By Sloane M. Perron, Manager of Marketing Communications 

Daniele Iaboni ‘22 has always been a dedicated and hardworking student. As a recent Anna Maria graduate, Iaboni double majored in Business and Digital Marketing, completed an internship at Disney World, participated in the Business Club, and played soccer where he served as team manager. Now in Anna Maria’s MBA program, Iaboni was recently awarded a $10,000 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. 

Founded in 1964, the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created to encourage student-athletes to advance their education with a graduate degree. Welcoming former student-athletes who joined teams during their undergraduate years, or those still currently playing, the goal of the program is to reward individuals who have the dedication and drive to succeed through graduate study. 

Iaboni first heard about the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship through the Great Northeast Athletic Conference which assists the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Iaboni was nervous about applying at first but was encouraged to take a risk and try for the competitive scholarship. Winning was a complete surprise for Iaboni. Alongside the prestige of receiving an NCAA Scholarship, the financial help makes higher education far more accessible for him.  

“When I opened the email up, the first word was ‘Congratulations’. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Iaboni said about the impact of the scholarship, “It’s no joke, it is huge. It means the world to me because that sets me ahead in my life goals. God knows how much that scholarship is going to pay for. Probably all, if not most of, my master’s degree. I was so ecstatic and I still am.” 

As a first-generation college graduate, the ability to further education is not only a major personal achievement for Iaboni, but also impacts his supportive family and younger siblings who also plan on attending college. 

After graduating with his bachelors, Iaboni moved back home to Canada where he works daily 12 hour shifts at a local factory while earning his graduate degree. For Iaboni, having remote access to his MBA classes means that he can work and make a living while earning another degree. 

“Professor Linda Nolan does a great job at making sure that everyone has access to class which is so helpful for my work schedule working 12-hour shifts. All the professors are fully flexible,” Iaboni said about his online MBA classes, “It’s been a lot of hands-on learning which is great and really forces us to apply the knowledge that we gained in our undergraduate business programs. Instead of having our education be repeated, we get to apply this new information and use it in the working world.” 

Iaboni is proud of the fact that he is not even 22 years old yet, but he is working towards his MBA.  Instead of having to come back to school and earn a master’s later in life, Iaboni believes that earning an advanced degree at a younger age will put him ahead in the competitive job market.  

Ultimately, Iaboni’s dream job is to become the manager of sports operations for a professional sports team. The road to that career is windy and tough, but Iaboni believes in himself and is happy to have the support of his Anna Maria College education building him up.  

“I think that my dream career is achievable if you take the right steps, you meet the right people, get the right education, and obtain the right work experience,” Iaboni said about his future outlook, “Who’s to say that it can’t be me, right? Everyone says there is a 1% chance to get this job. That means that there’s 1% of people doing it. So why can’t the person be me, or you, or anybody else? That’s how I see that. If you work hard, you work smart, and you make meaningful connections then why not? You have to bet on yourself.”