Communication education leads to successful sales career
Published July 2016
Jason Boutwell is a husband, father of four, former North Dakota State University football player, competitive runner, cancer survivor, coach, compassionate friend and passionate technology junkie.
His career path led him into sales, a marathon distance away from his childhood plan to become a sports journalist. But Boutwell’s education as an NDSU communication student has helped him thrive at Marco, Inc., a Fargo-based information technology products and services provider.
Boutwell is one example of NDSU graduates who live and work in the area. He uses the skills he learned as a mass communication major to help clients get what they need in his role as a regional manager of major accounts. And there is no place he would rather be than Fargo-Moorhead.
“I have found my career to be incredibly fulfilling,” Boutwell said. “The things that I learned as a communication major at NDSU carried through to my current job in ways that I wouldn’t have anticipated.”
Boutwell said his NDSU education provides the foundation for the skills that helped him excel in a corporate career.
His classes taught him how to listen more effectively, decipher problems and react to people, skills he uses on a daily basis in meetings with co-workers and clients.
Boutwell said he was a hyper-involved student at NDSU. He was a football player and sports editor for the student newspaper. He also spent time in student government and other student organizations. He learned the importance of time management as he balanced all of the activities.
“One of the only real assets we have as productive human beings trying to find a good work-life balance is good time-management skills,” Boutwell said. “My time at NDSU taught me how to navigate that.”
Boutwell worked in Minneapolis for three years before he and his wife, Chasity, returned to Fargo-Moorhead to begin their family.
Then a serious health scare helped strengthen his connection with the community. Boutwell was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2014. People from across the region rallied to help him recover. They provided meals for his family every day and organized a benefit that more than 700 people attended.
Boutwell endured two operations and twelve rounds of chemotherapy, losing 40 pounds from his athletic frame. He maintained a positive outlook throughout his recovery and has been free of cancer for almost two years. He now helps others dealing with medical problems.
“I’ll never shake that feeling of gratitude I have for the people who were there for me,” he said. “Fargo is such an awesome town. I was given a very unique opportunity to see how many people in the community would go out of their way for me during a hard time. I could never move away from that. How could I ever leave that?”