My Week in ESTEEM: October 13-20

Author: Jessica Coffin

Jessica CoffinJessica Coffin

Every week brings a new surprise in the ESTEEM program. Each week here is completely different and unique. The ESTEEM program definitely keeps everyone on their toes. My week has been busy and tiring, but also rewarding.


One of the best things about the ESTEEM program is attending events with an abundance of panelists and visitors. Today, five women entrepreneurs came to speak about their experiences. These five women are truly inspiring. Me and ten of my classmates arrived at Innovation Park bright and early to chat with the panelists that will speak later in the day. I spoke with Abbey (an ESTEEM alum, founder, and current med student). She founded the company Vampiro in the ESTEEM program as her founder’s project, and now she is a second year in medical school. After the coffee session, the entire cohort showed up for lunch, which one of our classmate’s (Audrey) made. Audrey catered plant-based burgers and fries. Over lunch, Professor Foley (our Capstone professor) mediated the panel of five entrepreneurs. During the panel, Abbey (who I talked to previously) explained one of the most stressful experiences she went through; the FDA showed up at her door to look through the Vampiro paperwork during finals week at medical school. Although there are stressful times in life, everything will eventually work itself out.

After the panel, two ESTEEM alumni gave a presentation about their company. Many alumni come back to Notre Dame to talk to current students about possible job opportunities in their companies. This gives us a chance to see how this program gives us a diverse skill set that can be translated into many professions. Finally, the last event of the day: the statistics final. Many classes in ESTEEM are not full semesters. For instance, the statistics class started the second week of classes and finished right before fall break. After break we will have another set of classes that will go through December.


My partner (a current PhD student) and I gave a presentation in my tech elective class (Translational Research). The presentation reviewed the discovery of Statins. This presentation counted as our midterm for the class, which means we did not take a test. After my tech elective I had a few hours to do homework before meeting with my marketing team. During the meeting, our team decided on what bikes we would sell and where our shops will be located for the marketing simulation game that will continue for the rest of the semester. Then, we all went to our business presentation classes where some of my classmates gave an elevator pitch about their project (I gave my pitch last week). Then, the last class of the day was technical marketing.


My day began with a call to an ESTEEM alum. Many alumni take time out of their day to talk with students. I am currently in the process of trying to decide what I want to do after graduation, and the alumni have been very helpful!

The start-up culture in Innovation Park is flourishing. I met with a serial innovator who is currently developing two ideas to launch as start-ups. We talked for two hours about both projects, which are very interesting. After the meeting, I completed some homework before the offer evaluation and negotiation seminar with Erik (the career consultant for ESTEEM). This meeting informed us on how to evaluate and compare offers. This will be helpful later in the semester/during the spring semester for me. The last ESTEEM sponsored event of the day is the launch strategy class. Then, I went to work until 10:00pm where I tutor athletes.


My alarm clock went off at 2:30am, then I drove to Chicago to catch a flight at 6:00am to Denver, Colorado. Once I arrived in Denver, I headed to Regis University to start my day of recruiting for the program. I talked to a few students about the program and encouraged them to come to my information meeting on Friday. For lunch, I met with an alum that lives really close to Regis. We talked about ESTEEM, life, how we chose the colleges we went to, her company, and her role in the company. Again, it is amazing to talk to alum about their current positions to figure out what I want to do next. After lunch, I went back to Regis to recruit a little more before retiring for the night.


After a full night of sleep, it was time to go back to Regis to recruit for another day. I spoke in front of many classes and held an informational meeting for students. To break up the day, I spoke with another contact who provided insight on possible career paths and her experiences. She was extremely helpful!


Finally, after the long and tiring week it is time for break. I spent the weekend with my family, but the only downside to spending time in the Colorado mountains was the weather. It was freezing cold and started to snow on Saturday. Apparently, it is wintertime in Colorado. Hopefully the snow will stay away from Indiana for a few more weeks.

Every week in ESTEEM bring a new challenge and surprise, but at the end of each week you realize how much you have accomplished. This week was no exception to that.