When I think about this past year, and think ahead to success and what that is going to mean, I inevitable arrive at the conclusion that life experience is critical in forming new expertise. Leaders are created, not born. Up to now I have only one regret: in not taking advantage of an opportunity with Trader Joe’s last year, I have given up a few very real losses that I can only hope to some day rectify. Here, then, is my “fake” resume, as it could be.
1. Trader Joe’s, Crew member and Regional supervisor
Trader Joe’s is a wonder to most people who shop there. How, they ask, can TJ’s afford to price higher-quality, better-sourced food at 30% off of a supermarket? The answer to this involves direct supply chains, and store brand (Trader Giotto’s Italian food?) that cut out that crucial middle man. It also involves catering to amazing customers, and moving twice as much per store area as most supermarkets do. I “worked” here from Fall 2007 to early February, 2008 and was a part of this movement as it quadrupled profits and expansion through that time.
2. The Food Project, Summer trainings supervisor
With my experience at Trader Joe’s and a good understanding of sustainable food chains, I put in an application to be Intern at the Food Project (I actually did, barely missed the opportunity). The Food Project is the best regional example of farms creating thoughtful and productive community, especially with young people as full partners in food creation. This was a summer advising position to local area youth, to grow chemical-free food for markets and local food banks. Gave an understanding of a working farm and market flows.
3. Nourish International, Founder
Nourish International is another application I just missed. This position was head of a club to raise funds towards implementing a sustainable development project in a developing country. Together with peers, we raised $10,000 through school lunches, poker tournaments, and the Equal Exchange fundraiser towards a project that I design in Costa Rica Spring ’09. As a second part of the club, we “travelled” there to actually implement the design and improve the lives of an entire community. As leader and founder, I look forward to next year to implement bigger projects.
This has been a vision of what could have been. It’s painful to see an alternative less than this visionary path, and know that it was within reach. Rather than continue to lament the loss, I had to write this down. Research can somewhat make up for lost opportunity, but I have to question what could have been if there hadn’t been a casually dismissive comment one fall day from a friend I really value…