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Soccer player from Colombia: GSU opened doors

Graduate Profile: Juan Manuel Rodriguez

Juan Rodriguez

Juan Manuel Rodriguez, a native of Colombia, pursued his dreams of studying in the United States and playing soccer at Governors State University (GSU). His time at GSU allowed him to pursue an enriching collegiate experience that included a degree in Business Administration Management, success as a student-athlete, and building community through service work. 

GSU Newsroom: What attracted you to Governors State? 

Rodriguez: I am from Colombia, from a small town called Tabio. Three years ago, I received an athletics scholarship to play soccer at GSU. When they told me that there was a possibility of coming here to study business administration management, I never doubted it. GSU is a great university, surrounded by great people and very nice facilities.

GSU Newsroom: Top two GSU experiences? 

Rodriguez: My best memories at GSU involve playing soccer. In my first season, I remember a game against Lincoln College. It was a semifinal and we were tied with 4 seconds left. I scored the game-winner and the team advanced to the conference finals for the first time in the history of the program. 

Another very nice memory is from the recent athletics banquet, when I received the All-Around Student-Athlete award. I was very happy to see the years of effort reflected in that award.

GSU Newsroom: What campus activities did you participate in? 

Rodriguez: I played football (soccer) with the GSU varsity team, worked as an assistant in the athletic department, and was involved in social service at a church near GSU, delivering food to people in need. 

GSU Newsroom: What was GSU’s role in making your dreams come true? 

Rodriguez: GSU played a huge role in my dreams of being a business administration professional. I want to thank (men’s soccer) coach Matt Eggert. He believed in me and gave me this wonderful opportunity to play soccer in the United States and earn a higher education degree. I believe that GSU opened the doors for me to have a better future and grow as a person.

GSU Newsroom: What advice would you give current and/or future GSU students?

Rodriguez: Enjoy the university because I think it is the best time in life, and that beyond grades, you learn to face life in the best way and how to be a good person.

GSU Newsroom: What’s next after graduation?

Rodriguez: My dream is to continue studying. I want to pursue a specialization in public administration. I believe that all people must contribute something to society in some way and little by little, it will be better.