Student profile: Cherry Jain
Cherry Jain is in her second year of a medical degree at QMUL. She recently took part in the Miss India UK 2017 competition, winning Miss Photogenic. We caught up with her to find out what the competition entailed, talk about her goal of raising awareness around mental health and women empowerment, and what’s in store for her next.
Hi Cherry! Congratulations on making it to the final of Miss India UK 2017! Could you tell us a bit more about the competition?
Of course! When I first applied for the Miss India UK pageant, there was an application form that I had to fill in. It was mainly asking about what I’m like, my hobbies, and any previous pageant experience I had. This was my first pageant, so I didn’t have any experience at all! Then I got to audition, where there was a Q&A segment and a talent portion: I sang a fusion of Bollywood singing of Indian songs while playing the guitar. At the semi-final and final there were four main rounds: a Q&A round in which the judges can ask you anything on the spot, talent which for me was playing the guitar and singing, traditional Indian wear and evening wear. You walk the runway and you’re judged on your attitude, poise, fashion sense, and confidence.
How did you get on at the competition?
I won Miss Photogenic, which means I get a professional portfolio, which is really good! I also won Miss Southeast as well because I’m originally from Canterbury. We have a sash ceremony soon, when we’ll officially receive our titles and our sash, and we’ll get our tiaras as well!
That’s fantastic, well done! What does that mean for you going forward?
Since getting the title, I’ve had a lot of other opportunities. I have been getting more involved in modelling for designers and doing photoshoots. I am more confident in approaching professionals and working with them so increase my own modelling portfolio. My Facebook page – @cherryjainn or Instagram – omgitsscherryhere are regularly updated and I have received enormous support allowing me to voice my opinion and make myself more approachable outside of the medical school. I would highly recommend doing a pageant; it's not just focused on beauty but also about personality, attitude, grace, communication skills and much more. It is a gateway into modelling, making yourself more noticeable and enhancing your current skills.
It’s great that you’re using this platform to raise awareness for mental health issues and women empowerment. Why is this so important to you, and what can we do to help?
The reason I chose to support mental health is because it’s very close to my heart. My mother has experienced mental health issues, and I myself have experienced mental health issues in the past so through my own personal experience, I wanted to raise awareness on how to speak about it and be open about the underlying issues. There’s a stigma around mental health issues and it's about time it is changed. I am doing charity work and raising awareness for a mental health charity in Canterbury which helped me when I needed them.
I wanted to raise awareness of women’s empowerment with being confident with your appearance. I want to spread the message that everyone has certain characteristics, traits and skills which they are better at and should be proud of themselves in that. You do not have to confine yourself to just beauty or brains.
Do you have any plans to continue your work around mental health issues?
I’ve become really interested in psychiatry given my own experiences with mental health issues, so I would potentially like to specialise in this area and do some more work experience around that. They have provisions for that at the Whitechapel campus, which I’m really looking forward to.
You’ve just started your second year of your medical degree at Queen Mary – how have you managed to find the time for the competition as well as your university work and other activities?
My course is very intense, but fortunately the whole process happened during summer, so it didn’t interfere with my studies. I’ve gotten to the finals of Asian Beauty Pageant International – with that I had to balance university, pageants and photoshoots. It was hectic, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly and have been coping with it so far! I think it’s just about being organised and independent. I learnt so much about the beauty and media industry and I now have opportunities to be on TV and do more interviews.
I hear you’re a great guitarist – we’d love to hear more about that and any other exciting hobbies you have.
I’ve been playing the guitar since I was around 12, so I would say I’m pretty good at playing! I just really enjoy it, and I find it really relaxing as well. Other than that, I also enjoy sports; back at school I was a county badminton player and a county swimmer. This year I’m planning on joining a few other societies to develop my other qualities. To relieve my stress, I enjoy working out and going to the gym! I like exploring different things, and luckily at Queen Mary there’s something new to look forward to each year.