Email to James with the Food Recovery Network


After going to UNC Charlotte for three semesters and having a meal plan for campus dining that was serviced by Chartwells, UNC Charlotte’s contracted campus food service provider, I noticed that many students always had a surplus of meal swipes used for our two main campus cafeterias.

Some students would swipe their friends in and still have leftover swipes. I realized that these leftover meal swipes could assist people in greater need for food in our community.

This realization can be tied into the openness trait of the Big Five (Goldberg).

I was insightful and curious to consider how our leftover swipes could better be used for the community.

My initial idea was to create a project where we could have a way to feed people in need by bringing them into our cafes and using leftover swipes to pay for them.

After all, the swipes were already paid for and it seemed like Chartwells was exploiting this average student meal swipe surplus to make an additional profit.

My analysis of Chartwells process exemplifies conscientiousness by myself being thorough and decisive to take action and understand what steps would have to be taken to learn more and make a change (Goldberg).

I expected that my project would be successful because it seemed like something many students would be able to fully support. From the little feedback I initially received from different individuals I proposed this idea to, I already envisioned its success.

In retrospect, I had applied the Great Man Theory (GMT) to the idea without knowing it by believing it would be a great idea because it seemed it was “born” with the appropriate “traits” to be successful (Carlyle).

On top of that, I still had the initial idea that my endeavors would always prove successful because of the good streak I had been on by getting to go to college.

I discovered that although the GMT allowed me to have such a high positive outlook on the success of my endeavors, challenges were still going to come and I had to do my best to put the work in so that Chartwells and the student body could have a more active connection.

In the end the lack of human resources and my lack of perseverance to continue to see this project through until its success gave way to failure of the project.

Schoolwork and work broke through my resilient attitude and in the end I lacked the adequate drive to push this project to success.

The failure of the project taught me to also understand that hurdles would always be present. This is the takeaway that later allows this experience to be part of what develops me into an authentic leader (Northouse).