MNU Alum Advances the Medical Field in a Unique Way
Paula (Gove ’11) Johnson Major: Mass Communications
Paula Johnson is no stranger to success; she was there to answer the door when opportunity came knocking on her doorstep.
Immediately after graduation, Johnson applied to the Business College of Target, a management-trainee program. After an intensive interviewing process, she attended her fifth and final interview with a regional manager and was hired on the spot.
Following a short time of training, Johnson was propelled onto the retail floor. There were up to 30 people at a time working for her, and she quickly gained quality managerial experience. Johnson says that one of the most important aspects of her role as a manager was the way she communicated with her team.
“How you speak to employees is so crucial to how they work for you,” Johnson said. “I think I succeeded there because of my communications degree and having that background of knowing how to speak effectively.”
From the time she started there, Johnson knew that Target would not be the final stop on her career path. She appreciated the experiences she gained, but viewed it as more of a stepping stone toward the next chapter; especially because she always had a desire to work in the medical field.
After two years at Target, another opportunity arose. This time it was with Cerner Corporation, a company built around improving medical solutions and the advancement of the health care system as a whole. Finally, Johnson felt she had found a way to combine her talents with her passion for bettering the medical field.
In March 2013, Johnson began working as a delivery consultant for Cerner. She is on the IT side of building solutions that are used in hospitals and medical offices. Her role is to meet with clients and decide how Cerner’s services will best benefit them. She then works on the back end to build programs that help her clients.
Johnson says that her time at MNU played a major role in her successful career journey. She attributes much of that to one man.
“I would tie 90 percent of that influence back to Professor [Mark] Hamilton,” she said. “He was a mentor for me and guided me all throughout college, and has still been there for me after college.”
She says that his advice and guidance helped to build her confidence and shape her into who she is today.
“I owe any amount of success to that man,” she said.
Johnson says that the small class sizes at MNU were beneficial because she was given the opportunity to express herself as an individual and really get to know professors. This in turn boosted her self-assurance and communication skills.
Johnson is happy at Cerner. She enjoys being a part of the innovative company and is enthusiastic about the fact that everyone who works there is passionate about a common goal: to help those in the medical field that are saving lives every day in any way possible. Characteristic of her driven personality, Johnson still has further aspirations for her career.
“Eventually, I would like to become a manager. I would like to have my own team and teach them what I’ve learned and share the passion that I have for this work,” she said.