My name is Fabio Cantoro, and I was born in Assisi, Italy, and raised in Perugia. I stepped into John Cabot University in the fall of 2013, and I graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics and Finance.
I first heard about JCU when my mother’s colleague told me that her daughter, Giulia, was about to graduate. I chose JCU because it looked like the only way to study business and finance in an American university in Italy. Plus, I trusted Giulia’s opinion that JCU was the most elite university in Italy. Now I know that she was right.
One of the best parts about studying at John Cabot is that you get to enjoy a “Little America” in the heart of Rome. You also have the opportunity to make friends from all over the world. Without John Cabot, I would have never had the chance to build such long-lasting friendships that have helped me grow and approach both life and people in a completely different way.
Last but not least, the faculty are amazing. I wish every youngster was given the chance to attend at least one class with professors like Stefano Arnone, Silvia Pulino, Simona Costagli, Alessandro Signorini, and Alessandra Grego – I could go on forever! I also want to give a big shout out to the library staff who became family to me.
Imagine having all this while living in Rome. I felt like the main character of a Hollywood movie shot in the Eternal City!
After graduating, I started interning with a small consulting firm called Looking for Value (L4V) and a consulting group called yourCFO. My Internship at L4V required a strong knowledge of business administration fundamentals, such as strategic management, organizational behavior, consumer behavior, and corporate finance. Moreover, my English language skills were vital to my position.
At L4V, I assisted in preparing the business plan of a three-year project that was funded by the European Commission for €6 million. Needless to say, many of my courses from JCU, including Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and Corporate Finance, turned out to be essential for my role in this project.
My internship with yourCFO, on the other hand, required more people management skills. I worked as a consultant for a multinational company that operates in Italy, France, and Luxembourg.
While it was a challenging period for me, both internships were key in my professional development. My boss at L4V empowered me to take action, boosting my self-confidence. I was often reminded of something Professor Costagli would tell me during my economics exams: “You will often have to give up on perfection because of time constraints.”
By working as a consultant for a fast-paced multinational company, I quickly realized the importance of going beyond what I was asked for and being prepared to answer even the most unpredictable questions.
I was often reminded of an important memory from my time at JCU that has stuck with me to this day:
Professor Pulino gave me a B+ on my first finance quiz. Back then, this was a big failure for me. That day, she said to me, “That was the bare minimum, Fabio; I know you’re capable of going beyond that. Show that to me in your next quiz.” Just like Pulino’s quiz asked for more than just the bare minimum, top managers used to ask me questions three steps ahead of what was required of me. Every day, I thank my professors – their lessons, academic and otherwise, were key to my personal and professional development.
After ending my journey with both L4V and yourCFO, I started tutoring a friend of friend from JCU. We focused on economics, finance, and accounting. This was the beginning of my friendship with a young guy from Libya who became my business partner only two months later.
I currently work for his father’s holding group, a Libyan group mainly aimed at facilitating import-export deals between Europe and Libya. It’s funny to say that one of the things I like best about my current job as a broker is that I only speak English at work because the company is Libyan, and I’m the only Italian there. We are currently working on buying the coffee bar right across from the Guarini Campus.
All of these unforgettable experiences share one common variable: John Cabot University!
Class of 2016
Business Administration Major and Economics and Finance Minor
Hometown: Assisi and Perugia