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Cobbers together: Concordia alumni collaborating on project at Sanford

With graduation just around the corner, many Cobbers are wondering what the future may hold. Some may have grand plans to travel the world for work, but for three Cobber alumni, staying in the Midwest has provided an opportunity to continue collaborating with their college classmates.

Margot Peterson ’10, Lauren Peters Erling ’13, and Brandon Huether ’10 work together as senior communication specialists for Sanford Health.

With approximately 28,000 employees, communication is crucial at Sanford Health. One goal for the communications team is to efficiently relay information between different departments. This team of Cobber alumni handles needs like these along with a wide range of other projects.

“We really do a variety of things. We will go from working with our leaders for different communication needs to working with our co-workers for some different types of needs … Together I think our team is really strong and we always help each other out,” Peters Erling said.

One initiative the team is working on deals with Sanford Imagenetics, a program that aims to personalize medicine by combining patient information to allow for doctors and other medical professionals to preliminarily identify diseases while also creating the most effective treatments for patients. The team’s role is to provide a systematic line of communication throughout all regional locations of Sanford Health.

“Any message from Sanford Imagenetics we will communicate that as one message,” Peterson said.

The three Cobbers work independently, located at each of the Sanford locations in Fargo, Bismarck, and Sioux Falls; but ultimately bring their content together to deliver one voice to Sanford employees across locations.

“If there is something that Fargo and Bismarck is working on together, Margot and I will work together and do one communication together instead of just doing our own individual messages. That way we make sure we are consistent in our message to our employees,” Peters Erling said.

Peterson graduated with a degree in sociology, Huether with a degree in graphic design, and Peters Erling with a degree in English writing. Although none of them hold degrees in communication studies, they feel the education they received at Concordia prepared them to succeed outside of their field of study.

“Concordia started a new class where they brought graphic designers, communication majors, and marketing majors all together for one class and we had to do a project together and present it as a rebranding project for Moorhead … and I thought ‘I can’t just stick to design, I have to look at more broader scale stuff of what I’m going to be doing when I hit the workforce,’” Huether said.  

Not one of the three alumni went straight from Concordia to their current position, nor did they expect to be in their current position, but there was a great feeling of content among the group of where their journey has taken them.

“I didn’t expect to be here, but I’m glad that I am here. I really love what I do, and I can’t imagine a better career or a better place to work,” Peters Erling said.

They expressed their appreciation for their time at Concordia, with things like their orientation clubs and the Concordia Choir as some of their best memories. The three also offered advice to current students who will soon hit the workforce.

“The [Concordia] Career Center is such a great resource and I would highly recommend that students use the resources there on campus. Not only that but the Cobber network that is out there … Wearing the ring just goes so far,” Huether said.

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