Bianca Fox knew she wanted to be a doctor.
Moving from the small town of Shingle Springs, CA, about 40 miles outside of Sacarmento to Notre Dame, she began her undergrad pre-med courses and was hooked.
“I loved studying physiology,” she says. There was just one problem. The actual physiology, in practice, just didn’t sit well with her. Knowing she wanted a future in health care, and not one to be deterred, Fox’s solution to this little hangup was Notre Dame’s Science-Business track for her undergrad program, which she says is essentially “pre-med mixed with business school.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree, Fox joined the 2013-2014 session as an M.S. candidate with ESTEEM and the real work began.
After joining the ESTEEM program, Fox was presented with two excellent opportunities in the healthcare field.
First, her capstone thesis, the major project which students work on over the course of the session, focuses on work with the Notre Dame Rare Health Exchange.
The Rare Health Exchange (RHE), a collaborative effort of undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame, is designed to empower the rare disease patient community through personalized healthcare record management services and the aggregation of medical information in a secure database. RHE creates secure electronic copies and clinical summaries of patients’ medical records, establishes the natural histories and clinical outcomes for rare diseases, and helps connect patients with each other.
Talk about a prime opportunity in your preferred sector. Fox even mentioned that she has been asked if she would like to stay on and help commercialize the RHE after she graduates from ESTEEM.
In addition to this incredible real-world experience, she is also working as an intern for enFocus, the South Bend-based “brain gain” enterprise.
Started by Notre Dame’s ESTEEM program and South Bend business leaders, enFocus is essentially a group of management consultants -- but with a unique 70/30 split -- 30% of the group’s hours are spent working for the good of the community, and Fox is part that end of the enFocus mission. Her time with enFocus is spent working on a project studying maternal and perinatal outcomes for low-income families in the Southland area in order to improve community health systems.
“Knowing the work is being applied and is helping others is the best part,” Fox says. She also loves the small team atmosphere. “I’ve interned at a large company before,” she says, and much prefers enFocus. “At a small organization you can really see the impact of your work.”
The experience has provided Fox with an excellent foundation for a future in the healthcare field.
When asked what’s next for her, she replies candidly, “I honestly don’t know.” She knows she wants to continue her work in healthcare, but says it may take a few years to figure out where she wants to end up. Maybe a startup, maybe a larger player -- Fox is keeping her options open.
There’s no question that with Fox’s drive, talent and experience at ESTEEM she’ll be making an impact wherever she ends up.