ESTEEM Spring Break Silicon Valley Trek 2017

Author: Dustin Mix

The ESTEEM Graduate Program is offering a unique spring break opportunity for junior STEM and Design majors! Every year, the ESTEEM Program takes all of its students to Silicon Valley for spring break, immersing them in one of the most innovative places in the world. Students tour start-ups and multi-billion dollar companies, have a chance to shadow a person/team at a company or venture capital firm for a day, and have multiple opportunities to network with venture capitalists, Notre Dame alumni, and others in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurship ecosystem. Past tours have included Uber, Google, Intersect ENT, Zeltiq, Lighting Motorcycle, IDEO, and the at Stanford.

This year, ESTEEM is opening up this opportunity to eight juniors coming from either STEM or design majors. The trip will allow these students to experience everything the ESTEEM students experience, with the added benefit of learning from current students about the ESTEEM Program as an option after graduation. This opportunity is especially relevant for students who are curious about entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. The trip is fully funded, including airfare, lodging, and meals. The trip begins with dinner at 5:00pm Sunday, March 12 in San Francisco and ends at 12:00pm on Friday, March 17. This allows students free time to travel to see family, enjoy San Francisco on their own, or travel back to campus early.

Due to the limited space, applications will be accepted from interested students. The application is fairly straightforward:

  • Submit a one-pager (8.5” x 11”, PDF) and a one-minute video answering the following questions:

    • What is your interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology?

    • Why do you think this trip is a great opportunity for you?

    • What will you take away from the experience? What will you add to the experience?

  • Feel free to be creative with the application, i.e., the one-pager does not necessarily have to be an essay, although it certainly can be. The one-minute video should not be highly produced – a selfie video from an iPhone is more than acceptable!

  • Use the one-pager and the one-minute video to tell your story – explain to us how this trip would benefit you, as well as what you will add to it.

  • Applications are due January 26, 2017, and can be submitted at One-pagers should be submitted in PDF format and videos in a standard video file format.

  • Decisions will be announced January 31, 2017, and written commitment will be required from selected students by February 3, 2017.

Contact Dustin Mix at with any questions.

About the ESTEEM Graduate Program

The ESTEEM Graduate Program is an 11-month master of science degree program at the University of Notre Dame that equips students from technical backgrounds with the skills and experience to launch new businesses, become innovators within large corporations, and be leaders of dynamic, innovative teams. Over the course of a year, students are immersed in an entrepreneurial sandbox, where they get their hands dirty with entrepreneurship and innovation through a cutting-edge curriculum, a capstone commercialization thesis for an emerging technology, and outstanding out-of-the-classroom experiences.

ESTEEM emphasizes the action of entrepreneurship, not just the study of it, by letting students get their hands dirty with entrepreneurship in one of the most realistic entrepreneurial sandboxes in higher education. By the time they graduate, due to the rigorous academic experience, exposure to real-life business ventures, and exceptional mentorship, ESTEEM students find their technical skills impactful and marketable in a rapidly changing economy. Students are launched into career tracks outside of narrow technical roles, taking positions of leadership at the intersection of business and innovation.