I have always been the person who will shamelessly spend at least 5 minutes trying to get the perfect food pic to upload to Instagram or Snapchat. Every time I post a picture of food, a good handful of people will message me asking where I got that delicious bruschetta or that beautiful, chocolatey dessert. I often contemplated if I should start a separate food Instagram account, because everyone seems to love my pics. But then I found Spoon University's USC chapter (@spoon_usc) on insta, and started submitting my pics there. I was already following them before I transferred to the University of Southern California, and I took up their great recommendations on the newest food joints to try around LA and USC’s campus. Last fall, they posted an application to join Spoon USC’s chapter, and I was intrigued. 

Being A Transfer Is Tough

As mentioned before, I was a transfer to USC. Being a transfer to any school is hard, and I was determined to get involved with my campus as much as possible. I wanted to become apart of the Trojan community as much as I could, as well as make new friends at this ginormous school. Even the application process for Spoon University was enjoyable. There were different positions to choose from, such as being a writer, a photographer, a videographer, or a marketer. Although I love food photography, I wanted to branch out as a marketer. Being a psychology major, I have learned that psych plays a large role into a vast amount of fields, including marketing. I wanted to gain more skills outside the classroom and learn about marketing through food. 

The Interview

Soon after my application was submitted, I was emailed back regarding an in-person interview on campus with a current Spoon USC member. I was giddy, excited, and nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. My interview day came around a few days later and it was so much fun. I bonded with my interviewer (Stephanie West @sstephwestt) because we’re both from LA and know some of the same people. After this quick, 15 minute interview, I got an email shortly after with the best news ever–I was officially a member of Spoon USC, for life. Once you are apart of Spoon, you are apart of this wonderful food publication for the rest of time. It is a lifelong community filled with amazing opportunities. 

First Day Jitters

My first Spoon meeting was a week or so after I was officially apart of USC’s chapter. Our weekly meetings are held in a classroom on campus, and about 30 people showed up to the first meeting. We went around the room discussing our majors, our positions, and of course our fav restaurants. It was exciting to find instant connections with people over food. I immediately felt like I was apart of something that I was passionate about. The board members of our chapter were so friendly, bringing homemade treats and telling us how flexible Spoon is. Although we often broke up into separate groups during meetings based on our positions, our board members explained that we can write articles, even if we are marketers, and take pics even if we are writers. It was cool to know that we weren’t stuck in one place, and we could all branch out and explore different aspects of Spoon.

This Ain't No Joke

Halfway through the semester, we had the biggest event of the semester– StudyHub, hosted by GrubHub. During the hectic #midtermszn, GrubHub was supporting not only our chapter, but our school, by having free food, photobooths, massages, and swag bags. StudyHub was an outlet for USC students to take their mind off midterms and relax by getting some grub and a free massage. It was such a success, and it made me go, Wow, Spoon really is no joke

Social Media Savvy

During the semester, I also got involved with being apart of the social media team for my role as a marketer. Every month, members from Spoon USC write articles, and as a marketer, it is my job to get their articles out into the world through different social media platforms. I am in charge of Spoon USC’s Twitter (@spoon_usc), and from there I tweet about the amazing articles about the best food hacks, new restaurants, and other #adulting struggles that our talented writers rave about. I also post them on Facebook and through Instagram stories. Through any possible platform, I wanted to get the word out not only about a new trendy ice cream place or a cozy Mediterranean restaurant, but about Spoon USC itself. 

Your Spoon (Chapter) Is Your Oyster

Spoon USC is not only a safe community to talk about food with fellow peers, but also a place to find career opportunities or internships. Board members often post about opportunities to work with brands such as being a social media manager for YES Bar or being apart of ArtCubed’s ARTXFOOD event. The networking within Spoon is insane and couldn’t be easier. We also get emails from Spoon’s NYC headquarters about their opportunities. Towards the end of this past spring semester, I got an email about Spoon’s Summer Program. This program allows Spoon members from different chapters nationwide to participate in writing 2 articles a week for 10 weeks. I have always been a strong writer, and I decided to apply. A month later, I got the official acceptance email, and my summer journey began. I thought it would be grueling and time consuming on top of my other summer job, but with the laid-back vibe of Spoon, writing articles is entertaining and stress-relieving. This program is inclusive to writers all over the country, and we get to personally communicate with other members of the program, as well as have one-on-one conversations with actual HQ members located in New York. Plus, once you publish an article, you are an official published author. How many people can say that to their friends and family, plus add it to their resumé?! Not only does it sound incredibly impressive, but it is so rewarding to see your original content published for the whole world to see. We also get to have video chat conferences with Spoon University alumni, and see where Spoon has led them outside of their university and into the real world as full time careers. Spoon alumni members include Delaney Strunk who is a Trending News Writer at INSIDER, who also worked at Buzzfeed and CNN, and Elena Besser, who started and ran the Spoon video department at NYC’s HQ, and now has her own production company and has clients such as Refinery29 and The James Beard Foundation.

I could go on and on about Spoon University and the opportunities they have given me in less than a year of being apart of it. If you have a love for food, you will have a love for Spoon. Food is what brings people together, and Spoon University has created a community for us foodies. Spoon is not only a school extracurricular, but it can be your career. Spoon shows us that you can turn your passion into a paycheck, and that’s why you should join Spoon at The University of Southern California.