We’re so excited to kick off our “I’m A Founder” campaign showcasing how inspirational, driven, and ambitious our founders are. Starting a chapter is not an easy task. These individuals take on the challenge of building their Spoon chapter on campus from the ground up. Starting July 1st we’ll be releasing a spotlight article on a founder each week for the rest of July.
Besides choosing Scotland as my place of study, bringing Spoon University to St Andrews was probably the best decision I made regarding my college career.
I fell in love with my university quickly, made great friends, had a job I enjoyed but by the end of my second year, I felt kind of disconnected to the school. I had occupied my time with work and hanging out (not to mention maybe a little too much Netflix) but I hadn’t joined any clubs or societies. And I regretted it.
I learned about Spoon from a friend who had run it at Duke, and when another friend joined at Skidmore I started looking into starting one in St Andrews. While more of a consumer than creator of food myself, I am passionate about my meals and thought creating a society of dedicated food appreciators would be a great way to meet members of the St Andrews community who were like-minded individuals.
Spoon has been a great opportunity for me. Starting from the recruitment phase (where I needed to collect sign-ups from my peers in order to get Spoon running), I’ve gained not only incredibly valuable insight about my interests and skills but been able to build off of those to create a chapter with 40+ members that hosts some of the most exciting events of the school year. Each step in setting up and running Spoon had/has its difficulties, but I’m so happy to have done it all.
Having to get 300 students to sign up for something, even as great as Spoon, is no easy task. This was made slightly harder in my particular circumstance, since Spoon was an unknown in the UK compared to all its American sister schools. But when you want something bad enough, you just make it happen. I’m lucky enough to have incredible friends who helped me thieve (read: borrow) a table at our Freshers’ Fayre, tell incoming freshmen what Spoon was all about, and convince them that signing up was something they should be excited about. And in one weekend we got all 300 signatures. There were definitely times I didn’t think that would happen, but those thoughts just made me work harder because I knew what a success Spoon would be once we got it started.
Member applications was maybe some of the most fun I’ve had during this process. I’ve only ever filled out applications, so being on the other side was not something I was used to. When we held interviews, I was genuinely shocked that people were nervous. Nervous to be interviewed by me? I thought it must be a joke. But in retrospect, it gave me some pretty good insight for when I get interviewed in the future. The people interviewing you are just that–people. They’ve been there before. I’m always quick to remind myself of that now.
The events are not something I expected to enjoy as much as I do, but thanks to the members of Spoon St Andrews, we really knock the ball out of the park. Both our major events have been sold out, with Don’t Guac (a guac-off) having 150 attendees with 20 different guacamoles in the competition. And it definitely hasn’t been Spoon-members only events. We’ve gotten our St Andrews community involved, and various societies have ended up reaching out to us because they see how much fun we are and how well we do and know that Spoon is where its at.
The best part about Spoon, for me at least, is the people I met through it. The two other leaders at St Andrews (shout-out to my girls Isla and Charco) are two of my closest friends now and that wouldn’t have happened without Spoon. The members of Spoon St Andrews are some of the kindest, funniest, most interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and best of all, we all share the love of the edible. I’ve watched members really foster friendships, grow as writers, and even use Spoon as a positive outlet in their battle against mental health. And it makes me feel so lucky to have been even a small part of any of that by bringing it to St Andrews.
From Spoon I’ve learned interview skills, the art of running meetings, how to reach out to local businesses, and everything that goes into event planning, not to mention the editing skills I’ve gained as editorial director. And all that’s great, it really is. But I’m mostly happy to have created the Spoon St Andrews community, because to me there are few people that are better than my Spoonies.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in becoming a founder at your school.