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Lunch & Learn: Jim MacLennan

Nguyen Nancy

Last Friday, we had a Lunch & Learn with James P. MacLennan. He is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at IDEX Corporation.

In our 60-minute session, we learned a ton! IDEX Corporation is an applied solutions business that sells a number of products to a wide variety of customers. A general overview was given about the products and services that IDEX provides however; the presentation was more geared towards smart and connected products. Internet of things (IoT) is rapidly growing and is an essential part to our society’s daily activities. Mr. MacLennan explained that there are three main segments, including fluid metering technologies, health and science technology, and diversified technology. He managed to employ a real life example of some of the products used in these segments by creating a mini prototype that fit in an Altoids container!

My Week in ESTEEM: September 19 - 23

Saikali Roy

What a week!

After what seemed like a very short weekend, it was back to classes on Monday. Our Monday marketing class has been very interesting lately. Coming from a science-heavy background, I never realized how companies sell and promote their brand. Being able to have someone as experienced as Professor Michael Kitz teach us the fundamentals of technical marketing is a blessing. It’s particularly curious to see how fellow classmates react when another class member heavily critiques a brand they love (side note, some people really despise Nike).

Leaving the Building with ESTEEM

Rather than staying on campus and spending another 500 hours on SolidWorks or other homework, our Thursday evening consisted of a handful of activities that, in the words of Sunny, “got us out of the building.” 

Our first stop was at South Bend’s Police Department.  Here, we spent time with Santiago Garces, Chief Officer of Innovation of the City of South Bend, learning about the inner workings of the city of South Bend.  More specifically, we learned how data about the residents, finances, and other utilities help decision makers work to keep this city safe, enjoyable, and prosperous.  However, there is a lot of data that a city gathers and has to keep track of, so that’s where we come in.  Our ESTEEM class will be working with the city of South Bend’s financial data in Professor Lewandowski’s data analytics class to try and find patterns, anomalies, or other unique information that can help South Bend be more efficient.…

From the College of the Holy Cross to ESTEEM

Kenney Jack

At the College of the Holy Cross, a 2,900-student Jesuit institution in Worcester, Mass., Jack Kenney earned degrees in both chemistry and economics while playing hockey and serving as a social leader. He was ready for the demands of the first semester at ESTEEM.

“I think that experience of being able to contribute to campus life in a big way athletically, academically, and socially prepared me for ESTEEM,” Kenney says. “It had this distinct sense of community that Notre Dame has too. Being able to contribute to that community prepared me to do so on a larger stage. I think one of the key benefits of the ESTEEM program is the fact that they throw a lot at you. They throw a lot at everybody. It’s a good opportunity to learn how to deal with a lot on our plate.”…

Lunch & Learn: Jim Hunt

Jim Hunt came to talk with the ESTEEM class on Friday, September 16th. He discussed the current environment of investing in startups from an Angel Investor point of view, a concept I had little knowledge of prior to the session and which led to some interesting discussion post-talk as we sat around with our Chipotle burritos.



My Week in ESTEEM: September 12 - 16

Laston David

Following our first home football weekend and Irish victory over Nevada, it was back to the grind as the first major thesis deadline loomed. Thankfully, Sunny was kind enough to change the deadline from Saturday at midnight to Monday at midnight. Procrastination still ran rampant throughout our group, and Sunday and Monday made for some late nights trying to put the final touches on our first draft of Chapter 1 and 2. A wonderful pep talk from David on Monday night assured us that everything is going to be okay and that our class needs to stop stressing out about grades (easier said than done). This made us all feel a bit more confident in turning in our thesis drafts that evening, but nervous nonetheless.…

ESTEEM Site Visit: Better World Books

This week we visited Better World Books headquarters which is located just a few miles away from Notre Dame. This visit is an ESTEEM tradition because the Program's director, David Murphy, served as the President and CEO until 2011 and was a key factor in the company’s successful launch.



Faculty Spotlight: Lawrence Greenspun

Just before they graduate, ESTEEM students get an in-depth look at leadership and decide what kind of leader they want to be. Lawrence Greenspun, an Adjunct Assistant Professional Specialist teaches a one-credit course on Leadership that includes theories, profiles, Harvard Business School cases a survey of literature from the field of effective leadership, and in-person examples to provide material for students to define their own leadership strategies.…

University Research Project: Addressing Social Anxiety in Autistic Children

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty with social interactions. Research has shown that their social behavior can improve when they are exposed to pleasurable social engagements on a consistent basis. Much research still needs to be done in order to measure effective intervention. Not only is the wellbeing of the child affected due to limited and/or stressful social interactions, there is also sufficient impact on the mental wellbeing of parents with an autistic child as they often recognize their child’s restricted personal connection with others and perceived social limitations.…

My Week in ESTEEM: September 5 - 9

Hickey Zachary

After a disheartening result against UT, work in ESTEEM began again in earnest. While Consulting week had come and gone, career week had us suited from the get go. Starting off the week with Prof. Kitz and learning about the inner workings of the marketing world, refreshing our knowledge of consulting frameworks, and realising the existence of traumatic 'dog-o-matic' washing machines, all augured well for an interesting few days.…

Alumni Spotlight: Annie Kotz

When Annie Kotz was taking her first accounting course in ESTEEM, she wondered, like many math students, how this would help her in the future. Now she does end-of-month accounting for the startup where she works in Houston.


When a colleague at PROS left to start Sycamore Life Sciences, a lab supplies distributor, Kotz became the first employee, starting with multiple responsibilities and specializing in marketing strategy as the company has grown. “We’re really focused on e-commerce,” she says. “We’re trying to figure out how to get into that market.”When she graduated, Kotz went to work for PROS, a decades-old software company in Houston that had started in airline revenue management software and expanded into pricing optimization software for manufacturers and distributors. She worked for about two years as an implementation consultant for medical device manufacturing companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Zimmer, then two more years in product management with development teams, sales teams, and strategic innovation teams to ensure the sustained sales of established products as well as the introduction of new products for large companies with large product portfolios.Kotz, who earned a science-business degree at Notre Dame and joined ESTEEM in 2011, worked as a marketing intern for F Cubed in Innovation Park while she was developing her capstone thesis on a microfluidic testing platform with Professor Hsueh-Chia Chang of the Department of Chemical Engineering. “It was a great experience,” she says. “I had classes at Innovation Park, so I would just walk across the hall and work there too.”…

Announcing the New Venture Founders Program

I’m really excited to introduce the Venture Founders Program, a brand new partnership between the University of Notre Dame's ESTEEM Program and enFocus of South Bend.

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Stemming from the extensive experience with young, aspiring entrepreneurs of the Program partners, the Program is built on the belief that talented people will start impactful ventures in South Bend if:…