My Week in ESTEEM - Week 24

Author: Jenny Lardner

Jenny LardnerJenny Lardner

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 Jenny Lardner, a graduate from Trinity College Dublin and one of this year's Naughton Fellows, who discusses her first week back from Spring Break. 

Returning from our Spring Break adventures on the west coast, this week started off with some 39 sleepy students arriving back to South Bend.  Graduation was in sight as it was back to the grindstone for ESTEEM classes.

Our doziness didn’t last long, as our first class of the week, Introduction to Operations had us engaged and interested as we learned the techniques companies and computers use to allocate resources efficiently when there are constraints involved in a situation.  As a Management Science undergrad student, the topic of model building and simplex method isn’t new to me, though it was certainly refreshing to see it taught in a different way.

Tuesday for many was a day off, a much needed rest day to catch up on sleep and thesis work. Wednesday brought with it the annual Graduation Fair, where we picked up our robes and ordered our announcement cards at the Hammes Bookstore.  The concept of the fair was completely new to me, though the buzzing atmosphere was contagious as it began to sink in that these will be our last few weeks of class at Notre Dame.


As an Irish girl, I’ve always looked forward to St. Patrick's Day, and this year was no different.  Luckily however, I got to celebrate it early too, alongside the other Irish in ESTEEM, some other classmates and the lovely Hubbard family!  We were invited to a delicious meal of corned beef and cabbage, with Irish cheese at Professor Hubbard’s home.  Singing traditional Irish songs and telling stories of trips to the Emerald Isle, the meal was finished off with a tipple or two of Jameson!

Thursday was officially Lá Fhéile Pádraig (St. Patrick’s Day) and it was evidently so by the sea of green apparel across campus!  Needless to say, the day was good craic with plenty of celebrations before and after classes. Leadership and Funding New Ventures II were on the schedule for the afternoon, and they certainly led to thought-provoking topics about the building blocks of leadership and how to begin writing a term sheet.  

Moving on from class, some of the ESTEEMers had the privilege of meeting and welcoming some Notre Dame and St. Mary’s students that will be joining ESTEEM’s 2016-2017 cohort.  The conversation at dinner was quite insightful revolving around Dustin Mix’s thought invoking question, “What is entrepreneurship?”

Friday began with a coffee session with Dean Murphy, where we reminisced on our Silicon Valley trip and all the stories we had from our shadow days. We discussed life in the Valley and how much the trip has encouraged our entrepreneurial mindset – prompting some students, including myself – to mention how much they would like to live in SF and work in the Valley one day (despite the traffic).  My afternoon was spent chatting to a prospective ESTEEM student and his wife and child, calling my Mum to hear about Paddy’s day back home and fill her in on the busy week I’d had, and of course, watching Notre Dame beat Michigan in basketball!


Saturday flew by with the bike training for our ESTEEM Road to Discovery bike ride across Indiana in aid of Niemann Pick Type C – This time the training was for 111 minutes and the spin room was set up as a sports bar with March Madness and the Ireland Scotland rugby match showing on two screens ensuring we were entertained and didn’t miss a minute.