By Geraldine Haruka Ling
All Jezreel Tan wanted to win at the Seventeen Queen of Queens beauty pageant last Friday was a subsidiary award.
However, the outgoing undergraduate from the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) got more than she wished for: She walked away with the winner's crown instead.
"I think (I won) because of my confidence during the Q&A (question and answer) session," the 21-year-old told AsiaOne after her win at the inter-varsity beauty pageant organised by Seventeen, a fashion and beauty magazine aimed at young women.
During the Q&A segment, Jezreel had boldly confessed to the audience at St James Power Station that the most adventurous thing she had done was to strut down the Siloso Beach Babe Competition runway clad only in a bikini.
Indeed, confidence and bravery are two qualities that the former SIM-UOL pageant runner-up does not lack, be it on the catwalk or her career of choice.
Despite the gloom and doom of today's economic climate, Jezreel wants to be a trader.
The final-year student will step into the shoes of a junior trader at a private investment management firm upon graduation next June. She is currently working part-time at the firm as a secretary.
When asked if she thought her career choice was risky, the friendly undergraduate's answer was an emphatic "no".
"It'll be a good learning foundation for me," explained the banking and finance student, adding that she takes it as a personal challenge to develop better ways to reach out to potential investors.
"I'm glad that we're part of this as we can see how the economy will recover eventually.
"If we're able to tide through this phase, then we can learn (from the lessons it has taught us)," she said.
Call me a super-student?
Although she holds many portfolios - beauty queen, part-time secretary and full-time student, Jezreel does not find it difficult to juggle the demands of her varied roles.
"Prioritisation is the key. And of course, a very supportive boyfriend also helps," she said with a grin, adding that "the good thing about SIM" is that it allows her to complete her classes together in one and a half days, leaving the rest of the time for professional development.
Jezreel's boyfriend of five years is a first-year mechanical engineering student at the National University of Singapore.
Although this year's Queen of Queens already has her future planned ahead, she will hold in her heart the memories and friends that she made during the pageant.
"Getting to know the girls from all the different schools is really cool, and I will definitely keep in touch with them" Jezreel said about her time spent with the other contestants.
"I even want to make a Facebook group just for us."
Additional reporting by Shawn Chang, AsiaOne intern.
||About the contest
Jezreel Tan, 21, Singapore Institute of Management
Jalene Seah , 19, Singapore Management University
Second runner-up & Miss Vibrant:
Chloe Yan , 21, Singapore Institute of Management
Miss Glamourous Hair:
Candice Cheong, 19, National University of Singapore
Miss Fresh Look Personality & Miss Photogenic:
Irys See, 22, National University of Singapore
The Singapore-based Seventeen Queen of Queens showcases pageant winners from four local universities.
This is the fifth consecutive year that fashion and beauty magazine, Seventeen, has organised the event.
Throughout the academic year, each university conducts its respective varsity pageant and crowns its favourite beauty queen.
Seventeen Queen of Queens brings together the year's pageant queens from the various universities to compete for the ultimate Queen of Queens title.
This year, for the first time, supporters could also help to pick the winner by ZapCode - a 3D code that mobile phones can access - or online voting, in addition to the judges' decision.
The event was sponsored by Forever 21, Canon, Hoyu, Za, Ciba Vision and hosted by St James Power House.