My Week in ESTEEM: October 18 - 24

Author: Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes (ESTEEM '21)Emma Hayes (ESTEEM '21)

Hi! My name is Emma Hayes and I am so excited to give you a peek into what my week looks like in the ESTEEM program here at Notre Dame. First off, a little bit about me: I am from Wakefield, Massachusetts and received my undergraduate degree in chemistry from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. I hope you enjoy a little look into what I do every day!


Sundays are usually the best days for catching up on some work and relaxing. The school week can be a little stressful so it’s really nice to take Sunday and relax while also preparing for what is to come this week. I worked on some homework with my roommates Jess and Sereen (fellow ESTEEMers) and went to bed somewhat early.


Happy Monday! On Mondays, we don’t have class until the late afternoon, so I usually try to get whatever homework done that is due for the next few days. I also met with fellow ESTEEMers Crew and Sereen to discuss next steps on the VR education technology company we are developing. It has been so great to have the opportunity in ESTEEM to actually work on developing my own company, something I never thought I would do! I later went to my Business Law class where we continued to learn about patents. I ended the night with some more homework and dinner with my roommates.


Tuesdays start very early for us in ESTEEM as we have Entrepreneurial Finance, but we are lucky enough to have a great professor who makes 8 am classes definitely manageable! My new tradition with my ESTEEM friends has been to get bagels after Finance from Studebagel, a local South Bend favorite, and sit socially distanced to talk about what’s going on with each of us. It’s definitely a great way to break up the day! After Studebagel, I went to my Innovation in Cancer Research class where we are doing group projects on startup companies with new technologies to either treat or prevent breast cancer. This class is super interesting to me and really reaffirms the fact that I want to one day work in the healthcare startup field. I spent Tuesday afternoon by going for a walk around my apartment and then doing some much needed grocery shopping! We ended the day with Technical Marketing class where we heard from Brian Bar, the founder of VictoryLap, a company that teaches classes on sales and sales acquisition. Brian also helped us think about how best to succeed in job interviews. This was very informational, and we were so lucky to have him speak to us. I continued on with some homework after this lecture and then went to bed.


Wednesday is usually pretty relaxed in the morning, so I used the opportunity to sleep in a bit past my normal alarm time, which was amazing! After I woke up, I did some work and then spoke to a few prospective students about how great ESTEEM is. I answered all of their questions about the program as well as how important it is to finish their senior year strong. After this, I went to my Business Law class where we learned about copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. This class is really interesting and definitely helps with my company ilimi XR and our future intellectual property discussions. After Business Law, we had Launch Strategy which is a class focused on preparing us to present our business strategies for our Capstone projects. We learn a lot in this class, especially about pricing, competitors, and building minimum viable products (MVPs). After this class, I enjoyed some dinner and socially distanced time with some fellow ESTEEM friends.


Thursdays are usually pretty busy for me as I have my Capstone meeting and usually try to work on homework as well as do work for my job as a Technical Market Analyst which I will explain later. My capstone meeting went really well. I am working with a company called the GEO Group that focuses on rehabilitation and counseling for previously incarcerated individuals. My role is to develop a business plan for GEO’s new product, which will be a pro-social gaming platform used by previously incarcerated individuals to practice pro-social behaviors in low risk environments. This project is extremely important to me and I hope that it can supplement post-incarceration counseling gaps in the future. After my capstone meeting, I did some homework and then attended a seminar called Life After ESTEEM, led by former ESTEEM students who share their professional experiences and give advice to us on how to handle all that ESTEEM brings. It was really great to connect with some alumni and learn more about what they’re doing. After this seminar, I participated in a meeting with my marketing group for a marketing simulation game that our class is doing. We compete in teams against our other classmates which can be tough, but the competition is healthy! After this meeting, I took my online Business Law exam, which was a little difficult, but I think I did pretty well! I ended the day with some homemade hot chocolate and a Halloween movie with my roommates.


This morning, I met with Crew and Sereen again to work on our pitch deck for the Elevate Nexus Pitch Competition, which is an organization under Elevate Ventures that helps future entrepreneurs launch their ideas and companies with funding and other resources. Our pitch is next week, so we have been practicing and refining quite a bit. After this, I worked on my capstone Fall Presentation that I will be giving next week to my corporate sponsors as well as my ESTEEM advisors. It is great to have so many people helping me with my capstone project and lending their own expertise. I am definitely really lucky to have so many knowledgeable people on this journey with me. After working on my capstone for a while, I went to Innovation Park, as we like to call IP, to meet with my IDEA Center team. I am a Technical Market Analyst for the 2-stroke team at the IDEA Center, which basically means that I do an initial risk assessment for any ideas or inventions that Notre Dame professors have. My team has about 10 people on it and we have a great boss who supports us every day. I really like working as a Technical Market Analyst because I can bring my undergraduate chemistry skills to work with me every day as I aim to understand the amazing technologies that Notre Dame professors are working to develop. After my team meeting, I went to a talk given by Bryan Ritchie, the leader of the IDEA Center. I ended the day by working on my inventor technology for the IDEA Center and then hanging out in a socially distanced manner with friends.


Saturdays are great because these are my sleep-in days! Today I relaxed a bit in the morning and then went to check out some of the great sites around Lake Michigan. I really like hiking and I just recently bought a bike, so I took my bike to New Buffalo and enjoyed some outside time biking around the parks there. I’m pretty biased that New England has the best fall foliage, but I think I am slowly coming around to the fact that the Midwest has some pretty great nature too! I ended the day with some takeout dinner and watching my all-time favorite show, New Girl!

Thanks for following along with my week! If you have any questions about ESTEEM or specifically about what I am doing, feel free to email me at!