Welcome back to "My Week in ESTEEM" where students reflect upon their experiences in our program. This week's blog is brought to us by Jack Nee, a Boston College graduate, who discusses his trip back to his alma mater, the Boston Shamrock 2015 Series and Chapter 3 of his Capstone thesis.
My roommate, Jon Freise, and I landed in Boston just as the first snowflakes of winter dusted the grounds of hallowed Notre Dame. Upon connecting to the elixir that runs the millennial generation, Wi-Fi, I was greeted by Snapchats of jubilation from my fool hearty friends of South Bend (all those who come from warm weather). Those much wiser and experienced in the war on winter bunkered down amongst their covers for thesis and Netflix sessions (shout out to Jimmy). For although this past week was filled with golden crisped turkey and thanks amongst family, Jon and I first had to make a stop at our alma mater Boston College.
We arrived a full week before Thanksgiving with one mission at hand, to show the BC community that although our former rival, Notre Dame and specifically ESTEEM have provided skills and opened doors that few other graduate programs can. There were countless classroom introductions and many hours at our ESTEEM booth answering questions from eager undergraduates. Our recruiting trip culminated in an info session with our Director David Murphy that highlighted the benefits of the program. Mainly, if you want to view problems through an entrepreneurial lens and develop business acumen, while at the same time deepening your technical prowess, then the ESTEEM program is right for you!
Notre Dame football is lucky enough to play their home games in what is considered a cathedral of the college football world, Notre Dame Stadium. This past weekend, ND took their team and the spirit of South Bend to the equally relished and iconic Fenway Park. The Shamrock Series is an annual extravaganza in which ND plays what is considered a home game at a neutral location. It just happened that this year’s impartial field was located just four miles from their opponent Boston College. There were numerous events leading up to the much-anticipated bout including a drummer’s circle in Copley Square, a 5K through the streets of Boston, and a mass at the Cathedral. Jon and I, decked head to toe in our Boston College undergraduate garb, felt like a small rowboat overwhelmed on all sides by a great sea of ND blue and green. We cheered proudly as the Eagles put up a hard fought game against the Irish. But in the end, Notre Dame prevailed! Luckily for Jon and I, we had a foot in both camps.
As the weekend whittled away it was time to focus again on the omnipresent thesis. Chapter 3 meant researching intellectual property and the competitive landscape for our respective technologies. ESTEEM ensures that we take the appropriate classes during our journey through the thesis. Thus the information that we have gathered in our current law class can be easily applied to chapter 3. My thesis is centered on a drug discovery project for a potential treatment to Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. NPC is a rare lysosomal storage disease that affects roughly 500 individuals world wide, most of whom are children. My technical advisory has secured a patent for this potential drug and the competitive landscape is essentially barren since there is no treatment for NPC. Nevertheless, it still came to the eleventh hour before I finally pressed submit. The rest of the week consisted of an onslaught of gustatory delights, much needed rest, and a hiccup in the ND football season with a loss to Stanford. Nonetheless, it is back to work at ESTEEM with finals ominously looming in the near future. No rest for the weary!