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Do what you love

Julya's confections were served at the 2015 President's Leadership dessert.

Take a major in accounting, combine with a passion for baking and add a dash of entrepreneurship.

by Miranda Buschur
Sophomore marketing student
St. Henry, Ohio

It began simply enough. As an eighth-grader, Julya Faulkner chose to make her brother a golf-themed cake on his birthday. She followed this endeavor by taking up cake-decorating as a 4-H project. “It just kind of snowballed from there,” Faulkner says. “And here I am.”

But where is “here”?

Faulkner, a senior accounting major from Cardington, Ohio, runs a cake-making business  – all while taking on a full class load.

Since enrolling at ONU, she has decided to pursue a career in accounting to launch herself professionally before thinking about opening up her own full-time bakery.

From baking to a career in accounting?

When I was a senior in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. None. I had no idea. I came to ONU, and they started talking about the accounting program and the forensic accounting program. It appealed to me and seemed to be a good fit for me. I really like it.

“Right now, baking is not something that I want to do for a career,” she continues. “I want to establish myself a little bit before I open up a business or anything like that.”

ONU attracts students like Faulkner who have big dreams and goals yet are wise enough to be practical in reaching these goals.

As she takes on accounting, Faulkner continues to develop her baking business. She credits a lot of the business’s growth to her time at ONU.

“The most development really started when I came to college. I started selling more to groups on campus and to more individuals versus going to a party and dropping it off.”

With more than 200 student groups on campus, it was inevitable that her business would continue to grow and develop. Her cake balls, in particular, were a big hit on campus. They’ve also led to a learning opportunity or two.

“I use my cake balls as a basis for a lot of my courses. In my Intermediate Managerial Accounting class, there is a big project called ‘The Make-It Project.’ We do everything from basic marketing to intense financials. Cake balls were our product, and I learned so much.”

From this project, Faulkner learned a lot about the legalities of business and how to create a full-scale business plan. She used this project to continue growth in her own cake business. Faulkner is now looking into becoming a limited liability company (LLC).

Faulkner has already overcome the stereotype of “boring accountant,” and she is most definitely a creative, talented individual who credits this to time spent in the hospital.

As a cancer survivor, Faulkner spent a lot of time in the hospital growing up. She credits her creative tendencies to that time.

“I would say that my creative genes come from spending a lot of time at the hospital. They bring these carts around with stuff on them to pick a prize or other things. I spent a lot of time making things and doing a lot of creative art projects. I always passed on the Barbies and went for the crafts. I think a lot of my love for creativity and crafts developed from that experience.”

As a student entrepreneur, Faulkner’s advice to young professionals is quite simple.

“Do something that you love to do. If I didn’t love to make cakes and cake balls, it would be very difficult to make myself do it. Since I love it, it’s very rewarding. If you don’t love what you’re doing, especially at a young age like this, it’s not going to be rewarding at all. So do what you love.”