As almost every ESTEEM student’s blog post will attest to, there’s always variety in how I spend my week. This week had me moving around and pouring time into my thesis project.
Since the final draft of chapter 1 and 2 of our thesis is due 10 days before our first oral exam, I spent the beginning of my week making structural and grammatical edits to my thesis. I was fortunate to receive comments on my first draft of these chapters from both my ESTEEM thesis advisor and my thesis project advisor. I definitely put in the hours on Monday morning, afternoon, and evening (after our Leadership and Data Analytics classes) and felt great about the edits and additions that I made to my work since the first deadline. Time has been flying this year, and rereading my thesis since my first submission three weeks ago was evidence of how much more I had learned about my project and its industry so quickly! In that time, I spoke with three medical oncologists with experience treating colon cancer, a genetic counselor specialized in oncology, and a post-doctorate fellow researching the effects of protein expression on colon cancer tumor cell metabolism – all conversations which significantly deepened my understanding of the technical aspects of my project and the users of my project’s technology.
After spin class -- taught by fellow student Whitney!
Tuesday morning, I was excited to submit the final version of my draft! Afterwards, I went over to the Duncan student center to attend my third ever spin class… taught by ESTEEM’s very own Whitney Bouey! She was a cycling instructor at LSU during her undergrad and put on a class exclusively for ESTEEM that morning. It was super fun (shout-out to Whitney for an insane playlist, you can find it on Spotify if you’re a spin enthusiast) and it felt great to have such a high energy kick-start to my morning. After spin, I went to my technical elective - Topics in Global Health. The remainder of my day before evening class was spent organizing the competitive landscape research I had collected last week for the two technologies I am investigating as a Technical Market Analyst at the IDEA Center. In the evening, we had Business Presentations and Technical Marketing.
Wednesday was a relatively quiet day. In the morning, I met with the Notre Dame Football nutritionist to discuss weight loss supplement rules and regulations in the NCAA regarding one of the technologies I am analyzing for the IDEA Center. What I learned? Regulations are very, very strict. In the evening, we had Leadership and Launch Strategy. Afterwards, I met with my group to work on our final project for Data Analytics. We are analyzing Airbnb’s listing reports using SAP Predictive Analytics to make inferences about Airbnb consumer behavior in New York City and the influence of crime on their booking choices. Believe it or not, Harlem has the most listings and reviews of every neighborhood in New York City!
On Thursday, I had my technical elective class again and then right afterward I took off to Chicago with my thesis project sponsor for a mentorship meeting. YeSSGenomics, my thesis project sponsor) is part of the Chicago Innovation Mentors program at MATTER. It was an awesome day – I had the chance to sit in at an impromptu roundtable discussion with the CEO of Exicure (a biotechnology company out of Chicago that just recently went public), David Giljohann and attend the mentorship meeting with YeSSGenomics’ three co-founders and my thesis project sponsor, who is also YeSSGenomics’ current interim CEO. The majority of the discussion was focused on refining YeSSGenomics pitch deck to be used for securing additional investments in the company.
After a long day on Thursday, I spent Friday working on my technology analyses for the IDEA Center and then ended the day with a peer review session with the other market analysts. I’ve enjoyed this session very much because I have been able to understand the technologies of my coworkers that are totally outside the realm of my background. My expertise is in biological science, specifically cancer biology, but I have managed to grasp the mechanisms of innovations involving everything from a selective membrane, an algorithm to improve iris recognition in security technology, and even an application using virtual reality.
The highlight of my week was definitely Saturday morning when I participated in the Domer Run here at Notre Dame. I ran my first 5k! My first athletic achievement after wrapping up my varsity softball career here at Notre Dame just five months ago. My classmates Olivia and Luisa ran it, too. Afterward, we celebrated with bagels, mini muffins, and apple juice provided by the race’s sponsors. I’m hoping to run another race soon and up the challenge to a 10k!