Miss Universe New Zealand: Two Weeks of The Fast Life

During my Miss Universe New Zealand Journey, after having gone viral, I decided to go back to Malaysia and Indonesia for two weeks to do an Entrepreneurial Challenge event and to do media interviews. Firstly, I would like to say thank you to AirAsia for supporting me by providing return airfare tickets to Malaysia and Jakarta. Without their amazing help and support, it would not have happened.

I was also given the opportunity to visit RedQ near KLIA2 and I must say that AirAsia would be an amazing company to work at. Their concept of the Head Quarters is much like Google with slides, open spaces, gym, medical centre cafes and much more. I loved how humble the CEOs are as their offices are open and their desks were set up just like all the other workers. In fact, all the employers are known as ‘All-Stars’ which is awesome as each of them are valued and they can talk to the CEOs at any time as well. Everyone that I have communicated with and met during my visit was super friendly and helpful. I even had a chance to meet with the CEOs of the company which was really cool because I was able to talk to them for a while as well.

Again, thank you so much to AirAsia for making my trip happen. I have been a frequent flyer with AirAsia and so far, I have had no issues with them and they have always provided me with great service. As a student that only works during the summer I was also able to travel to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam at the start of this year so flying with AirAsia is affordable and I highly recommend it with anyone that wants to go on a low-cost airline with exceptional service. My dream has always been to travel and to make a difference and all thanks to AirAsia, I was able to make my dreams happen.

Also, read a bit about my story in AirAsia's Travel360 in flight magazine for this month (August). 

Nonetheless, during my time in Malaysia and Indonesia, I was also able to meet and network with a lot of people, Alhamdullilah. They were mainly people from the media but I was able to meet celebrities, other CEOs, public figures and designers.

The newspaper companies I have worked with were Malay Mail, The Star, M Star, News Strait Times, Harian Metro, Kosmo and Antara News.

NAMA Nurul Shamsul semakin menjadi perhatian sebaik terpilih sebagai finalis Miss Universe New Zealand 2018.

When the media arrived they told me that they had wanted to do a video with them asking quick questions. I had always watched 73 questions by Vogue so I knew what I was getting myself into and it was super exciting when they told me that they wanted to do something similar with me.

Radio Stations I was interviewed with were Radio Era, Mix and Zayan.

Television shows that I appeared on were Motif Viral and INI TalkShow.

I also did an interview and photoshoot with CLEO magazine which will be in magazine stands in September and I am super excited because I grew up reading the magazine and now I will be featured in it! 

As you can tell, the two weeks I was in Malaysia and New Zealand were really packed and this doesn’t include all the meetings and activities that I did as well. I thought that my life before Miss Universe was busy but it was only then when I realised what the ‘fast life’ is really like.

After doing all the interviews and photo shoots, I have to admit that I enjoyed doing them because I was able to spread my message and live my dream. My dream has always been to inspire and empower women and I was able to do so during my time as a Miss Universe New Zealand finalist and I hope to continue.

To be honest, most of the interviews and appearances that I did were scheduled at the last minute. So, most of the time I had no idea what I was happening or what was expected. However, I knew that whatever the media had asked me to do or answer, I should just go with it with confidence and represent myself the best way possible.

When you have all this media attention on you, it’s so important to not let it get to your head so it was important for me to stay humble and to always renew my intentions. I never had the intention to have all this media attention on me because I knew how dangerous it could be. This is because so many people are watching you and so many people look up to you when you are a public figure. What you do, the places you visit, who you associate yourself with, the things you wear, what you say; people will look at you and can judge you over the smallest of things. And that’s why it’s so important that throughout these interviews I had stayed true to myself.

I know that being a finalist in Miss Universe New Zealand was a big deal because I am the first Malay-Indonesian to have ever competed in such a big pageant and also because I wear the hijab too. And I’m also aware of all the comments that had stated I was ‘Biase Je’. But that is exactly why I continued to compete in Miss Universe New Zealand- so that everyday girls can look at me and relate.

You don’t need to conform to westernised ideals of beauty to be beautiful. You just need to be confident in your own skin, accept and embrace all of that you are by loving yourself. That is why I have started a social movement called ‘Beyond Beauty’ to inspire and empower women by breaking boundaries and stereotypes as well as redefining what true beauty is, where it is also a journey to resilience.

Nonetheless, these interviews taught me a lot of like skills as well. How to be organised, how to be better at communication, how to pose, how to handle the pressure and how to network. But there was another lesson learnt.

When you are a public figure, you really have to be careful with what you say. In one interview, we were joking a lot and having a lot of fun. At one point, I had sarcastically said that I had a crush on Syed Saddiq. I said that I liked intelligent men and I used him as an example. I am sure that I did say that it was a joke and to not to put it in the article and if I didn’t, I would have said it in an obviously sarcastic tone.  This is only because I knew that Syed Saddiq is a ‘hot’ topic and that so many girls in Malaysia like him.

With all honesty, I only thought that he was intelligent when I read that he was a young Minister and rejected Oxford twice. That is pretty much all the information that I know about him. So, I never really had a crush on him, I just admired his intelligence. When I saw that I made headlines by having a crush on Syed Saddiq, I honestly couldn’t stop laughing. Shout out to the media that made some epic collages, they were hilarious.

 Source: The Star

Source: The Star

In saying all this, when you have media attention you will receive a lot of negative comments. And I received, even more, when ‘news’ broke out on who I was crushing on. Again, what people think of you is a reflection of themselves. Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful that I had worked on myself and loved myself before I entered Miss Universe New Zealand. Because I knew my own self-worth and my intentions, the negative comments had never hurt or affected me in any way and it has always been easy for me to dismiss them. Although it was never meant to be a big deal, I would like to say that there is nothing wrong to have an innocent crush on someone. And rather than me being mad or embarrassed or hurt about the whole situation, I knew that it was better for me to own what I said with confidence and not to take things too seriously so I responded by saying: ‘Yes I do admire intelligence @syedsaddiq’.

If I ever do get a chance to meet him I would discuss youth development and what can be done to create more opportunities so that younger generations are able to flourish. I am currently studying psychology (where I want to pursue community psychology) as well as social policy so youth development is something that I am passionate about.

I have been wanting to write a blog post earlier but I have been busy with the Grand Finals of Miss Universe New Zealand and university. Hopefully, this cleared everything up and I am really sorry for any misunderstandings!

For future references, I am hesitant to publicise or share if I am in a relationship or not. This is personal and I want to be known for the things I am doing and achieving rather than the person I am dating. Yes, for those that have been asking, I am still single but if and when I get into a relationship with someone, I will try to keep it as private as possible (until I get either engaged or married). 

Nonetheless, I only have half a semester left of university so InsyaAllah, I will finish my degree by the end of this year. Currently, I am on my mid-semester break and on Sunday I am flying back to Malaysia and Indonesia for a week. However, I will try to blog more often as I miss writing and I would love to share with all of you about my experiences.

Nurul Shamsul