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Student Spotlight: Roberto Ducoing

Posted August 11, 2022

Category: Student Spotlight

Today we’re featuring one of the many incredible students of Salem University who inspire us every day with their hard work, focus, and goals for making an impact on the world around them. We had the pleasure of talking with Roberto Ducoing, international business student, captain of the tennis team, and aspiring entrepreneur.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? What brought you to Salem University? What are you studying?

young man on tennis courtMy name is Roberto Ducoing, and I am from Mexico City, Mexico. I studied at an American school the whole time I was growing up there, and I have always wanted to earn my bachelor’s degree in the United States. When I was doing my college research, I discovered that a vast number of universities in the United States offer athletic scholarships. After applying to all the universities in my list, I received a tennis scholarship from Salem University. After reviewing everything about Salem University, I knew it was the right choice for me. I wanted a small university where I could really focus on my International Business major and take the next big steps in my professional life. Additionally, it offered me the exciting opportunity of continuing to practice the sport that is the love of my life: tennis.

Tell me about your time at Salem so far. What has your experience been like?

Mexico City has a population of more than 9 million people, so arriving to a small city like Salem took a couple of weeks to adapt. But it is still what I wanted because I knew how much potential there was to grow as the big fish in the small pond.

After just a few weeks, I started to embark on very exciting projects with one of my best friends and my future business partner at Salem University, Mariano Jimenez. In our freshman year, we managed to run the Community Service Club, completing a total of 644 community service hours. Out of those 644 hours, I completed 218 of them. Additionally, Mariano and I became tutors of the Student Success Lab led by Dr. Barnhart. That was another great experience because we were able to help students who urgently needed academic tutoring for free about 8 hours a week. We also managed the Stock Trak Club, Business Club, Chess Club, and International Student Organization (ISO). I was able to build key relationships with the community through city beautification projects, United Way, and as a head marketing intern for the Doddridge County Humane Society. Last but not least, I finished my first academic year as a marketing advisor intern for the semi-professional Lebanon Leprechauns basketball team in Indiana. I stayed active in the institution while maintaining high academic values, reflected with my 4.0 GPA and President's Honor’s scholarship. And I am very excited because I will take an additional leadership role next year by becoming a Resident Assistant.

So many amazing positive impacts in just your first year! You’ve also displayed a lot of leadership as the captain of the Salem tennis team as well. Tell me about that experience.

Our previous coach noticed my leadership skills, and not long after she was hired on, she announced me as the team captain despite being a freshman in my first semester. I was very excited because normally coaches give the captain role to the best or most senior player on the team. I did administrative work, managed social media, and helped with designing practices, scheduling matches, and recruiting. I always strive to fix anything I see broken, and I cannot wait to accomplish even greater things next year.

What has your experience with Salem's professors been like? And what kind of connections have you built with fellow students?

I have built very constructive and helpful relations with various professors at Salem University. Dr. McNaboe has supported me all the way from the beginning and continues to do so because he knows my potential. Thanks to Dr. Barnhart, the Student Success Lab has taken great shape, and I cannot thank him enough for all his support. Dr. Scherrer and Professor Thomas were very important for the foundation of all of the clubs, and I also cannot thank them enough. I also want to mention Dr. Getty because even though he is not at Salem anymore, he was willing to dedicate one hour of his free time per week to mentor me. I also want to hive huge thanks to Dr. Freedman and Jim from the library because they were always there to help me in all those hours I spent in the library.

The most important friendship I have built in Salem is with Mariano Jimenez. It was like finding a soulmate for everything I want to accomplish in the future. All the projects I mentioned above would not be possible without him, and he has always been there for me in all the stressful moments I have had. I know he will be my business partner for the many years that come ahead. I have also built a great friendship with Nathan Tutondele from the soccer team. He is always there to support me in anything I need.

What has been the biggest benefit of being part of Salem University? Or what has been your favorite part so far?

The best part has been accomplishing so many things in just my freshman year. I did not expect it from myself. My favorite part has been the two marketing internships I completed because they are great resume builders and now I am a step closer to getting an even bigger marketing internship. The key for next year will be to maintain my relentlessness and leadership.

Where do you see yourself after graduation? What goals are you aiming for?

My main goal after graduation is to build a successful startup company that eventually leads to the creation of more than one. I would love the startup companies to have a market focus on artificial intelligence, marketing, and/or private public partnerships. Additionally, I strive to become a long-term stock market investor in the near future.

Any last words of encouragement or advice for prospective students?

You need to learn how to be the big fish in the small pond to eventually become the big fish in the biggest pond. Sometimes all the opportunities are right in front of us, but by the time we realize, it is too late. I do not consider college as the time to party. In reality, it is the time to stop partying because one’s future is decided in it.