LLC. This summer she is looking forward to her dream internship with Ralph Lauren’s Marketing Department in New York City.
In addition to her internship, Maimouna recently traveled to Europe, where she conducted research for Dr. Rasheda L. Weaver on the topic of social enterprises. She presented that research at the 2019 EMES Conference in London, UK this past June. Last year, she participated in the European Innovation Academy held in Turin, Italy, where she brought her startup idea Generation Access, which received a top team award out of 360 participants.
When asked what advice Maimouna would offer prospective Iona students, she stated, “There is no such thing as being too active. Take every opportunity and make the absolute most out of it. Talk to your professors and faculty. Get to know them and tell them about your passions and interests – they are here to help you succeed. I can’t stress enough the importance of being active on and off campus and attending as many events as possible because being at the right place at the right time can absolutely change your life.”