Founder of HigherU Dominic Williams Speaks on Creating Leaders and Bridging the Employment Gap for Aspiring STEM Students

Founder of HigherU Dominic Williams Speaks on Creating Leaders and Bridging the Employment Gap for Aspiring STEM Students

Though we haven’t exactly hit all of the lofty predictions science enthusiasts showcased during the World Expos of yesteryear, the world we live in now is truly one of wonder. New technology is constantly and rapidly emerging, which has led to never before seen breakthroughs and has changed the way we conduct our day-to-day lives. These discoveries, implementations, and breakthroughs have inspired new generations to pursue career paths that would further these life-changing impacts.

One facet of technology that has taken the world by storm and inspired a new round of innovators is AI. In recent years, this tool has expanded its potential exponentially and has been utilized throughout hundreds of niches and industries to improve the lives of those who use it. Dominic Williams, a NYU CS Graduate with a decade of software engineering experience, is one such innovator who has fashioned AI into a tool that would streamline the learning experience for STEM students and pave a path of success for those looking to join the workforce.

His efforts helped lead to the creation of HigherU, a platform focusing on interview preparation to bridge the divide between academic learning and real-world tech demands. We sat down with Dominic to learn more about his vision and the opportunities HigherU offers.

TechBullion: Thanks for joining us today, Dominic! To kick things off, could you tell us about the inspiration behind HigherU?

Dominic Williams: Certainly. Having been both an educator and interviewer myself, I noticed the disparity between what universities taught and what tech interviews actually required. HigherU was born out of the need to align academic prowess with industry needs. Universities excel in providing courses; however, there’s rarely enough follow through to get students into a working headspace. Our aim at HigherU is to fill the void with post-course completion. By centering on interview prep, we ensure students can successfully transition from academic settings to real-world tech environments.

How has HigherU integrated AI into its services, and how has this transformed the learning experience for users?

Dominic: We’ve created a feature called the SmartTA, which provides students with personalized, 24/7 support. It guides them through complex issues and ensures that they’re actually understanding the concepts they’re being taught rather than just memorizing them. By being able to put what they learn into practice, students are able to build a relationship with the material they’re learning, which then helps improve their recall abilities and builds their confidence.

Another standout feature is HigherU’s “Readiness Score.” Could you shed some light on that?

Dominic: Absolutely. The Readiness Score is a two-pronged effort that aids both students and potential employers. For students, this score gives them a comprehensive overview of how ready they are for tech interviews. They can also compare these scores to those of candidates that have already been accepted at top tier companies, which gives them a realistic benchmark to aim for.

And for companies, this is a game-changer. They can access our portal to discover pre-vetted candidates with proven readiness scores. This helps streamline the recruitment process and ensures that companies are investing their time and resources in interviewing candidates who are truly prepared.

What is something you’re hoping that students and universities gain from using your platform?

Dominic: Confidence. From all angles, we want to make sure that students and universities feel more confident. We want to help universities offer a more robust educational experience and offer courses that allow students to learn and apply practical skills that they’ll use in the real world. And students will walk away with a renewed sense of self. We want them to feel prepared and confident that they’ll just be able to act on what they know without having to think too hard about actually doing it.

And again, with our partnered companies, we want to provide them with such a rich roster of potential clients that they’re almost overwhelmed by choice, haha. HigherU’s ultimate goal is to paint an entirely new landscape of future leaders and entrepreneurs. We have a “from day one” approach that ensures everyone, from universities to students to companies, is getting the best version of what we have to provide.

Lastly, where do you envision HigherU in the next five years?

Dominic: We’re on a mission to revolutionize interview preparation. We’re taking the necessary steps to fulfill our goal of streamlining the path between academia and the tech industry. In five years, I see HigherU being the go-to platform for students worldwide, assisting universities in enhancing placement rates, and aiding employers in streamlining recruitment. As the tech world evolves, I’ve no doubt that HigherU will play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of professionals.

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