We are a month into our final semester in ESTEEM and I have to say, it is both bittersweet and a whirlwind. Every day brings something new to learn, a different perspective, and another amazing memory. I am excited to give you a peak into what is life like here in South Bend.
I kicked off the weekend by presenting my research to the Robotics and Controls Lecture within the Mechanical and Aerospace Department at ND. My technical advisor, Dr. Jim Schmiedeler is heavily involved in Enlighten Mobility and has been a huge help in me moving forward with my project.
This weekend I also had the opportunity to attend the Sweetheart’s Ball for A Rosie Place for Children, a respite hospital for medically fragile children in South Bend. I have been interning with them since August through a partnership with ESTEEM. My time at ARP has been extremely fulfilling and I have loved being able to give back to a population that often gets overlooked in the medical community.
Every Monday starts with a team meeting with my capstone sponsor, Enlighten Mobility. Enlighten Mobility is a medical device start up founded by Marissa Koscielski (ESTEEM ’18) that wants to challenge the status quo of rehabilitation. My project specifically is looking into the integration of electrical stimulation into our existing gait trainer to give stroke survivors the rehabilitation they deserve.
The first time I came across Enlighten Mobility was during the McCloskey New Venture Competition in 2017 on my first visit to ESTEEM. Seeing the impact Enlighten Mobility had showed me what it really meant to fix things that matter, and I love coming full circle and being a part of the team that inspired me to join the program.
Monday afternoon, I spent going to my favorite local workout, Pure Barre and eventually ended back up at Innovation Park to finish up some work before my last class of the day, Launch Strategy.
My day started off with my technical elective, International Development in Practice. In this class I am able to learn about the world of development and aid and how we can use innovation and entrepreneurship to better the world around us. As part of the class, I get to work on an international development project in Mexico. We are developing a global health program at a university in Chiapas, Mexico and I’m excited to work on it throughout the semester.
After class, I headed to my next classes of the day: Funding New Ventures where we are learning the ins and outs of the start-up/VC world taught by our own Dr. Theresa Foley and Data Analytics where we are learning to effectively visualize data using Tableau.
Today I started the day at ARP helping to unload everything from the ball and began prep for our future events. I am helping them to plan their first annual symposium and have worked heavily in their business management practices.
After work, I printed off my final assignment for my thesis! Our launch strategy outlines our plan for the product and company’s future even after we leave. It was incredible to see the big picture impact of what our work can do and I look forward to finalizing everything before my defense in April. Before our final Launch Strategy class, we started our new class for the semester, Sales and Sales Management. Our professor, Chris Stevens is a co-founder of Keurig and is an incredible resource for us. We ended our class by writing Thank You notes to those who helped us get to ESTEEM, and this definitely has to be a top contender for my favorite ESTEEM class already. A few classmates and I went out to eat to celebrate a new class and our launch strategy submission.
Thursday and Friday:
On Thursday after International Development, I spent some time meeting with a group from Notre Dame helping with the symposium planning for ARP. Afterwards, I went to a Graduate Student Union meeting. I’ve had the opportunity to represent the ESTEEM program in the GSU for the past year with my classmate, Conor Lynch. I loved being a part of my undergraduate student government so it’s been awesome to stay involved at ND.
Friday, I spent some time working on my capstone during a designated time ESTEEM set aside for all students to get together (we love free pizza). It was great to catch up with classmates and see all the amazing things they’re doing. While pizza was a great end to the week, every week in ESTEEM is so different but just as valuable. Even through the craziness, I often stop, usually at the grotto, to remember how grateful I am for every moment this program has brought.