For Hanako Zeidenberg, ESTEEM was the obvious next step. Zeidenberg, who worked in environmental consulting in California after graduating from UC-Davis with degrees in chemistry and biochemical engineering, had just completed a post-baccalaureate course at Tufts University when her husband accepted a faculty job in the Department of Chemistry at Notre Dame. ESTEEM offered an opportunity to complete her master’s in less than a year, with the breadth of courses that could accelerate her career.
“One of the main things I like was that it’s 11 months,” she says. “I also loved the fact that it’s almost a hybrid business-engineering program, with the emphasis on the management and business side of consulting. I thought this was the perfect opportunity not just to build my resume but to give me more credentials to do more stuff on the management side for an engineering consulting firm. Notre Dame has an amazing business school program. That was another draw. We have some of the top business professionals speaking to us on a weekly basis.”
Zeidenberg developed her capstone thesis on a water treatment technology that she is learning how to commercialize. She has worked on prototype models of a wastewater treatment technology in the engineering labs. “I was able to take some courses to learn more about the technology,” she says. “I learned so much in the last few months working on it about business concepts in general. I like the fact that I was able to take engineering courses. At any moment, we’re taking three to four businesses courses at a time. You also take your technical electives.”
Zeidenberg, who has an infant and a toddler, says support from faculty and students in the program has helped her through the intense year. “The people in the ESTEEM program are so supportive,” she says. “They genuinely care about every single student in the class. That’s one of the best parts of the program. It’s a really tight-knit group. Everyone got to know each other really well. I think that made it possible to do all this – have the family and pursue this master’s program.”