At just the end of the second week, the ESTEEM Class 2018 is officially one-third of the way done with the summer semester. These first two weeks have been exciting for many reasons. Some of these reasons being that we have learned so much about what this year entails, what our future can look like, and have all begun to settle into choosing our thesis projects. However, besides these, the most exciting thing about these first two weeks has been becoming friends with such an amazing group of fellow ‘ESTEEM-ers’. Everyone is so diverse in both discipline and background, and it has been a lot of fun to become part of not only the Notre Dame family, but also the ESTEEM family.
My week in ESTEEM began on Monday with an Accounting-Finance class and a Business Model Canvas (BMC) class. We have all been challenged in our BMC class to try and find a problem and potentially solve this problem through an innovation, but along the way having customer validation to reinforce or pivot this problem and/or solution. This project has required tremendous group communication, interviewing dozens of potential customers, and getting rejected by many more potential interviewees.
On Tuesday we got a break from classes to celebrate the United States’ independence. Those who could attend joined in on a 4th of July cookout filled with music, great food, and shared laughs. Even the international students enjoyed fully embracing the American holiday by wearing red, white, and blue. I brought a little piece of home with me by taking mexican rice and refried beans to the cookout, and it was great trying the foods everyone else brought, including a traditional chinese dish.
On Wednesday I enjoyed an Accounting-Finance lecture again, and then in the afternoon attended our second career workshop. This week’s career workshop focused on leveraging LinkedIn, Go IRISH, interview techniques, and Fall recruiting for job search. It has been helpful to have these career workshops, and because of them I have put a lot of thought in my future career and what steps I need to take to achieve my goals.
Thursday started off bright and early with our statistics course, then my focus was directed to finishing my video project for Design Entrepreneurship class. Most of us had to step outside of our science comfort zone and reach into our artistic side to create this video. Although this process was very challenging for me since I had no prior experience with videos and editing, it turned out to be a very rewarding experience.
On Friday I spent my morning doing some customer interviews for BMC, had a group meeting, and then went to Design Entrepreneurship class. It was really fun to be able to see other students' video projects and to learn from them. At the end of class I had one more group meeting, and by the time it ended it was nearly 7pm and I was feeling tired from the week, but still excited to keep tackling the projects and challenges that ESTEEM continues to throw at us. In a short two weeks I have learned so much and I can only imagine how much I will grow academically and as a person by the end of the program, but in the meantime I will take it one week at a time.