Many systems have an age cut off of 24 years old, which is traditionally the age in which you have graduated college, established your career, and possibly even married.
But today, many young ladies are not taking this path.
Some are pursuing graduate school and professional degrees.
Some are starting their own companies.
Many are pursuing promotions and life-long careers in their field.
Recognizing this, many pageant systems have expanded their age ranges – Miss Universe included. Meaning you can still be a pageant girl long after you’re a college kid.
10 Reasons Pageantry Should Be a Part of Your Post-College Life
1. Interview practice
You can’t land the job unless you nail the interview. Pageants offer interview practice based directly off of your pageant resume.
Master how to convince the judges you’re prefect for the job of the titleholder while mastering how to convince an employer you’re perfect for their job.
2. Resume writing practice
As a pageant contestant, you know that your resume is the first impression the judges have of you. While in a pageant you’re guaranteed an interview, in the real world you aren’t, so you have to make sure your resume will capture HR and get you through to the next round of the hiring process.
The art of writing a resume is a difficult one to master. But if you are used to tailoring your resume to the pageant you are competing in, then tailoring it for the job you are applying for will be a breeze.
3. Answering, “Tell me about yourself”
If you’ve worked with me in mock interviews, you know my favorite question is, “Tell me about yourself.”
Why? It’s the first question pageant judges, potential employers, possible significant others, and potential friends and co-workers will ask. So make it good and you’ll have a strong first impression and a great shot at that job.
4. Fitness motivation
Forget the “Freshman 15,” the “Post-Grad Poundage” is nothing to huff at. It is very easy to get bogged down in job searching, moving, returning to your parent’s home, starting a new job as the low man on the totem pole (which means the worst hours), bills and everything else that comes with being an adult to skip the gym or hit up a fast food joint.
But, if you have a reason to go and a reason to keep yourself working out and eating right, then you won’t stop and it’ll be a part of your routine just as it’s always been.
5. Networking opportunities
You never know who will be judging, hosting, sponsoring, partnering or attending a pageant. It could just be your next employer.
Many girls have received full-time jobs with organizations they worked with during their reign after they gave up their title.
6. An awesome and updated wardrobe
Whether it’s an outfit for an interview, a first date, a company soiree or a night out with friends, you’ll have the wardrobe to look the part no matter what is required of you in that moment.
7. Continued platform involvement
Your platform has been a huge part of your life for some time now, or maybe you just found it. Whatever your story, you should consider continuing working with your platform long after college.
Why? Your platform may just become your career. It could also give you an outlet to meet new people in new places if you have to move to pursue your career. It is also a great sort of hobby to help you have a life outside of your career.
8. New friends
As we get older, making new friends can be hard. While we may still be in touch with our co-ed colleagues through social media, meeting new people after college is difficult, especially outside of work relationships.
However, through pageantry, we meet a variety of different people from all sorts of backgrounds and places, which is a refreshing break from our work lives.
Scholarships are no longer exclusive to undergrads these days. While scholarship opportunities may have gotten you into pageants in the first place, they could, in fact, keep you in them.
Some pageants offer the chance at scholarships to pursue graduate school and some even allow you to use the scholarship monies to pay off student loans.
Yes, if you weren’t able to pay for college through pageants, either in whole or part, continuing to compete after college can help you pay it off.
10. Sister queens
Sometimes, the most important relationships and benefits to competing in pageantry after college are the relationships we make with our sister queens.
Maybe they can lead you to a job, or maybe you can lead them to a job.
Maybe you can help them answer those tough college and career questions and make those decisions.
Maybe you can be the person they call when they need a “big sister” close by. (Read: How to be the Best Big Sister Queen)
No matter what, our sister queens help us navigate life before and after the crown and they are an important part of the experience of pageantry. (Read: Why Sisterhood is Important in Pageantry and How to Create It)
Convinced? While money is always certainly tight in our post-grad lives, one thing I learned is that I shouldn’t have let it stand in my way.
I didn’t compete in MAO from the month before I turned 21 in 2008 to the month before I turned 24 in 2011. I graduated college at 21 in December 2008 and was unemployed and didn’t compete until my last eligible MAO local in March 2011.
I also didn’t compete from that last MAO to my last chance at Miss USA at age 26 in November 2013 and yes, I regret it.
If you don’t want to look back wondering, “What if…” then don’t give yourself the chance to close that door.
Looking for a system? MGI-USA or Misses Glamour USA offers divisions for ages 24-45, making it the perfect post-grad system no matter if you’re a 6th- or 7th-year senior, a graduate student or a professional.
As a bonus, the winners will be competing in Misses Glamour International in Belgium, so you can check off some traveling goals while you’re at it.
Learn more about MGI USA today, visit www.mgiusa.org, and become a queen empowering a queen. #QueensRise
What are you waiting for? Apply to compete and celebrate the positives of being a post-grad.
Congratulations and good luck!