Welcome back to "My Week in ESTEEM" where students reflect upon their experiences in our program. This week's blog is brought to us by Matt Fritzie, a University of Arizona graduate, who discusses new ESTEEM classes, special guest Tim Connors, and the final Irish home game.
My week in ESTEEM is marked with some potential exciting opportunities arising and some fun events happening around campus. At the beginning of my ESTEEM program I had a narrow mindset on what I wanted my thesis project to be. Working with my faculty mentor in the beginning, there were different opportunities for a potential project to work on besides what I had particularly envisioned from the lab research he conducts. The thesis project I ended up deciding to work on focuses on predicting the stress response, particularly anger and anxiety episodes, specifically for individuals with an intellectual disability using health-tracking wearables that record the indicative physiological parameters. The exciting part is that I have grown to appreciate the project’s value to solve the pain points of the customer segment and the overall growing market of health-tracking wearables. After careful investigation into the competitive landscape of the technology the past couple weeks for Chapter 3 of my thesis project, I landed upon an exciting opportunity for a junior bioengineer position at a start up company called Empatica developing medical grade wearable technology with backing from investors, prominent hospitals and universities around the world. I am feeling optimistic about gaining the opportunity post-graduation after looking at the qualifications particularly thanks to the market value of the technology involved in my thesis and the skillsets I have acquired through my education at ESTEEM.
The courses at this point in the ESTEEM curriculum have been focused on the relevant business law for entrepreneurial endeavors, the power of marketing to capture customer segments, launch strategy to master the steps of bringing our innovative ideas to market, the ethical concerns regarding the advent of new technology and new trends in information technology that are revolutionizing how we manage data. Business law this past week has been diving deep into the important critical aspects of entering into a contract for an employee/employer relationship and the ambiguity of non-compete agreements for employees. It has been fascinating to see that many contracts and agreements are left up to interpretation under the law and how that can be leveraged when a dispute arises. In our marketing course we have this class competition going on in a market simulation to help us learn the driving forces in the success of capturing market share through your product. My team gave a presentation to our professor to imitate a company seeking funding to a venture capitalist during the company’s growth. Our marketplace decisions deemed successful with our team recapturing the leading market share proportion. Launch strategy has been a great, worthwhile class solidifying some fundamental ideas on the best steps to commercialize our unique, valuable technologies inherent in our projects. This course seems to have resonance from our business model canvas class over the summer but nonetheless it is captivating. The ethics class is always especially exciting because it is a class wide discussion in current ethical concerns of technology and everybody always has an interesting perspective. The topic for this week was focused on biomedical technology enhancing human capabilities that could ultimately become detrimental for society. Lastly, leading trends in information technology presents some new topics that I don’t have a strong background in so it has been pretty fascinating. This week’s topic was in APIs and how that is of great importance to the development of software components for many different applications.
Now onto the extra-curricular activities outside the classroom! It is especially appealing that Notre Dame offers so many interesting events outside particular coursework. It really sets a student’s experience apart from any generic university. I went to my first Notre Dame basketball game on Tuesday night where they played Milwaukee. Being around previous universities with strong basketball programs (University of Kansas, University of Arizona) I was delighted that I was definitely not let down by the atmosphere of the game. It snowed for the first time since I have been in at Notre Dame so that marked a start to the winter weather here. It is particularly exciting to see how remarkably even more beautiful that campus becomes after a snowfall. The week ended up with a Notre Dame football and one step further to the playoffs! The Shamrock Series games was not a real pretty game to watch but we won nonetheless and it was interesting to see the game being played at a baseball venue of Fenway Park from TV with fellow ESTEEM students.