Inspiring others to go after their dreams: Miss Seychelles 2015 contestant Mariam Bertin
Miss Seychelles 2015 contestant Number 8 Mariam Bertin. (STB)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A soon-to-be graduate of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, 19-year-old Mariam Bertin gets excited at the thought of meeting new people, hence her desire to join the tourism industry which is the main pillar of the Indian Ocean archipelago’s economy.
Mariam, who is one of the contestants in the 2015 Miss Seychelles…Another World beauty pageant, has just completed her studies in Bar and Restaurant Services.
“I can make 10 cocktails in five minutes,” she said proudly in an interview with SNA.
Although she is yet to formally join the tourism trade, the young lady who hails from the Glacis district in the northern part of the archipelago’s main inhabited island of Mahé, has already had her share of experiences working at the Coral Strand Hotel.
She admits that this has helped her to gain plenty of new skills as well as taught her to keep a positive attitude and to be accommodating, especially when faced with challenges.
For Mariam, one of the challenges working with visitors to the Seychelles shores is the language barrier, as some tourists do not speak English or French, two of the three national languages of the island nation.
While she awaits to graduate though, Mariam says she is ‘trying out new things’ working as a sales assistant at ‘Imprassa di lusso boutique’, where she is putting her management skills into practise by helping out with the opening and launching of the boutique, finding new staff and adding her personal touch to the fashion savvy boutique.
In the future, she intends to further her studies in the tourism field as her dream is to become a 'Sommelier' - a restaurant steward who is in charge of wines.
As for her participation in this year’s Miss Seychelles beauty pageant, the 1.67 tall contestant is hoping to inspire others to go after their dreams.
“Nowadays many people become passive and do not bother going after what they want. There are too many cases where young people get pregnant and give up on life. I want them to know that they can still do the things they want if they work hard enough,” said Mariam.
The pageant is also for her, an opportunity to make new friends.
One of the most athletic contestants of this year’s annual beauty pageant, Mariam has had her share of enjoying the podium competing in athletics in the high jump and long jump.
The bubbly young woman also enjoys indulging in a good horror movie and going to the gym whenever she has had a rough day.
“I don’t see the point in stressing about an obstacle, instead I always find ways to overcome them.”
Listening to some R&B music while enjoying a good magazine are also some of her favourite things to do, although nothing surpasses her lavish taste in fashion.
“I like branded clothing such as Versace, Armani and Prada… they last so much longer and are really worth it when it comes to quality.”
In spite of all her vibrancy and determination to succeed in life, Mariam did admit to SNA that she doesn’t like to go to the beach because she is unable to swim.
While she is not too keen on heading to one of the Seychelles' wide selection of white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, Mariam has had her fair share of overseas travel, having been to Cyprus, Italy and Poland, but for her Seychelles will always be her home.
“It was a great experience because I visited zoos which we don’t have in Seychelles. However I missed the flora and fauna of home and of course, I wasn’t used to the cold,” she admitted.
Having been fortunate enough to have had great experiences in life, Mariam has thought of others through her beauty with a purpose project for the Miss Seychelles beauty pageant.
“As a child I had friends in my class who struggled a lot, we always helped out... But I wonder what would have happened if they had not received help.”
Her community upliftment project involves searching for donations and sponsors in the different districts to provide schools with the support they need for such children.
Mariam has in fact taken an interest in three students in particular and she has been following their progress at school.
According to her, less fortunate children often lose their way because they cannot focus on their studies and have a normal childhood.
Having gone through the last three months with all the training and coaching to be ready for pageant night next Saturday this year’s contestant number 8 says the pageant has empowered her with tools to help others and help boost her own self-confidence.
Although she’s had her mother by her side to encourage and support her, Mariam says all of the other participants have really grown close and become like a small family.
“Whoever wins will deserve the title,” said Mariam, adding that all the other girls will be supportive of the chosen beauty queen.
Miss Seychelles… Another World 2015 will be held on Saturday, May 30.