Riana Khan ’22
"At Iona, I feel like I am constantly achieving my full potential. I chose Marketing because it challenged me, and through the Hynes Institute, I have found my new passion. Iona has enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and get involved."
Major: Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Long Island
High School: Saint Mary's High School Manhasset, N.Y.
Why did you choose Iona?
I chose Iona on my Accepted Students Day. It's the day I was sold! Walking through Iona’s beautiful campus and interacting with students and staff was inspiring. I anticipated new experiences and I knew I would find my home at Iona. I felt I could excel in my major and the opportunities that I would have by attending Iona would assist me in my career choices.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose Marketing because it challenged me. I reveled in it when I took my first class. I am motivated by the idea of creating and promoting. Through my classes I have done a lot of exercises where I've had to identify consumers, anticipate and satisfy a customer’s needs and wants and I am thrilled to pursue a career in marketing. I am also studying entrepreneurship which is far from what I originally thought I wanted to do but through the Hynes Institute I have found my new passion. I love the entrepreneurial mindset that I am gaining through the classes I am taking. With this mindset I can leverage my skills and resources and apply them to everyday life.
What have you accomplished at Iona that you are most proud of? Tell us about winning the Social Impact Award in the Iona Innovation Challenge! Also tell us about your experience as a University Innovation Fellow!
At Iona I feel like I am constantly achieving my full potential. Winning the Social Impact Award in the Iona Innovation Challenge (IIC) was a great accomplishment for me. Through competing, I was able to connect with many students and mentors who helped me refine and perfect my business idea. Participating expanded my understanding of what it means and what it takes to be an entrepreneur of color, which was also tied directly to the idea I worked on. It is part of my life mission to help build the mindset of other entrepreneurs of color, like the Hynes Institute has helped me. As a University Innovation Fellow, myself and two other Iona Students underwent a six-week design thinking process where we identified gaps on campus. I enjoyed working with my peers as it enhanced our entrepreneurial mindset and helped us become changemakers on campus. We came up with an idea to ultimately connect our community, which will be launching this upcoming year.
Tell us about something you learned (in or out of the classroom) that really surprised or excited you.
Something that I learned in the classroom that really excites me is from taking the intro to entrepreneurship course. Through this course I met so many students with great ideas. It was exciting to hear students' passions for what they wanted to create and how our course gave us the tools and resources we needed to build our businesses. It's exciting and motivating to see those around me wanting to create positive change in our world.
Tell us something you learned about yourself since coming to Iona.
Something I learned about myself since coming to Iona is how driven and passionate I am. I used to be shy in most scenarios. Through Iona I was able to step out of my comfort zone, get involved, and make new friends. It has been so rewarding. I find often, nowadays, my drive and passion lead the way. I know I am capable of so much and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
Tell us about your internship.
My internship with the Hynes Institute has been my best experience on campus. I fell in love with everything the Hynes Institute had to offer since my first semester freshman year. My second semester I applied and was hired to join the team as the newest entrepreneurial intern. I have learned so much from the Hynes Institute team– I've made meaningful connections and have been exposed to so many opportunities. Every day is different and that's something I truly enjoy. I help with the marketing, including creating content for social media, and photograph and capture all the awesomeness that happens at the Institute.
Did you belong to any clubs/teams? Tell us a little about that experience.
I am the Chief Photo Editor of our school newspaper, The Ionian, where I help capture some of our events on campus. I am also the President of CEO Club, which is our entrepreneurship club on campus. The e-board and I are leading the next generations of innovators, game-changers and go-getters.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to use the entrepreneurial mindset I have gained through my time at Iona to create positive change in the communities around me and globally. I hope to have my own business and through this share my passions, talents and skills with others.
Any advice to prospective students?
My advice to prospective students is to get involved. My most meaningful memories have been when I pushed myself to connect with others. I have made life-long friendships that I will cherish forever. I also recommend leveraging your resources on campus. There are plenty of opportunities around you, you just have to be willing to take the chance.