Alumna speaks on entrepreneurial mindset



Winkler (left) directed a conversation with Vargas geared towards students minoring in entrepreneurship.

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation hosted “How to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Experience” as a part of their Fall 2019 Hynes Distinguished Speaker Series on Nov. 14 in Romita Auditorium.

The Distinguished Speaker, Tania Vargas, graduated from Iona in 1990 and then worked in the advertising field as a media planner for the first 15 years of her career. She then began a creative boutique agency and later transitioned into the fashion world where she became one of the co-founders of Goat-Milk Kidware, which makes organic cotton clothing for babies and kids.

The event was much different from the usual “E-Talks” that Hynes hosts. The series has an event like this one every semester and was purposely meant to feel different than their usual “E-Talks,” according to junior Enjay Brown, who is an intern at Hynes.

The event was held in a “fireside chat” style where program director, Dr. Christoph Winkler, asked Vargas questions that directly covered topics relevant to students minoring in entrepreneurship. The event closed with a question and answer segment.

Vargas discussed how working in a regular work environment prepared her to move forward in her new entrepreneurial career.

“When you work for other people and work in an organized environment, it is very structured, there are people above you and people below you,” Vargas said. “You learn what you are good at, what you are bad at, what you can improve upon and you learn what the structures of corporations are and how they work.”

After Vargas spoke about how her background led her to the decision to start her company, she moved on to the topic of risk in the entrepreneurial field.

“There came an opportunity for me to do something on my own where I did not have to follow the rules and went the other way, and it is always a risk,” Vargas said.

With the college’s theme of “50 Years of Woman at Iona,” Vargas was asked to be featured in the series.

“The business profession is filled with men in leadership roles and, while we commend male entrepreneurs as well, it seemed to be the perfect time to highlight a female entrepreneur who took her passions and decided to create a career for herself,” Brown said.

Vargas provided advice for students and Brown highlighted what he found to be most important for a career in entrepreneurship.

“Having a passion to hold on to has to the ability to ground students to an idea to strive for and makes the future seem less vague and bleak,” Brown said. “Every successful entrepreneur had a passion and used that passion to build their careers, despite any roadblocks that might have come along the way.”