In May of 2019, Anthony Gabbianelli graduated from Montclair State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, passing down his role as sports editor of The Montclarion and moving forward into the sports media job market. As he continues to secure internships and freelancing gigs during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Gabbianelli still holds his sights set on pursuing his dream of being a professional sports writer.
Finding a sufficient job has proven to be quite difficult for many recent college graduates, especially as COVID-19 has devastated the sports world.
Gabbianelli started the job hunt before graduating and landed an internship with a sports business company in Hoboken, in Sept. 2019, writing for their blog a few times a week. A positive start to the postgraduate life, Gabbianelli was doing this up until December. The pandemic hit just a few months later, as he continued looking for work.
“It’s an everyday routine for me to go online to the variety of job application sites and look at what jobs interest me and what I think I can succeed in,” Gabbianelli said.
COVID-19 has not brought all negatives to Gabbianelli’s life. He ended up getting a puppy to keep him company and he is still able to work his part-time job at a paint store in his hometown of Wayne, New Jersey. His work included freelance jobs, projects to help his brand and other outdoor activities.
“I’ve been working on a few projects, like writing in my spare time and working on my website just to put myself out there more, but outside of working and applying for jobs, I have been hiking and walking around some parks where I live. It helps me destress and clear my head,” Gabbianelli said.
The work search has given Gabbianelli the drive to focus on his writing and build on the opportunity to establish his brand as a writer. His dream job lies in being a sports journalist, specifically for baseball, but Gabbianelli has also come to see that writing about topics like legal reporting is also enjoyable and a fun alternative. He is also interested in ice hockey, basketball and has grown to appreciate esports.
“I have definitely put myself out there more and [have] experimented with other forms of writing,” Gabbianelli said. “I applied to a work that I have interests in writing about, but have not really done so. For example, lately I have been reading a lot about law and cases that end up going to court, just because that is really interesting to me, so I have applied to jobs that would have me write about that. I did have interviews and some jobs [that] even had me take exams that I found fun to write and learn about.”
Gabbianelli has had a lasting impact at The Montclarion, especially with the sports section.
He served as sports editor for two years, while also writing for the rest of the sections at the paper: news, feature, opinion and entertainment. His work varies from student athlete profiles to album reviews and sports teams features. Gabbianelli even had the opportunity to interview former Olympic ice skater and Red Hawk, Isadora Williams, in 2018.
“I loved everything about being the sports editor,” Gabbianelli said. “It was the best job I’ve ever had and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to work with fellow writers and an awesome staff. The events and games I covered [is what] I miss the most, and especially everyone who I worked with in the office. I met so many great and inspiring people with my time there and interviewed even better people. I catch myself, every once and a while, missing that position and wanting to turn back the clock so I can relive all of that again. I miss it all, really.”
Gabbianelli was known to always fill The Montclarion office with a bright attitude through his humorous persona, getting along with almost everyone he came across. Ben Caplan, The Montclarion’s photography editor, is one of Gabbianelli’s closest friends, and had many fun experiences with him throughout their time together at The Montclarion.
“When I joined The Montclarion in 2017, ‘Gabbs’ was the first editor that I worked with. He introduced me to the team and he made me feel welcome in the office. Over the years, our relationship has grown and now he is one of my best friends,” Caplan said. “‘Gabbs’ is one of the most genuine persons that I have ever met, and I really miss hanging out with him in the office and at sporting events around campus.”
As for now, Gabbianelli will continue to pursue a path in sports writing as he explores his options even more. Considering how well he writes, especially when it comes to his favorite sports, it seems this Montclarion alumni will have no problem getting a sports writing gig if one comes across the board.