“Midterm week” took on a new definition for me. Compared to my undergrad experience, when midterms generally entailed a series of exams, the ESTEEM midterm week was a bit different.
It opened with a traditional midterm exam in our Technical Marketing course, but the remainder of the week was centered on presentations and other assignments. For most of us, the primary focus was our thesis technology oral exams. After hours of practice and meticulously putting together our slide decks, it felt like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders to have these presentations done. Fortunately, ESTEEM has prepared us very well for presenting so at this point, it feels like second nature. Many of us were reminiscing about our “3 Minute Thesis” presentations we gave over the summer compared to our technology orals and how much more comfortable we now feel with public speaking.
We also gave presentations in our Data Analytics course on Wednesday to David Murphy, Professor Lewandowski, Don Ginnochio (the University Alliances Director at Notre Dame), and a few innovation employees from the City of South Bend. This was a unique opportunity in that for this project, we used SAP software to analyze data from the city. Having a hands-on experience utilizing data analytics software to work with real data gave us a chance to test our classroom knowledge in a practical and useful way.
The rest of the week consisted of other assignments such as a Launch Strategy product-market fit activity for our thesis projects as well as the first part of a marketing simulation project in which we work in teams to devise a marketing strategy for a product. And of course, like other weeks, it seemed that if we weren’t working on our thesis or coursework, there were plenty of job interviews to be had and events to attend. A highlight of ESTEEM is the incredible opportunities we have to network and learn outside of the classroom. This week included a dinner mixer with the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows at the Compton Ice Arena, a dinner with Silicon Valley Bank, and two speakers on Friday.
As this busy Midterm Week came to a close, we all eagerly geared up for the ESTEEM Tailgate on Saturday.
The event was organized by ESTEEM staff member Emily Tyson along with a team of 8 students who worked hard to provide a great experience for current and previous ESTEEM students, staff, and guests. As we chatted amongst ourselves, met former ESTEEMers, and enjoyed delicious barbeque with an appearance by DJ “Lumbajack” (our classmate Brendan Hughes), I was reminded of how special this program is. Alumni are eager to help current students and we are surrounded on a daily basis by an incredibly supportive staff and group of peers. Despite the loss to Stanford, the tailgate was a huge success and many of us current students were already planning our trips back to South Bend for the event next year.
As we move into Fall Break and a welcomed week of (some) rest, it provides us students a good opportunity to reflect on the semester thus far, all that we’ve learned both in and out of the classroom, and how we’ve grown as individuals and as a group. Hopefully the break will also give classmate Michael Sedor a chance to add to his already impressive 500+ hours of SolidWorks.
On to the second half of the Fall Semester (time please slow down!). Go Irish!