My Week in ESTEEM - Week 20

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM


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 Zhou (Joe) Wu, a Marquette University graduate, who discusses his experience so far with ESTEEM and the week of "Financials". If you wish to contact Joe, you can email him at

Being a great entrepreneur has been a dream for me since I was a child. With a special interest in technology, I was greatly impressed by the idea of transferring a technological innovation into business. I graduated from Marquette University with a triple major in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Information Technology, and my background gave me a deeper understanding of technology and business. The ESTEEM Program has helped me integrate my knowledge and skills, and has provided me with a more practical and thorough understanding in entrepreneurship.  The experience I’ve had within the ESTEEM Program will be truly helpful in my career. 


I would call this week of ESTEEM the week of “Financials”. During this week, all of the ESTEEMers got together and learned how to build financial models for our thesis projects. Using a spreadsheet, each of us creates assumptions and a five-year projection of revenues and costs. We were challenged to think deeply about our assumptions and to try and find as much data as possible to justify them. During the process, I experienced mixed feelings of both confusion and certainty, and I experienced exactly what an entrepreneur faces in the start-up process.


Besides the thesis and required courses, the ESTEEM program allows students to pick two technical elective courses. I chose Web Application Development this semester, and I find this course has really broadened my vision in the technical world. I have enjoyed the process of exploring and experimenting new ways of approaching the world, and I have learned a solid technical skill for myself. For this particular class, I have developed a simple website about me -- feel free to check it out here.

The whole experience of the ESTEEM Program and the University of Notre Dame has been challenging and exciting, for me, and all the faculty and instructors are very helpful and warm. ESTEEM is not a program that just teaches you skills, it also teaches you to think in sympathetic ways, to truly care about people, accept who they are, and respect what they value -- GAME CHANGER!