Miss FIU: Who will take the title this year?

Photo courtesy of Mary Corbin, Public Relations Coordinator of the Miss FIU Scholarship Pageant

Samantha Davis & Mirza de la Fuente/Contributing Writers 

Miss FIU 2014The Miss FIU Pageant will be taking place for the tenth year in a row on January 19 at the BBC campus, so get ready to see FIU’s finest showcase their talent and intellectual skills on stage in front of a panel of judges!

The competition is about more than just looks, it is an opportunity for young women to develop their personal and professional skills, receive scholarship money and participate in the Miss Florida Pageant.

Being Miss FIU is not just about wearing a beautiful dress or doing your hair and makeup right. There are many responsibilities that come with this title: Miss FIU participates in a variety of events on campus and in the community, fundraisers and any events that the president of the University invites her to.

Miss FIU also becomes part of the Children’s Miracle Network and supports her local Miami Children’s Hospital. Her work here involves visiting children and fundraising. Through her partnership, she learns how the hospital is run and how money is used.

Miss FIU also has a reputation to uphold: she must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, be able to take on the time commitment and job responsibilities and be actively involved with community service efforts such as fundraising.

Miss FIU 2013- Natalie Diaz

Miss FIU 2013- Natalie Diaz

The current Miss FIU, junior communication arts major Natalie Diaz, explained in detail the hard work involved with achieving and maintaining the title of Miss FIU.

“Miss FIU was actually my first ever pageant,” says Diaz. “It’s a great opportunity with the prize being money for school so I thought, what do I have to lose?”

It was after her first semester as a student at the University when Natalie signed up for the pageant. She thought of it as a fun way to become more involved in school and meet some new friends. After signing heavy paperwork, making sure her GPA was up to the competition’s requirements and writing a small bio on herself for the judges, Natalie was officially in the competition.

She mentioned that, as a candidate, you have to be personable and appeal to all of the judges. This is not an easy task since each of the judges are well rounded and different from each other. She also talked about how the judges look for a candidate who will represent FIU well. In the formal interview portion of the competition, the judges will ask about anything from social media to the economy.

“The interview was the one you had to prepare for the most,” said Diaz. “It’s hard because they can ask you about anything. You won’t know if they’ll ask you about your charity platform or gun control!” She explained that being in this competition means being very well versed and always being up to date with current news and events.

Miss FIU AwardsDiaz mentioned this as one of the most challenging aspects of the pageant and said that, “You’re blind when you come into the interview because you don’t know what you’re going into. Even if you watch the news and are knowledgeable in a variety of subjects, it’s still nerve-wracking because you never know what the judges will ask.”

She explained that the most common misconception about the pageants is that they are all about looks. “Yes, there is a swimsuit section but it’s a scholarship pageant so you have to be smart. You have to know how to talk to people you don’t know and you have to know how to answer difficult questions on the spot.” As a Communication Arts major, she spends a significant amount of time in the studio which has helped build her communication skills thus making the interview section less difficult for her.

Diaz also offered advice to Miss FIU candidates. She emphasized how important it is for a candidate to be confident in herself and explained, “It shows in your body language and radiates from you and the judges can see that.”

Her other important piece of advice: don’t get caught up in comparisons. “It’s so easy to get wrapped up in comparisons and say things like ‘Oh my gosh, she’s so much more talented than me or she spent five thousand dollars on her dress and I only spent one hundred!’” Competitors should not be concerned with how they measure up to the other candidates but rather how they present themselves to the judges.

After the amazing moment of getting crowned, Natalie explained that once you’ve won Miss FIU, you move up to state competition to compete for Miss Florida, and the winner of that moves up to compete for Miss America. Natalie started preparing for Miss Florida after winning in January of 2013 and then competed for Miss Florida in July.

The Miss FIU Scholarship Pageant will take place January 19 at 5 pm at the Mary Anne Wolf Theater at BBC.

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