Along with the profiles below, check out our OS Alum Pathway Timelines to see examples of paths our students have taken and how they got to where they are today!
Lisa Arnsdorf Class of 2003
Lisa graduated from OS in 2003, the first graduating class of the “new” program. After 8 years in fundraising for U-M Depression Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Alpha Phi Foundation, she returned to school full time at UM-Dearborn to earn a MBA in 2013. Lisa is now the Implementations Project Manager for Katana Software, Inc., a fully virtual software developer in the travel industry. Lisa works with new clients, transitioning them from business development through to “going live” with the software at their property. Lisa’s customer list includes Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Marriott Worldwide Vacations, and Hyatt Residence Club. Being able to work from home since Fall 2013 has been a blessing; the Marine Corps, Lisa’s second spouse, has moved her to San Diego, 29 Palms, Oahu, and back to San Diego, where she currently lives with her husband, Jon and son, Gus. There were only two OS classes when Lisa was a student – OS 410 (Advanced Lab) and OS 495 (Complex Organizations). The ability to approach a problem from multiple disciplines and lens was what originally drew Lisa to OS. More than anything else, Lisa left OS with an understanding that the world is nothing more than a multitude of interconnected networks and organizations, all offering opportunities to learn, improve, and apply earlier lessons before making a shift to the next jungle gym.
Lauren Gabriel Class of 2004
Lauren graduated with her B.A. in Organizational Studies in 2004, the second year of the programs’ inception. After graduating, Lauren moved to her favorite city, that being New York City, where she worked for over 11 years for various companies including News America, Google, Neustar and the likes, focusing on Advertising and Technology. While living in New York, Lauren became very involved with the UM Alumni base, running the NY Tri-State's division of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. Leveraging one of her favorite OS courses taught by Professor Wayne Baker, as an undergraduate at Michigan titled Social Capital & Networking, through the UM Business School, Lauren has built her career on the ‘pay it forward’ mantra. To date in her career, Lauren has led a successful sales team to hit quotas, become a recognized leader and mentor, developed hundreds of relationships to build a vast network and partaken in various organizations as both a member and on boards, leveraging her UM ties and education. Lauren transitioned two years ago to San Francisco, her birth city, testing it out as a place to live. All the while, Lauren has run point for Agency Partner Relations on the West Coast and now Nationally for Adobe for various Advertising Holding companies. Lauren enjoys being physically active outside of work, traveling, spending time with loved ones and friends and if you ask anyone they will tell you...she bleeds Maize ‘N Blue in every sense of the word and is grateful for her time at UM and her OS experience of course!
Spencer Coan Class of 2005
Spencer graduated from the University of Michigan in 2005, with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and Communications. As part of the OS program, he was one of three lucky students flown to New York City to meet Dave Barger for a tour of JetBlue HQ and the construction of the JFK Terminal in 2005. Following graduation, he backpacked across Europe and then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as Acquisitions Analyst for commercial real estate firm Levy Affiliated Holdings. In 2008, Spencer was awarded an assistantship to the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, where he earned an MBA in Finance and Real Estate. Spencer moved to Atlanta in 2010, continuing his acquisitions experience as Senior Analyst for Ackerman & Co. In 2013, Spencer joined SK Commercial Realty as Senior Vice President to launch the firm's investments division. Specializing in office and medical office commercial real estate investment sales, Spencer has transacted $200MM+ since 2012. Spencer holds a Chartered Alternative Investment Association Charter (CAIA) and is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), and is active in the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors and the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP). Spencer volunteers and supports the Jewish Federation of Atlanta, the Red Cross, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Perry Teicher Class of 2007
Perry graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and Political Science. From 2007-2009, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, where he worked with a disabled persons' organization. After his work in Kazakhstan, Perry returned to the University of Michigan and graduated with a JD/MBA while serving as Director of the UM Social Venture Fund, leading investments in mission-driven, high-growth start-ups, with a particular focus on Detroit. Currently he is a Co-Chair of the JDC Entwine Steering Committee and on JDC's Board of Directors, extending his passion about global Jewish community since traveling to Bulgaria in 1999. Perry also serves as the Impact Finance Fellow at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, supporting investment funds, family offices, and early stage companies looking to achieve intentional social and environmental outcomes alongside financial returns. He serves as President of Detroit Nation, building networks to explore new ways to connect Detroit expats to the city. Perry is a 2013 Ariene de Rothschild Fellow and a member of the ROI Community.
Zach Sherman Class of 2009
Zach graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Organizational Studies and Economics. He attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and began his residency at Weill Cornell Medicine in July 2016. His background in Organizational Studies serves him well in the constantly evolving healthcare environment where increased emphasis is placed on efficiency, quality improvement, and patient safety. Prior to deciding to pursue a career in medicine, Zach worked at NERA Economic Consulting in New York. He then completed his post-baccalaureate pre-health studies at New York University and did research at the VA Medical Center in Manhattan while he was applying to medical school. Since starting medical school, Zach has taken an interest in working with underserved communities both globally, conducting malnutrition research in rural Uganda, as well as locally, as the finance coordinator of the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, the student-run free clinic for uninsured residents of East Harlem.
Brian Pogrund Class of 2010
Brian started his career in marketing at Safco Dental Supply, before getting the itch to enter the world of startups. He got his first exposure to startups working as an Online Sales Executive at Grubhub, before making the move to be the 6th employee at Whittl (OpenTable for Salons and Spas) and ultimately becoming their Director of Operations. Brian now works as the City Manager for Getaround, which is like Airbnb for cars, and is responsible for all local marketing, operations and personnel in Chicago. While working full time, Brian went to school at night and got his MBA from The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago in August of 2016. Brian credits OS with helping him learn how to think through complicated and inter-departmental issues that arise as he's helping startups scale. He wanted to give a special shout out to Professor Victoria Johnson for pushing his cohort to go above and beyond in their analytical thinking (and in everything they did in her class).
Kate Balzer Class of 2010
Kate graduated from the OS program in 2010 and has been in Ann Arbor ever since! After graduation, she joined the staff at Food Gatherers, the food bank and food rescue program serving Washtenaw County, where she held a variety of roles (in true OS spirit) including fundraising and human resources. While at Food Gatherers, Kate attended the UM School of Social Work where she finished her MSW in 2014. Currently, she works as a project coordinator with the University of Michigan Health System's new Office of Patient Experience, working with patients, families, faculty and staff to improve the patient experience at UMHS. Favorite OS memories include the first Capuchin challenge in Dr. Steve Garcia's OS class, time spent wandering the 7th floor of Dennison, and the opportunity to work with Victoria Johnson's botanical gardens research team (the Snapdragons!) - traveling to New York and D.C. to interview horticulturists and more about sustainability in botanical gardens. Kate recently celebrated three years cancer free and is an active volunteer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training, Ozone House, the Cancer Support Community's Brides Project, and First Descents, a nonprofit providing outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer.
Anastasia Mitropoulos-Rundus Class of 2011
Anastasia graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and a minor in Modern Greek Studies. Upon graduating from Michigan, she joined the 2012 Teach For America Phoenix Corps, where she taught K-8 Special Education in a Title I, urban school district while receiving her Masters in Special Education from Arizona State University. After 2 years in the classroom, Anastasia joined Teach For America's national staff as an Associate on the Regional Operations team, supporting the learning and development of TFA's 52 Executive Directors. Currently, Anastasia works for PeopleAdmin in Chicago, where she delivers talent management software solutions to K-12 school districts across North and South America. Her career pathway, originally rooted in her OS Pathway, is guided by a strong passion and focus to improve educational systems and processes so that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed academically and professionally."
Sarah Blegen Class of 2015
Sarah focused her OS pathway on how varying international trends, cultures, and political structures in our world impact a multinational corporation's business strategies and organizational structure. She also focused her studies on leadership, and the skills/attributes necessary to be an effective leader in an organization or on a team. In the future, she wants to be a leader in an organization that has a strong and positive international presence. Sarah is currently working in the Global Demand Center at Cisco Systems in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her team focuses their efforts on generating demand for Cisco's technology worldwide via targeted marketing campaigns and events that engage and nurture customers all around the world. Sarah says, "It has been incredible to see the concepts I learned in OS relating to leadership and international business in action!"