Cerner Operations Exec Credits His Faith

Sep. 16, 2013 - by Carol Best

MNU Experience Is Great Foundation for Alum

by Rachel Phelps ('09)
September 16, 2013
20131105 DPeterson

From shooting guard for the Avignon-National 2 professional basketball team in France to operations executive for Cerner Corporation, David Peterson (’04) says the one constant in his post-college life has been his faith.

“I just trust that God's got a plan and try to stay faithful. It comes full circle,” says Peterson.

Peterson played basketball for the Pioneers all four years of his college career. After graduating with a BA in business and communications he spent his first several months after college completing an international business internship in Avignon, France at Palais du Pape (or The Pope’s Palace), and stayed to play professional basketball. When he returned to the US to search for a job he found himself moving furniture and roofing houses. Learning about an opportunity at Cerner, he landed a formal interview at the corporation’s headquarters in Kansas City.

“I relied on my background in sports and working on and with teams as my foundation when being interviewed. Not to mention I had faith the Lord would guide my hand,” says Peterson.

This pioneering attitude paid off for him. An official offer arrived in the mail several days later and Peterson began his career with Cerner. During the last eight-plus years, he has held nine positions within the company – from solutions delivery consultant to operations executive - and has worked in London, Paris and New York City, among other locations. The international scope of his job is something he worked toward in college.

“My end goal was to get back to Europe to use my French language skills,” says Peterson, who took international business courses at MNU. “Through this job, I had a chance to do that for two years. The Lord knows the desires of your heart.”

Cerner is a health software company that designs, builds and implements medical software across specialties and venues. Peterson’s job involves coordinating with two of Cerner’s largest clients – Adventist Health East and Florida Hospital.

“It is my job to work with executive leadership on the client side to ensure they are realizing the full potential in their partnership with Cerner. I spend half my time working in Orlando with the client and the other in KC coordinating with some 13 divisions at Cerner to ‘keep the wheels greased’,” he says. “I’m making sure they're having the best possible experience with Cerner, maximizing their value and realizing the investment on their dollars.”

This includes meeting with CEOs to plan a “roadmap” for utilizing the software and making sure any problems reported are dealt with in a timely manner. Working for a health software company wasn’t Peterson’s precise goal, but Cerner has enabled him to exercise his passion for serving others.

“I've always felt like engaging with people, seeing it from another's point of view, is one of my strengths,” says Peterson.

Which isn’t to say that his job doesn’t hold its challenges. His current position often includes working 12 hour days or longer, and there are unique hurdles to overcome. He recounts an experience of training physicians in Marseilles, France, on Cerner software.

“It's intimidating when you're the only American trying to speak French to 16 doctors, but I relied on the Lord's strength and trusted that He had a plan,” Peterson says.

His MNU experience helped him gain that trust. Peterson says when he looks back at his college years, what stands out most to him are the character-building lessons he learned – the importance of integrity, honesty and valuing other people. The relationships he had with his professors enriched his learning experience.

“Having an intimate setting such as MNU for college was great in that I was being taught by professors with doctorates – and they genuinely cared for their students,” says Peterson. “The fact professors were willing to go the extra mile and take an interest in helping you not only succeed in the classroom, but in life, is one facet of MNU that sticks with me to this day.”

Peterson has a family legacy with the MNU. His grandfather was the architect for the campus, his father coached Pioneer basketball in the 1980s, and his mother is the current Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He currently volunteers as an assistant coach for the Women Pioneers basketball team to stay involved at MNU.

“I’m just trying to teach them life through basketball,” says Peterson. “Being selfless, being a servant to others, those are things I try to communicate to them through sports.”

While coaching gives him a chance to exercise his love of sports, it also allows him to observe the campus community as it is now.

“Seeing the diversity on campus these days is a prayer answered.  Students and faculty alike hail from different countries, ethnic and social backgrounds and religious viewpoints. And that’s what I see at MNU these days – people embracing ‘who they are’ and living for Jesus,” says Peterson.

apply-banner-300

Fill out our free online application and advance your career!

Apply Nowinfo-banner-300
Enter your contact information and one of our experienced admissions representatives will contact you shortly!
 

MNU News

Friday, December 19
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Bruce Flanders
Library Director Honored

Library Director Honored

Library Director Bruce Flanders has been named the December member of the month for the Association of Christian Librarians. Established in 1957, the Association of Christian Librarians is one of the…

Read More
Website Icon
Admissions Site Nominated for Award

Admissions Site Nominated for Award

MNU’s web site section for undergraduate admissions is a nominee for eduStyle's 2014 Best Prospective Admissions Site. The design, which was created by MNU’s in-house marketing and web team,…

Read More
Terry Zeigler KCK Police Chief
MNU Alum Named Police Chief of KCK

MNU Alum Named Police Chief of KCK

MNU alumnus Terry Zeigler ('98) was named Chief of Police for Kansas City, Kansas last week. Zeigler holds a BA in Management and Human Relations from MNU. Read the whole story by Tony Rizzo in The…

Read More
Coach Willmer Gridiron
Coach Willmer Named Region 3 Coach of the Year

Coach Willmer Named Region 3 Coach of the Year

Willmer MNU Head Football Coach Brian Willmer was selected as the 2014 American Football Coaches Association’s Region 3 Coach of the Year for…

Read More
New MLK photo
9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s 9th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration will be held Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., at…

Read More
Caldwell Close-up
Finally Home at MNU

Finally Home at MNU

Despite a troubled home life, John Caldwell never despaired; instead, he followed God’s call on his life and found a new place to call home at MNU. Homeless at 15, adopted by a church at 17,…

Read More
Tracy Cowell and Zach Phillips will work for several months away from home with an Ebola response team. “I have extreme confidence in the protocols they have given us and the equipment we have,” Cowell said. JILL TOYOSHIBA The Kansas City Star
MNU Alums to Serve in Fight Against Ebola

MNU Alums to Serve in Fight Against Ebola

Courtesy of The Kansas City Star. Two MNU alums, Zach Phillips ('11), BSN, and Tracy Colwell ('14), BSN, will  travel to West Africa Dec. 4,…

Read More
IC Client Icon
When Ministry Meets Need

When Ministry Meets Need

Dr. Randy Cloud wants students in his Introduction to Ministry course to think beyond the traditional church setting for their ministry careers. So he brought Greater Iowa City Church of the…

Read More
Blake Nelson and his wife
Into the Hot Zone

Into the Hot Zone

Blake Nelson, a residential educator and advisor for student media at MidAmerica Nazarene University, traveled to Liberia on a humanitarian trip for Heart to Heart International in October. His…

Read More
Sports
Brubaker Leads MNU Past Valley

Brubaker Leads MNU Past Valley

Cale Brubaker's career-high 21 points led MNU to a 16-point victory over Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Dominate Vikings

Pioneers Dominate Vikings

The Pioneers never trailed in a 90-52 thrashing of Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
"Frenchy" Earns 2nd Consecutive All-America Honor

"Frenchy" Earns 2nd Consecutive All-America Honor

For the 2nd straight year, Aurelien "Frenchy" Norest has been named to the NAIA Men's Soccer All-America 1st Team...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
Girls Dorm Lounging Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Lounging Dorm Life Now
Girls Dorm Group Hang Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Group Hang Dorm Life Now
Girls Dorm Phone Call Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Phone Call Dorm Life Then