February 03, 2012
By Sherrie Voss Matthews, International Media & Marketing Coordinator
Diana Cantu studied in Florence through third-party provider API in summer 2011 in Italy, never imagining that her study abroad would lead to a resume-boosting career experience with a top-line designer.
Cantu’s Italian improved so much during her time in Florence that the Louis Vuitton store she works for in the U.S. nominated her to help with a store opening in Rome.
“This past summer, I studied Intercultural Communications in Florence, Italy,” Cantu explains. “It was the best experience of my life. I had visited Italy once before for a week and a half. However, a vacation that short only gave me a taste of the Italian culture and a huge urge to go back.
“While studying abroad, I was able to mingle with locals and learn a lot of the Italian culture and language.”
While in Florence, she lived on Via di Cont, 6, in a gorgeous apartment that she shared with four others in the heart of the city, located around the corner from the Duomo and the San Lorenzo market.
Cantu is convinced that her study abroad experience in Italy resulted in her selection as the only North American representative at the Louis Vuitton Maison - Rome store opening. Cantu flew out of San Antonio in late January and was at a red carpet ceremony on January 27, mingling with international stars and celebrities. She also was able to meet with other Louis Vuitton representatives from countries around the world, including Austria, Hungary and Brazil.
“The Louis Vuitton Maison - Rome grand opening began with two extravagant red carpet ceremonies,” Cantu said. “Louis Vuitton held an exclusive, red carpet cocktail party at the newly built store for 50 of the world's top clients and International stars from around the world, including Cate Blanchett.”
Cantu worked the events at the new location, which features is three stories, the first is for men, the second is for leather goods and travel, and the third is for women. She will remain at the Maison - Rome store until February 12.
Cantu, a communications/public relations major who will graduate in May 2012, started working part-time for Louis Vuitton as a sales associate in 2009. She will return to UTSA after the store’s grand opening to finish her coursework.
Her Italian experience is part of her career path; Cantu plans to obtain a communications internship in Louis Vuitton’s North American corporate offices. Her goal is a full-time position in communications with the company.
“I absolutely feel that this opportunity will give me a leg up in the company. Not only does the company value a well-rounded resume, but Louis Vuitton also embraces the cultivation of appreciation for the company,” she explained. “Through this experience, I have learned so much about the company and have truly become more passionate about the history and growth of Louis Vuitton. I know that this opportunity will set me apart from others who may be applying for the same positions within Louis Vuitton.”