Twenty-five year old Matt Bellassai is living the Millenial dream. For the uninitiated, Bellassai is a Medill grad turned Buzzfeed editor turned web star, parlaying the act of drinking at work into Internet stardom. It seems to be working for him; he recently suspended his popular video series to go solo as a comedian. Sound like career success? You bet.
- He came to fame by posting videos of himself drinking wine at work. Bellassai's biggest claim to fame, of course, is his weekly web series "Whine About It," which he started for Buzzfeed last year. He's made two seasons of videos thus far, with about 3.5 million people tuning in weekly. It's certainly the most productive thing somebody's ever done while drinking a bottle of wine at work.
- He's got a customized Chipotle card. In February, Bellassai posted a photo on Instagram of a customized Chipotle gift card, good for a free daily burrito for the next year. "All of my burritos will be streaked with joyous tears of happiness," he wrote. I don't blame him.
- He just won a People's Choice Award. On Jan. 6, Bellasssai won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Social Media Star. He clearly savored the experience, writing on Facebook, "I actually can't believe it happened for real and that I got to stand in the same backstage room as Chris Hemsworth and watch him from a corner while I ate a fancy brownie." Clearly, his priorities are in order.
- He joined Buzzfeed as an editorial intern. For many Medill alumni, having to take an internship post-graduation is a necessary but scary sacrifice on the way to journalistic success. Bellassai made the most out of his Medill degree and his time at Buzzfeed, finding a niche by keeping things weird. He credits the publication for encouraging him to experiment, telling other young journalists to not fear doing the same. "I feel like now is the time where it costs so little to just put yourself out there," he recently told Chicago RedEye. "You shouldn't be afraid to take that first tiny little step and see how people like it and learn from it."
- He wants to be Northwestern's commencement speaker. Bellassai has a simple offer for Northwestern: "What better commencement speaker than someone who has made a career out of drinking wine at his desk?" Only a few years removed from leaving NU, Bellassai is ready to guide the next round of graduating seniors into the next chapter. While fellow NU grad and comedian Seth Myers may have the job on lock for 2016, don't be surprised if Bellassai makes an appearance on the graduation podium in the near future.