Alumni Spotlight: Gianluca Pesce, Class of 2009
My years spent at John Cabot University
were some of the best of my life. If I had access to a time machine, I would definitely use it to go back to my JCU days!
My name is Gianluca Pesce, and I was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Both of my parents are originally from Italy, so they instilled in me the value of our Italian heritage.
From a very young age I was speaking Italian and spending my summers in the town where my father was born. Ever since then, I dreamed of a future in Italy. That dream came true when I moved to Rome in 2007 to pursue a degree in International Affairs at John Cabot University.
When I was little, I loved Italy so much that I even tried to convince my parents to let me go to high school there. They didn’t go for that, so instead I started researching different American universities that had study abroad programs in Italy. John Cabot University kept popping up during my research. So, one summer when I was visiting Italy I made a stop in Rome to check it out. To put it simply… I fell in love. I fell in love with the campus, with Trastevere, and with the potential possibilities it held. I saw the life I was dreaming of as a kid. The decision to attend was an easy one.
Why I love JCU
There are two main reasons why I loved studying at JCU. The first is all the people I met there. They say “it’s all about who you know,” and, man, do you meet a lot of people at JCU! The people you interact with on a daily basis are from all over the world! Because of JCU’s intimate setting, the connection between these diverse students is so strong. I remember we all shared a similar connection to John Cabot University and to Rome as a whole.
The second reason to love JCU is the opportunities it gives you. If you are willing to put in the work and effort, you will be rewarded. When I was a student, I joined the Student Council as the International Affairs
Degree-Seeking Representative. Through the work I did with that group, I was able to partner with Democrats Abroad and organize one of the largest voter registration events for American students living or studying abroad in Rome for the 2009 U.S. presidential elections. I went on three live Italian news programs to give an American student perspective of the historic win of President Obama.
Not only that, but before graduating I was also able to secure an internship
at the American Embassy in Rome, where I went on to help with American logistics for the G8 conference that year in Italy. I even got to meet the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the rest of the First Family. I’m positive that none of that would have been possible had I not gotten involved at John Cabot.
A few months after graduating, because of a spinal injury, I decided to move back to the United States so that I could recover with the help of my parents. But after a quick recovery, I was back on my feet and following a career path in marketing for restaurants. Unfortunately I never returned to Italy to live, but I found I loved working in the food industry, so it was an easy transition.
Today I am the Director of Communications for a growing restaurant group based in Chicago. I oversee the brand management, social media, customer communications, and overall marketing strategy/direction for 16 restaurants in four states. It’s always busy and every day presents itself with new challenges, so I never get bored. Best of all, I am fortunate enough to be able to work for a company that allows me to travel back to Italy on a yearly basis!
I am also thankful to be a JCU Alumni Ambassador! Not only does that allow me to stay connected to my university, but I am also able to share my story with others. My time at John Cabot was so meaningful, and I love telling people about the amazing opportunities JCU gave me.
PS: Shout-out to the class of 2009… I love and miss you all!
Class of 2009
International Affairs Major
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, USA