Alumni Spotlight: Michael T. Dean

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Michael Dean, a 2011 graduate of the Esteem Program at Notre Dame recently took some time to share first hand his experiences and thoughts on the Esteem Program and how he found it to be the perfect fit for him and his career following graduation.

“I graduated from Notre Dame in 2010 with a B.S. degree in Science Business.  After various experiences during both my junior and senior years, I decided that I really wanted to go into a career focused on the commercialization of novel scientific discoveries.  To my knowledge and satisfaction upon its conclusion, ESTEEM could adequately prepare me for this endeavor.  At the onset of the year, I did not know what to expect of this new program but was greatly pleased with the many concepts and skills I acquired.


Although the science business degree at Notre Dame gave me a firm understanding of the combination of science and business, I felt that I was missing some crucial elements that prevented me from truly marketing myself to companies that would satisfy my career aspirations. ESTEEM not only enabled me to expand upon what I had already learned, but opened my mind to a variety of other forms of knowledge that greatly increased my awareness of the power and complexity of the entrepreneurial commercialization of cutting edge technology. The program itself was highly focused on innovation and “thinking outside of the box”, which is paramount to success in today’s volatile business environment. I would characterize it as very Montessori “self learning” rather than one of traditional structure requiring copious amounts of graded assignments and deadlines . In this way, ESTEEM did not necessarily require me to complete massive amounts of work aimed to teach me a variety of subjects that I would never encounter. Rather, the program gifted me with a number of concepts and many additional opportunities and tools to greatly enhance my skills and knowledge base in areas that I aspired. The program offered many additional lectures, enabled me to meet and converse with many learned and successful individuals, and travel to conferences.

A prime example of this “self learning” I achieved was the thesis project. My ESTEEM project which was under the direction of faculty mentor Professor Richard E. Taylor, was the establishment of an online chemical “clearing house” that would facilitate the sale of novel chemicals produced in academic laboratories that could then be used by other researchers for a variety of purposes. The nature of the project was not something that could be completed by simply following a template. It greatly challenged me to expand my knowledge base and understanding of the area. I was required to interview many intellectuals at Notre Dame, in the South Bend community, and elsewhere to gain a firm grasp of the subject matter. The project required me to not only use my chemistry skills, but to apply it in conjunction with those of accounting, marketing, finance, supply chain management, strategy, and law. In essence, it gave me a complete understanding of the entrepreneurial commercialization process of cutting edge technology.

Now that I have completed my degree, I am a marketing and sales associate for the startup biotechnology company Arteriocyte, Inc in Cleveland, OH. The company has developed a unique product designed to grow bone marrow derived adult stem cells (hematopoietic stem cells) outside of the body. These cells can then be used in the treatment of a variety of clinical ailments, such as bone marrow transplants and treating ischemia patients. This opportunity would not have been possible without the concepts and skills that I learned in ESTEEM.

Overall, I believe that ESTEEM has been an overwhelmingly positive learning experience that was instrumental in jump starting my career. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in using their science and technical backgrounds to advance scientific concepts to commercialization.”

If anyone is interested in asking me additional questions, please feel free to email me at