Sky’s the Limit
GLAM Alumni Spotlight - Kimberly Pantuso
While pursuing her undergraduate degree in fashion textile management at NC State, Kimberly Pantuso worked as a design intern for a local interior design team where she was first exposed to an industry that grabbed her attention: the global luxury industry. The opportunity to work with luxury furniture and fabric brands piqued her interest – and eventually inspired her to continue her journey at NC State in the Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) program, a dual master’s degree program through the Poole College of Management and the Skema Business School.
“Once I recognized the global luxury industry was something I was interested in, I started to reach out to GLAM alumni to hear about their experiences,” Pantuso says. “All the positive feedback I received from them encouraged me to confidently pursue the program.”
Since graduating from GLAM, Pantuso has moved on to work with Jet It, a private aviation company offering cost-effective private travel.
“After finishing my semester abroad with GLAM, I got in touch with Jet It’s CEO Glenn Gonzales, who was a mentor for the GLAM program. He and co-founder Vishal Hiremath offered me a four-month internship which later turned into a full-time position,” Pantuso remembers.
Today she serves as one of Jet It’s business development executives where she assists the sales team by engaging prospects, qualifying leads and serving as the initial point of contact for prospective customers.
“I really enjoy my position because it’s opened my eyes to the private aviation industry – something that was completely new to me. I’m constantly learning new things and meeting incredible people. And every day is different,” Pantuso says. “One of my favorite parts of this role is getting to have conversations with people all over the United States. I’m continually motivated and inspired by the people I get to work with on a daily basis.”
Pantuso found that GLAM’s curriculum, global focus and emphasis on international experience provided the foundation she needed to excel in the luxury space.
“GLAM presented me with several opportunities to develop presentation skills, navigate new experiences and work alongside others from different cultures. I learned so much about myself throughout this program and grew as an individual. I can confidently say I am ready to take on new challenges and be a leader in my new work environment,” she says.
In addition to a comprehensive education and personal development, Pantuso found that GLAM offered a strong, diverse community to belong to.
“Looking back on my time in GLAM, the thing I most value is the relationships I gained,” she says. “In addition to broadening my professional network, I also developed lifelong friendships. In a cohort of 42 students, I had the unique opportunity to get close with all of my classmates – to learn about their backgrounds and cultures and hear their different perspectives. Not only that, when I was abroad, I got to experience some of these cultures firsthand. It’s an experience I’ll never forget – and never take for granted.”