I’m delighted to have just been announced as a new brand ambassador for Miss University

I’ll be helping to mentor the contestants and will attend many of the heats throughout this autumn, with the grand finale being held next spring. It’s an amazing opportunity for young women in university to build their confidence and public speaking skills, learn about the industry, make plenty of contacts and enjoy exciting new experiences.  

The contest is already well-established in Ireland, but I jumped at the opportunity to become involved because I love the strong message of Miss University for young women. It represents education, confidence, empowerment and making the most of all your skills in life. Beauty pageants have changed a lot in recent years, and are a great way to give girls a public platform to air their views and support the causes they care about. Miss University aims to support well-rounded young women and to be seen as more than just a beauty pageant, choosing candidates based on skills, passions, personality as well as outward beauty. 

Are you interested in entering Miss University? Check out the successful past winners, competition details and entry form here 🙂

For the official launch, with Miss University 2015 Caroline Shanahan, I wore this baby pink cut-out pencil dress (€67), with my gold Becker bracelet from Stella and Dot (€79).

With Miss University 2015 Caroline Shanahan. Photo by Brian McEvoy.

With Miss University 2015 Caroline Shanahan. Photo by Brian McEvoy.


Check out my Miss University Q&A below:

Rosanna, it’s 12 years since you were crowned winner of Miss World. What does winning a beauty-type competition do for you on a professional level?

Winning Miss World enabled me to travel and work all over the world, from China to the United States, Europe, Canada and Africa. I met a wide range of people, developed skills including public speaking, and earning the title has really helped me to work consistently for the past 12 years.

…And what about personally, do you think it’s something that improves confidence levels?

Miss World most definitely improved my confidence and ability to speak in front of large crowds of people. The travel involved is also an amazing way to learn about and appreciate a wide range of different cultures, languages and traditions. So it was a superb education for me.

What do you think are the key traits that judges look for in potential winners?

One point I always make to people is that the contestants are all gorgeous, glamorous and photogenic. Ultimately, that’s what sells and what the Miss World organisation wants in a winner. But even more importantly, they want somebody mature and capable enough to represent their global brand. The majority of my fellow contestants were either in university or else already qualified in professions like medicine, dentistry, architecture and law. Judges look for traits including a good education, an ability to public speak with confidence, someone comfortable with appearing in front of the camera, speaking to the media at press conferences and meeting heads of state. My experience of the Miss World competition was that it was a month-long, highly competitive job interview in which you are constantly judged.

If a girl is thinking about entering a competition like Miss University, but undecided, what would be your advice?

I would definitely say go for it! It’s an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience and a great opportunity to make friends and contacts in the industry, develop personal and professional skills, and improve your confidence.

How do you think beauty competitions have changed over the last few years?

I definitely see that beauty competitions are so much more than how a person looks on the outside. They’re about young, educated and empowered women widening their horizons, adding a whole new dimension to their CV and life experience and it’s an exciting area to be a part of.

Do you think models need to be more aware of the need to develop other life skills before their moment is up, to be ready in other words to jump to another career before?

I strongly believe in broadening your horizons as a model, and for me it’s been important to finish my degree in UCD and then go on to train in nutritional therapy, which I see as a very natural trajectory from modelling. It’s enabled me to start the next part of my career, writing a nutrition and recipe book, called Eat Yourself Beautiful, and launching my new lifestyle website – www.RosannaDavisonNutrition.com

We’ve heard of formal education, personality, charity work etc. as being important for a beauty competition winner, to show well roundedness, but as someone who’s involved in fitness & nutrition, do you think that has an important role to play in being a strong candidate?

I firmly believe that helping candidates to develop a healthy attitude towards health and fitness is crucial when you become involved in beauty competitions. I’m in a position where I can really help girl to understand the importance of staying strong and fit with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Eating properly is also so necessary for keeping up energy levels when life gets very busy for a competition winner. 
What made you decide to become involved with Miss University this year?

I love the strong message of Miss University for young women. It represents education, confidence, empowerment and making the most of all your skills in life. It gives girls a platform to air their views to the public and support the causes they care most about. I’m a huge supporter of women and this is a great way to boost confidence levels and give young women a voice.

Finally, give contestants one crucial piece of advice based on your experience with beauty competitions.

Maintain a strong and positive mindset at all times, and stay firmly focused on your goals. Don’t take anything too personally and remember that it’s a competition. Finally, try to enjoy every moment of it!