The Next Step of My Writing Path

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Published June 23, 2021
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The Montclarion
Ian Long | The Montclarion

I walked into a small room filled with newspaper lovers on a sunny day in September 2018, nervous but excited to join The Montclarion and start my journey in what was hopefully going to be a career in journalism. The first thing I couldn’t help but notice was tons of smiles and a warm atmosphere that immediately made me feel welcome.

Fast forward two-and-a-half years and I’m a graduating senior who has somehow gone from a sports writer to assistant sports editor to sports editor and now to managing editor of the newspaper that I joined my first semester of sophomore year. How did I get here?

It all started with that first sports section talk after the meeting, when my then-editor Anthony (Gabbs) Gabbianelli welcomed me to the team, and I decided to write my first ever sports article about a women’s volleyball game. That solidified my choice and made me realize I was in the right place.

I’ve made so many lifelong friends that I owe to The Montclarion. One thing you learn quickly when you join is that we’re not just a newspaper team, but a family. The way everyone supports each other here is unmatched and I hope that continues well into the future.

My experience with The Montclarion is one that I will cherish for the rest of my journalism days. I knew I had a passion for writing and sports when I came into The School of Communication and Media but wasn’t sure exactly what I could do with it. With the help of the paper, my writing blossomed and I found my niche to be writing about ice hockey, which I now have a job doing and am going to be able to expand even more while pursuing my master’s this fall.

The versatility of The Montclarion is one thing I truly love, as it helped me develop my writing even more. I joined as a sports writer but I’ve since written articles for every other section. When you join, you’re not limited to one section or team and can contribute to any section you want.

There are so many people to thank at The Montclarion that have contributed to my time there. Everyone I ended up becoming friends with was always pushing me to help me succeed from the start.

Gabbs, thank you for giving me my start with The Montclarion. What I’ve accomplished here would not have been possible without your kind words and motivation that led to you choosing me as your assistant and then your replacement. I hope I’ve transformed the section just as you thought I would and that you’re happy I’m writing about the Devils now (although I’ll always be a Rangers fan!).

Rosaria, thanks for being my best friend at The Montclarion. I’ll never forget that first day in multimedia toolkit when you wanted to join the newspaper. Our friendship has blossomed so much since then and I couldn’t imagine getting through these past two years without you. I’ll miss our Panera and Dunkin’ dates but I know we’ll be hanging out all the time anyway as our friendship goes beyond Montclair State University.

Corey Annan, I wish you the best of luck as you continue your journey as sports editor. It’s been so rewarding watching your writing grow and I know you will bring the section to new heights.

Heather Berzak and Mackenzie Robertson, thank you for always being supportive of my writing and caring for the team beyond the needs of the newspaper. You two were an amazing editor-in-chief and managing editor duo and I appreciate all you’ve done for us.

To my other editor-in-chief and managing editor duo, Jen Losos and Thomas Neira, thank you for keeping us grounded as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic persisted. You were another amazing pair. Jen, you were the sweetest and so supportive and I’ll miss all of our late-night classes together. Thomas, we killed it this semester and I couldn’t have asked for a better editor-in-chief when I started as managing.

There are many more people I could thank but it would go down this page forever. Thank you to my teams these past three years and especially my team this past semester. You were all patient with me when I took over managing editor and made my job so smooth.

Thank you to all of my sports writers throughout the years and a huge thank you to Tara George for being our faculty advisor. I know you always say our success comes from within the team as a student-run newspaper, but our achievements would not be possible without you.

To the next team for this fall, I have no doubt you will continue to keep The Montclarion top-notch and I’ll be keeping track of all the amazing things you achieve. When I reflect on my college career, I’ll miss The Montclarion the most, but the memories will last forever. It’s time to trade the mountain life for city life as I continue my journalism career at Columbia University, something that would not have been possible without this newspaper.

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