Charter Oak State College Alumni Spotlight
Hello Charter Oak State College Alum --

We're sending along another interesting profile that focuses on the endeavors and achievements of a fellow Charter Oak graduate.  We hope you enjoy David Peterson's story!

David Peterson

David Peterson, '09 

The inspiration for David Peterson to finally complete his bachelor’s degree came in a small package – his first-born daughter. And now the Charter Oak graduate is about to publish his debut novel.

Although he had a successful career as a District Manager for Sterling Jewelers – supervising all areas of business for between 14 and 16 stores in the Midwest – he knew he wanted to make learning a priority, and be a role model for his children. He had pursued a degree at the University of Akron in the early 1990s, but left before finishing.

His retail career was a successful one, and he was promoted several times throughout his 12-year career with the jewelry company.  But when he left that job in 2008, he realized there were few good employment opportunities for people without college degrees. He decided that it was finally time to complete his degree, and found that Charter Oak was the best option to achieve his goals. He names Charter Oak’s accreditation, transferability of previous credits, affiliation with other top New England schools, and overall value as some of the college’s best qualities.

“I matured as a learner while climbing the corporate ladder,” said Peterson, who lives with his wife and two young daughters in Ohio, and currently works as a District Manager for a large financial services company. “I definitely wanted to set an example for my children on the importance of completing what you start, no matter how long it takes.”

While pursuing his degree, Peterson, who graduated in 2009 with a BA in Individualized Studies, also found the time to follow another one of his passions: writing. He has been writing for over 20 years, he said, primarily songs, poems and prayers. When his girls were infants and he was on overnight feeding duty, he would often pen stories about the people he met and adventures he had during business travel as a single guy.

He didn’t have any publishing aspirations for the stories until an editor friend read them and suggested that, with some editing, it would make an entertaining novel. And now “Chasing Great Love” is set to be published in April. On the book jacket, “Chasing Great Love” is described as “the spontaneous tale of a young mid-level executive and his attempt to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of life’s one true love. After accepting a promotion far from home, Dave the sentimental smart-aleck discovers that his ability to find career success is rivaled only by his inability to succeed at romance. He encounters more than a few interesting and distressing damsels along the way while enduring the rigors of retail in corn country, USA.”

Peterson also has outlines for both a prequel and sequel  to “Chasing Great Love,” but said his next writing project will be a children’s book written with his five-year-old.
 And his goals don’t end there. He also wants to get his MBA and pursue a career in government or higher education. Most of all, he wants to impact people’s lives in a positive way.

“The best memories of my career to this point are not trips won or bonuses earned. They are of people who are now successful business leaders and family providers who I recruited, trained, or mentored along the way,” he said. “Still, there is a limit to the amount of people my efforts can benefit. As an officer in higher education, the number of lives I can help improve jumps from hundreds to thousands. In government it jumps to tens of thousands and beyond.”

Receiving his degree from Charter Oak was an important step in achieving his dreams, and Peterson values the attention he received as a student. “The variety of ways to complete a degree (at Charter Oak) is among industry leaders, if not the best, out there. Being regionally-accredited is a must. It also seemed like every time I called an advisor for help, they either answered my call or called back the same day,” he said. “That kind of attentiveness is a rarity in any business.” 
 (NOTE: If you are interested in sharing your success story with us, please contact Amanda Guay at the College. She can be reached via e-mail: We'd love to hear from you!)

A reminder that membership in the Charter Oak Alumni Association brings with it a variety of benefits. If you are interested in working with the Association’s board and/or committees, contact Nancy Taylor. Her e-mail address is

The Charter Oak State College Foundation provides important scholarship assistance to students in need. Please support the Foundation’s efforts to the extent of which you’re able through a tax-deductible contribution.

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