Rodriguez finds direction through sport and support
May 20, 2022 | By Mia Azizah
When Juan Sebastian Rodriguez came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln four years ago, he didn’t know what to expect.
He only knew that his new home in the United States was very different compared to his hometown, Bogota — the capital and largest city in Colombia and the third-largest capital in South America.
Like many students who graduated from high school, Rodriguez was open to new possibilities even though he still looked for answers on how to make the best out of his collegiate years.
"As an international student living far from where I was born and raised, I can say that I appreciate new opportunities and being always open-minded towards new experiences," Rodriguez said.
When he stepped into the Memorial Stadium for the first time, Rodriguez knew he had made the right call on coming to Nebraska and joining the Husker community. Yet, he still wondered how he could integrate his passions for business and sports.
Throughout his four years attaining his bachelor's degree in international business and marketing with a minor in French, Rodriguez found mentors in faculty and staff, and friends who gave him a sense of belonging so far away from home. He's grateful the Husker community directed him to be involved in organizations aligned with his goals.
"The people here in Nebraska are really kind," Rodriguez said. "They will always help you with whatever they can, and that's something I really like from here."
International students should come to Nebraska because UNL gives you a completely new perspective of the world and helps you grow both as a person and as a professional.
In addition to his studies, Rodriguez worked as a customer service representative at HuskerTech, assisting students with technological issues and improving services for faculty and staff on campus. He also played intramural sports and found a job as a student worker at the Nebraska Athletic Department.
"Another area that I would like to focus on in the future is sports," he said. "I would like to integrate all the business and marketing knowledge I have into sports."
Following that combined interest, Rodriguez joined Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional co-ed business fraternity at the College of Business, and the college's Sports Business Association, a recognized student organization that fosters students' interests in sports-related careers. Through his involvement, he realized the best piece of advice he would give to any student – including his younger self – is to get involved and get to know as many people as possible.
As he looks back on the last four years of his life, Rodriguez wants to encourage soon-to-be college students from across the world who are in the same boat he was to consider the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He believes on this campus, students from across the globe can have an opportunity to share their cultures and simultaneously learn from others.
"Attending UNL gives you a completely new perspective of the world and helps you grow both as a person and as a professional," Rodriguez said.