In the Spring of 2015, I was contacted by another student that said he was bringing Spoon University to Drake. Because I had written in the food section of Drake Magazine in the past, he thought I would be a good fit to apply for the new publication that writes about food. While I was busy at the time, I thought I could occasionally write an article or two, so I applied.
What is Spoon University?
Spoon University is a national online publication that writes about anything and everything to do with food. We write about food history, food science, recipes, health and food trends. It’s geared toward college students, and it’s written by college students. Spoon University has a homepage that campuses from around the nation contribute to, and then Drake has its own separate page for local articles and articles written by Drake students.
Basically, it’s a fun group of people that unite to share one love for food and write about it. We also do events on campus, but that’s a story for another day.
Because Spoon is a national publication, we have guidance from the full-time employees that are at what we call “Spoon Headquarters” (Spoon HQ). From starting our chapter to continuing editorial advice, the Spoon HQ team makes sure we’re on track to publish the most quality articles possible.
Although yes, this can be a nuisance (nobody likes negative feedback from people you’ve never met), it’s helped my writing, photography and social media skills tremendously. I’ve always consciously had specific audience and focus in mind, but at Spoon, they make sure the articles you write are marketed to the right audience as well. I’ve learned to write more casually for an audience that prefers entertainment over serious learning.
Before Spoon, I was able to spot a good picture, but recreating that same technique was difficult. Spoon has a tutorial page that you can revisit for help in photography, and visiting other campus’ websites helped look for examples of pictures that were popular.
And of course, the photographers on our Spoon Drake team are fabulous and so helpful. One of them even conducted a photography session to help our team learn more about what goes into photography, complete with an inspiration book.
Let’s just take a look at one of the first pictures I took for Spoon (yikes):
And now, one of the more recent photos I took:
Did you breathe a sigh of relief with me?
Normally, I don’t love people that speak of the leadership they’ve learned or gained in college. I haven’t decided if leadership can be learned, or if it’s just a natural ability. I also believe in strong followers, and without those followers, there can’t be a leader. It’s a combined effort between all members of a group that makes an organization successful.
On a daily basis, I vary from a star or strong follower to a leader depending on the situation. I can’t deny that Spoon has helped my leadership skills grow throughout the past six months. We are constantly recruiting members to join our team, thinking of ideas for articles and events and organizing which article will be published next.
There has to be a leader to organize the members and communicate between the Spoon HQ team and our local Drake team. It’s forced me to work on these leadership skills and develop them, so I can become a leader in every situation instead of just certain situations.