From Beauty Queen to the Boardroom: How Pageant Life Prepares You for a Successful Career



One of our greatest joys at Pageant Associates is the opportunity to champion successful young women. Because we see how hard they work, we firmly believe that pageant life helps them to cultivate an array of skills that can be directly applied to the professional workforce. We’re proud that so many pageant participants now have enriching careers in a variety of fields – from journalism to finance, health care, business and more. That’s why we were honored to talk with former Miss USA Erin Brady. 

While winning Miss USA in 2013, Erin worked full-time as an accountant. She later branched out into television, working both in front of and behind the camera. After living on the West Coast as a television program director, Erin returned to her native state of Connecticut to further her career as a financial accountant with an innovative technology firm. Erin spoke warmly about how her journey to the crown continues to guide her today, in the boardroom and beyond. 

How Pageant Life Prepared Me for My Career

Pageants provide phenomenal training for the professional working world. The skills that I developed on the pageant stage, such as speaking in front of crowds, directly translate into my career. Whenever I am asked to give a presentation, direct a meeting or conduct an important interview, I feel confident and ready to take the lead. Pageants prepare you to become well-spoken in front of any audience – and in a professional setting, that goes a long way!

Three Traits for Success

Both in the pageant and professional worlds, I’ve found that these three traits will carry you far:

  • Humility.
    Appreciate your roots. Remember where you come from and the people who have supported you. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t because people will see right through it. Stay true to who you are and you’ll be able to form immediate, honest connections with others.
  • Vivaciousness.
    An outgoing, magnetic personality is a winning trait. When you walk into a room, you’ll have an aura about you that will make people want to talk with you. Embrace the opportunities that pageant life gives you to cultivate this trait and shine.
  • Self-appreciation.
    It’s very easy to compare yourself to others. Don’t fall into this trap! Appreciate who you are and what makes you beautiful and unique.

Balancing the Demands of Pageant Life with School and Work

After winning Miss Connecticut USA in 2012, having a full-time job as an accountant helped me to stay focused and organized. When you only have so many hours in a day, you simply don’t have the time to get nervous or psych yourself out. Instead, you learn to carefully use your time. Keep a tangible list of everything you need to do. Hand-held calendars are a great way to stay organized. Lay out your day, week and month ahead, so that you have a clear picture of how much time you have – and remember to leave some down time to relax and have fun!

Advice for Choosing a Fulfilling Career

I’m a true believer in doing what you love. No amount of money buys happiness. Ask yourself what you love to do, what lines up with your natural skill set, and then make it your goal to do it. At the end of the day, you want to be able to look back and say “Wow, I made an impact. I challenged myself, learned something new, and am happy.” And remember to be patient with yourself. Your dream job may not happen right away. It may take a path different than what you originally envisioned. But if you’re willing to work hard and adapt to new opportunities as they come, you’ll find fulfillment – both professionally and personally!

For more inspiration from Erin, follow her on Twitter @officialebrady and on Instragram @officialerinbrady.