2011 St. Thomas graduate Monique Volz has always been passionate about cooking. She started out making pancakes and Spanish cuisines in her free time as a child, but little did she know that she would be managing her own food blog and adding a myriad of companies to her client list shortly after graduating.
St. Thomas graduate Monique Volz enjoys creating all sorts of dishes for family, friends, and herself. She's self-taught and has been heavily influenced by her family. (Geena Maharaj/TommieMedia)
Volz started her food blog, Ambitious Kitchen, in August 2011. Since then, she has frequently publicized recipes she has made, product reviews and inspirations in her life. The emphasis on her food blog is “sweet delights and healthy bites.”
“I strive to create food that makes my soul happy,” Volz said. “As cheesy as that sounds, I just simply love to develop recipes that are not only creative but also memorable to me.”
Though Volz aims to bake healthy food, she admits to having a sweet tooth.
“Sometimes I bake things with excessive butter and sugar,” she said. She has also been experimenting with gluten-free recipes.
In addition to her food blog, Volz does freelance work for many companies, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 firms. Volz double majored in marketing management and business communications and has done work for TheBakerySpot.com, General Mills, Food Network and many other companies.
Currently, Volz is working for herself doing freelance public relations and social media consulting, food writing and recipe development.
“I love developing recipes, eating, taking photographs, teaching myself new things, inspiring others to cook and then sharing it all,” she said. “Food is like a puzzle to me. I love the finished product but putting it together is one of the best parts.”
Volz believes her education and experiences at St. Thomas are main contributors to her success.
“St. Thomas provided me with great networking opportunities and a foundation to grow and think about what type of career I really wanted to pursue,” she said.
Entrepreneurship professor James Ebben said college is a great time to experiment with entrepreneurial ideas.
“As a student, really it’s a low-risk environment to try something like a food blog or something else,” Ebben said. “You’re in a college environment, and it’s a learning opportunity. There’s not a whole lot of cost to failing or not working out.”
Volz advises students who are passionate about an idea to take action.
“Make connections, share your passion with others, find those who share your interest, and above all, stay determined,” Volz said. “You will have days where you’ll want to give up, but try not to get discouraged. Seek opportunities and push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of. I’m still doing that every day.”
Geena Maharaj can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.