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5 Things I've Learned as Social Media Manager at Spoon UCLA

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

I joined Spoon UCLA fall quarter of my freshmen year after one of my high school friends told me about how amazing her Spoon NYU experience was. I loved every second of being on the marketing team from reaching out to local restaurants for sponsorship to seeing my idea of a campus-wide bake-off come to life. I even published my first article.  

I applied to be Social Media Manager at the end of my freshmen year, hoping to contribute more to the UCLA chapter. I can tell you with certainty that it's been one of the best choices I've made because college has been much more exciting since.  

1. Everything starts with passion.

Eden Buttlar

Compared to a lot of professional organizations on campus, Spoon UCLA is a very social club; the only real requirements to join is dedication and a love for food. Spoon runs because of the people in it who genuinely care about food and want to help spread the culture to other students and the community whether that is through campus-wide events, media collaborations, or creating editorial and creative content. You can't force people to have a passion if they don't already — it all comes from within. And when you have passion, the rest won't seem like work because you're doing something you love. 

2. Social media marketing is more than posting aesthetic pictures.

I used to think that as long as the picture made the food in it pop and had decent lighting, it was good to go on Instagram. Oh boy was I wrong. In actuality, you need to curate the most relevant and engaging 30 hashtags. Don't forget to tag other Spoon chapters in the area and give credits to the right photographer. And make sure you only post during prime time aka when college students are most likely to be on their phones and not studying. 

3. Things don't always go as planned.

Anna Yang

And that's okay. At the beginning of the school year, my fellow Spoon board members and myself had lots of ideas of what we wanted to do this year, and a lot of the time, things fell through. We run on the quarter system so we don't have much time for social events, and we also don't have a big bank account. But we learned to work through these shortcomings. We learned to be flexible and have an open mind set, which helped us work with Spoon HQ to plan the Studyhub event with Grubhub and build our bake-off event from the ground up. 

4. It takes a whole team to turn dreams into reality.

Lara Kohen

I used to think that as long as I wanted to get something done in Spoon, I just had to make time for it. No, no, no. All my crazy ideas only happened because of all the amazing Spoonies that shared my vision too. For example, I wanted to set up more media collaborations between our chapter and restaurants and food brands in the LA area. Myself and the Video Director did all of the cold-emailing, but it was my team members that went out to these places, took photos, and came back to produce articles and videos. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.    

5. Your love for food can take you places in the real world.

Anna Yang

Having Spoon University on your resume really makes a difference. At least 90% of my interviewers have asked me what the heck Spoon is and what I do in it — even if it had no technical connection with what I was interviewing for. Not to mention, I literally landed my social media marketing internship the summer after my freshmen year of college at a PR firm that worked exclusively with restaurants in the food industry because my manager saw my Spoon experience on my application. So you never know where food can take you in your life!   

I (sadly) will not be returning to Spoon UCLA on the leadership team next year, but I'm so excited to see what the new board has planned for us! Spoon will always hold a special place in my heart because it's such a huge part of my college identity. If food is something you love, I highly recommend you check out the Spoon University chapter on your campus; if there's not already one, start one! It's been a rollercoaster ride with some bumps along the way, but I guarantee that Spoon will nonetheless be an exciting adventure for you!