Isabella Bello Martinez
Next week, we have finals.
Next week, we will finish the first of our three semesters in ESTEEM. The time has flown by as we found our every waking hour consumed with customer interviews, homework, networking sessions, multiple different group projects, and class. I can honestly say that I have never learned so much, so quickly.
Because of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) class, my team-mates and I were able to meet with several “C-Suite” members of the South Bend healthcare system. This proved in a profound way that the work we are doing not only matters “in the real world” but has the incredible opportunity to make a real, positive impact in this community. If you had, a month ago, told me that I would be fearlessly sitting down to have a conversation about the ways that the hospitals are not meeting the needs of certain populations with the head of the hospital system, I would have told you that you were dreaming. (Our Accounting & Finance class also deserves a shout out, for it allowed for me to understand the meeting with the Chief Financial Officer we attended.)
Dustin teaches us about building a valid business model - by pretending that we are launching a super spicy, negative calorie "you know, like celery" hot sauce!
The practice not only conducting but also setting up these interviews, gave me the confidence to begin reaching out to industry experts for my personal thesis project as soon as I received it. I am thrilled to say that I already have five or six interviews with industry experts lined up for the next couple of weeks.
We did some "kitchen chemistry" to discover the secret formula for our project!
The practice with interviews also helped us immensely with the two-week long project we are currently doing for our Design Entrepreneurship class: creating a product and then marketing it in a way that would be worthy of Apple, the current King of Industrial Design. My own group, K.E.I., decided to tackle the age-old problem of water bottles not staying cool enough throughout the day and created our own recipe for non-toxic ice-packs and a koozie in which to store them. I was blown away by the projects of my classmates – special shout-out to the team trying to solve the problem of a toddler refusing to brush their teeth, and the team trying to make prescribed, self-administered subcutaneous shots a more painless experience.
The ESTEEM program directors have been amazing. From helping us get part-time job offers, to helping us draft the first scope of work for our thesis, they are available practically 24/7. Thank you to all of you for making this experience so memorable.
Half of the ESTEEM class presented a 3-minute long summary of their thesis project for the coming year.
Finally, as of a few days ago, the entirety of the ESTEEM class of 2018 was matched with a thesis project. I cannot wait to see the amazing work that my classmates and friends will produce this year – I know we will all be blown away by how much we will accomplish.