Jackson Booth ’20, Laporte, Minn.
Major/Minors: International Business; Spanish and English

How did you decide on your pairing of majors/minors?

With international business, it’s a requirement to pair it with a language since you’ll likely be working abroad. I took Spanish in high school, so it was natural to add that. I really like writing – it’s so much fun to pick apart my own sentences, even when I’m writing an email. I took AP English in high school and ended up doing PSEO for two years, so I was able to bring in a lot of English credits. 

Where did your passion for coffee begin?

When I turned 16, I started working at Dunn Brothers. My boss encouraged me to become a roaster and I began taking tests and reading books in hopes of getting a raise, but then I fell in love with it. I got my roasting certificate and became the youngest master roaster for Dunn Brothers Coffee. There is so much science behind making a great cup of coffee. 

After that experience, I knew I wanted to be in the coffee industry. I had the opportunity to travel on mission trips to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, which are the largest coffee growers in the world. I loved the farming communities I met there.

How did you come to Concordia?

My mom works at Minnesota Public Radio, so she heard a lot about Concordia through the Office of Admission and she encouraged me to go and check it out. I chose Concordia because it was a liberal arts college – my parents drilled it into my mind that that’s where a lot of creativity is sparked – and they are totally right.

Did you know you wanted to be in choir at Concordia?

I was actually never in before coming to college. My freshman year, I chose to live in Livedalen, which has a lot of music students. My roommate was really into . Though I had never been in a choir, I was very musical. I like to sing and play guitar. So, I decided to try out and I got in! I have made so many friends through the choir.

Students at Homecoming in Cobber gear

What else are you involved in?

I am president of the International Business Club. Last semester, we had the international logistics coordinator from Cafe Imports Skype in with our club. That’s where I want to work one day! She talked in Spanish and Mandarin, which was really impressive. 

I am also the BREW coffee shop lead manager. It’s really fun and has taught me a lot, like how to manage people, be an effective leader, work with other managers and keep up with the daily operations. 

I participate in intramural volleyball and basketball on campus. I am on CEC and the Homecoming Committee. My favorite CEC activity is Open Mic Night. I performed last year and sang a Jack Johnson song and played the guitar.

What made your internship with Microsoft valuable?

This past summer, I was a member of Microsoft’s Student Experience Program (SEP) in Fargo. I worked with their Digital and Strategic Services team, where I was given the task of managing the reconstruction of an internal website for sales employees. My favorite project at Microsoft was designing newsletters for different holidays that are celebrated in countries with Microsoft branches all over the world. The newsletters are sent to Microsoft employees to wish them happy holidays and to notify others when their colleagues will be out of the office. My experience at Microsoft opened my mind to what it is like to work for a global company, which is something I plan to do in the future.

How do the faculty in the Offutt School of Business impact your academic studies and help you accomplish your goals?

My advisor, Dr. Odile Streed, helped direct me toward the major I needed for my career in international business. She knew that I was interested in international trade, learning languages, and coffee. As an international business major, I have had many classes geared toward my goals and my future career. My professors helped relate what was being taught in class to my personal interests and goals. Because of the Offutt School of Business, I have had amazing opportunities such as working at the BREW, the student-run on-campus coffee shop, and leading the International Business Club. Growing relationships with the faculty in the Offutt School of Business helped me achieve my goals and guided me toward my dream of working in international business.

How has being a Barry Scholarship recipient influenced you personally and professionally?

Receiving a Barry Scholarship was extremely humbling and I am very grateful to have received it. I am especially thankful for the Barry Foundation because this scholarship has lessened my financial burdens and opened doors such as allowing me to study business and language abroad. The Barry Foundation is an organization that helps students, schools, and programs around the Fargo-Moorhead area. I love what they do for the community and for Concordia. Receiving a Barry Scholarship has come with exciting obligations that I am required to fulfill, like working more closely with Interim Director Chris Mason of the Offutt School of Business and leading a research project. This research project will be presented at the Celebration of Student Scholarship (COSS) to the community, as well as my peers and faculty at Concordia. I have been working with Director Mason on my contribution to OSLO (Offutt Student Leadership Organization), a group run to aid in the implementation of innovations within the Offutt School.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a green buyer, which is a person who works abroad in coffee-growing countries and monitors the coffee plantations and sends the beans wherever you are trading them. It’s the second largest trading item in the world. I want to make it more equitable for the owner of the plantation instead of going through a middleman. By that time, the actual farmer receives very little from the sale.

How has the Offutt School of Business prepared you for your career?

The Offutt School has prepared me for a future career in international business through the amazing faculty, commitment to excellence, and desire to see students succeed. By gearing parts of the classes I took to what I wanted to accomplish in my career, the faculty use their knowledge of the world of business to help me accomplish my goals. The Offutt School of Business is an incredible place that prioritizes the needs of the students and helps students reach their goals and ambitions.

What advice would you give a first-year student?

The best advice I could give is don’t go home if you don’t have to. Try to stay around Concordia and get to know the people around you the best you can – even the people you don’t hang out with – and just see how it goes. There hasn’t been a case where that has turned out badly or I regretted it.

Published June 2019