My Week in ESTEEM: October 11-17, 2020

Author: Sereen Nasrallah

Sereen Nasrallah (ESTEEM '21)Sereen Nasrallah (ESTEEM '21)

Hi everyone! I am Sereen Nasrallah from Cleveland, Ohio. I went to John Carroll University and received my bachelors in Biochemistry. I am so excited to walk you through my week in ESTEEM and what I am doing here at Notre Dame.


Sunday was used as a catch-up day and to prepare for the next week. I spent a few hours with my roommate, Jessica, doing some career searching for consulting jobs. Then, I worked on my market analysis for my capstone project with BioTherVax, a biotech startup based out of Chile, who developed a new vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This analysis goes through the different potential markets that the vaccine could enter. Once I was done working for the day, my roommates (Emma and Jessica) and I unwound with dinner and a movie, Twitches. 


First day of the week is always busy for me. I usually start my Monday with my weekly capstone meeting but it was a holiday in Chile so we decided to push it off until next week. I spent the rest of the day until class working on my market analysis for my capstone project. ESTEEM classes are typically in the evening and that night we had Business Law. In class, we learned about public disclosures and went into great detail about infringement. After having a quick dinner, I finished up my market analysis, submitted it and finished the night watching New Girl. 


We started bright and early with Entrepreneurial Finance at 8 am at Innovation Park (IP). Despite this class being early in the morning, the professor does a great job at keeping us engaged and this class has been one of my favorites this semester. After class, I quickly drove over to Studebagel to get a coffee with some ESTEEM friends then came back to IP for a meeting. This meeting was with 2 fellow ESTEEMers, Crew Weunski and Emma Hayes, where we worked on our application for the McCloskey New Ventures Competition. This competition gives new ventures the opportunity to earn prizes to fund their business. At 11am, I headed to my technical elective, Innovation in Cancer Research, where we talked about our final presentation. After class I took a break for a little bit, had lunch, then had a networking call with a consulting firm. Next up was another ESTEEM class, Technical Marketing. In this class, we learn all about marketing, segmentation, positioning and more. I ended the day with some job applications and the season premiere of the Bachelorette with some friends in a socially distant manner (it's going to be a crazy season!).  


This day was not a super busy day for me! In the morning, I worked on capstone project materials such as planning for the 50 validation interviews I have to conduct over winter break. I also did some work for the Idea Center as a Startup Coach where I help student entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality. We had two classes, Business Law and Launch Strategy. In Business Law, we learned about how to conduct a patent search and how to read a patent application. During Launch Strategy, we talked about positioning strategies and competitive landscapes. I finished the night with a Halloween movie with friends and dinner. 


I started the day super early with our Finance class where we learned about perpetuities and annuities (concepts I never thought I would know about until now). Next, I had a meeting with my marketplace simulation group where we strategized how to gain more market share against our competitors (other ESTEEM student groups). After my group meeting, I headed to Innovation in Cancer Research, which was over Zoom. We heard from Josh Kellum and his work for the American Cancer Society. Once class was over, I prepared for my job interview by doing some research on the firm, had an interview, and then watched Netflix until our ESTEEM workshop. At the workshop, we heard from three previous ESTEEM students about their life after graduation and how they have used their ESTEEM degree in unique ways. I was really excited for this because I had a pre-interview mixer for a company I was applying to and got to meet some cool employees and hear about their experiences. After this mixer, I worked on finance homework with some ESTEEM friends and then prepared for my interview by working on some cases. Then it was time to get a good night's rest for a long day on Friday!


Interview Day! I started the morning by getting a nice breakfast with my friends at Rise ’n Roll bakery (they have the best donuts and desserts). Then we had an Entrepreneurial Insights Seminar where we heard from David Hall. After the lecture, I had my 3-hour long interview for a healthcare rotational analyst program. To celebrate the interview, my friends and I went out for dinner at Crooked Ewe and then came back for a small game night. 


Game Day! I started the day with a small brunch with friends where we made pumpkin whipped coffee and pumpkin pancakes. It was a home football game and we were playing the Louisville Cardinals and we crushed them! It was so nice to watch the game in person and have that experience with other ESTEEM students. After the big win, we went to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings and ended the night with friends and Cards against Humanity.