Life Happens

I began the OD program in 2001, after completing three classes, my oldest son, Josh was diagnosed with a rare disease. At that time, understandably, our focus was on caring for Josh and subsequently raising our son, Noah and daughter Katie. I took a 15-year hiatus from the program. Sadly, Josh passed away in 2011 and in 2014 I decided to move from the corporate world to work at Penn. There were two factors that led me to this decision. First, the Penn and CHOP community have been a part of our lives for a long time, I felt a connective-ness to the campus and when I arrived, I quickly met some of the researchers working on Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC), the disease Josh had, and learned of the great work of the Orphan Disease Center. The second was that I would have the opportunity to re-engage in the OD program.

As a finance professional with executive positions, I wanted to become a coach and help other professionals who may be dealing with adversity. I found that opportunity with the OCEC cohort program. This became even more symbiotic as my coaching and consulting field experiences along with my capstone focused on building capacity in rare disease organizations, and I had the opportunity to work as both a consultant and coach helping shares DC Outreach, Inc., DC’s grass-roots advocacy organization advance their mission.

The Organizational Dynamics program has enabled me to blend my personal and professional goals. It has opened me up to the people-facing side of this career. I’ve always been analytical. Even before the program, I realized that I needed to better understand the operations and the people to move up in my role. It’s always been there for me—and Organizational Dynamics takes it to another level.

As a Penn employee and student, I find experiences at the school to be very symbiotic. The courses help me to stay current in my career, and I bring my background and experiences to the classroom.

Being a part of the Penn community is about as good as it gets.

– Bruce Friedman