Double Major and Internship Experience Allows Iona University Student to Amplify Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises
Computer science and entrepreneurial leadership major Isaiah Williams ’23 created a micro-site for MWBEs during internship with the City of Mount Vernon Economic Development Department
A double major in computer science and entrepreneurial leadership, Iona University senior Isaiah Williams ’23, used lessons learned in the classroom to land an internship with the City of Mount Vernon Economic Development Department. There, he developed a dedicated micro-site to help improve outcomes for Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).
“You would think that since computer science and entrepreneurship are two totally different industries, that there would be no correlation,” Williams said. “However, the knowledge I’ve learned from both has guided me through my career. I look at computer science problems as a prototype design that needs to be implemented. Using design thinking from my entrepreneurship classes, I can map out how I will solve the problem.”
The internship stemmed from students in Iona’s Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation partnering with the City of Mount Vernon to help MWBEs improve access to government contracts. After more than two months of fact finding and idea refinement, they presented their proposals to a packed house at the Hynes Institute. Williams had the idea to develop a dedicated micro-site to help improve outcomes for business owners, and landed an internship to build it.
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.