My Week in ESTEEM: October 22-28

Author: Whitney Bouey

Whitney BoueyWhitney Bouey

My week started with a flight back to South Bend after visiting my friends and family in Louisiana. While my fall break was relaxing, I was excited to get back to working and learning with my ESTEEM friends! One thing that drew me to ESTEEM was the promise of an exciting, dynamic, and fulfilling year. I am happy to be sharing with you all what a typical week looks like for me and to show you how ESTEEM delivers on the promise that sparked my interest in this exceptional program!

I typically kick-start my week with a series of meetings on Mondays to help goal-set and prep for the week. Fortunately, my academic schedule allows for all my classes to be in the afternoon, so I get to spend the mornings doing classwork and exploring other ventures. My first meeting on Monday is always a weekly work meeting for my job at the IDEA Center. ESTEEM has offered me a ton of opportunities, one of those being my role at the IDEA Center as a Venture Coach. This role allows me to help students with their start-up ideas and lend a guiding hand at de-risking their venture ideas.  In these meetings, my co-workers and I offer each other guidance on how we can better serve our student ventures. These meetings are also an excellent opportunity to brainstorm and learn from one another. Immediately after that meeting, I had a series of other meetings (we have a lot of meetings, but I really enjoy them) throughout the day that ranged from thesis research sessions to meeting with students to discuss their venture ideas before attending my classes. One thing I love about ESTEEM is how my day-to-day work is extremely dynamic, and how my schedule always keeps me on my toes!

Tuesday and Wednesday, I met with several students about their venture ideas and classmates in between classes. These days are pretty busy for me since I have to be able to switch my train of thinking from learning in class, to leading meetings for venture coaching sessions, and to collaborating in class project team meetings. While this may seem like a lot of work, my classmates and I always make room for fun! After class, a few students and I went to downtown South Bend to go salsa dancing! It was super fun (and a little bit embarrassing for me) and was a great way to meet new people before ending the day!

Thursdays I do not have any classes, so I view this as an opportunity to knock out a bunch of work and dive into my books! For the first half of the day, I completed some class and thesis work. While for the second half of the day I created spin playlists and routines for my second job at Duncan Student Center where I am a group fitness instructor. I also worked on creating blogging content for my blog (you should check it out!). Our schedules with ESTEEM are built with the intent to allow us to explore our passions outside of class. I love that I can pursue my passions of blogging and health and fitness while going to school! Another thing I appreciate about my Thursday schedule is that it is a good day for me to grab lunch with some classmates and discuss what they are accomplishing. In between work, I caught up with my friend and ESTEEM buddy, Emily, over some Chipotle. One thing that became immediately evident to me when coming to ESTEEM was that the students are genuinely interested and invested in each other’s success. I am always hanging out with my ESTEEM classmates outside of class, and we are constantly brainstorming new ways to learn and create with one another. After a productive workday on Thursday, I taught a cycling class at Duncan Student Center where a few of my ESTEEM buddies attended! After I headed over to Innovation Park for a quick thesis meeting with my advisor, Adrian, ESTEEM alum. After, we attended ESTEEM's weekly event Pitchers and Pitches to hang out and listen to start-up ideas! Following a fun event, my friend Olivia (another one of my ESTEEM pals) and I grabbed some dinner at Danny Boy's (10/10 recommend the taco pizza).

On Friday, I attended a Lunch and Learn event with Axiom. The staff members at ESTEEM are always working diligently to provide us with opportunities to learn and connect with ambitious and successful individuals! After mingling with my classmates and Axiom’s employees, I attended a brainstorming session for my venture coaching work with the IDEA Center to give students feedback on their pitches and venture ideas. I always look forward to these on Fridays because I get to see what other students are working on and I enjoy listening to the discussions that their ideas generate! Following that, I completed some thesis work while hanging out with some of my ESTEEM friends and grabbed dinner with a few friends afterward before calling it a night!

Saturdays in the fall usually are spent tailgating and watching football games, but Notre Dame had an away game this week, so my friend Olivia and I decided to knock out some errands and go shopping. After a little retail therapy, Olivia and I went to Innovation Park to help the ESTEEM staff put together some whiteboards for our learning spaces in the building. It was nice to get our hands dirty and to hang out with our ESTEEM classmates and staff! After, I met up with some of my classmates at Brothers to watch the Notre Dame and Navy game. We celebrated our win for a bit before calling it a night. Go Irish!