A British graduate who took up modelling because she couldn’t find a job has been crowned World Miss University in an international beauty contest.
Pretty Katie Farr, 24, won the Miss Leeds beauty pageant after she graduated from Leeds University with a politics degree.
But she couldn’t find a job and began modelling full-time before she was invited to compete in the annual World Miss University competition.
Katie travelled to Seoul, South Korea, where she competed against 42 other models before being crowned the winner.
She insists the competition was ”intellectually engaging” and ”not all handbags and lipstick”.
Katie said: ”I’d been looking for a graduate job without success for a year when I was invited to the World Miss University competition.
”I’d already done some aid work in South Africa before my degree and had been applying for grant schemes, but nothing has quite yet come together.
”I was in a state of shock and disbelief upon hearing I’d won. We had some really interesting debates.
”We were all students or graduates – it was intellectually engaging and not cheesy at all. It wasn’t all handbags and lipstick.
”We all got on really well and I’ve made friends for life.”
Keen kickboxer Katie, who grew up in Isleham, near Ely, Cambs., scooped the Miss Leeds award after she graduated with a 2.1 honours degree in politics.
She was then invited to enter World Miss University, which has been held annually in Seoul since 1986.
The competition, which involves several political debates between competitors, is organised by the International Association of University Presidents.
Katie spent two weeks in Seoul before the competition was judged on December 12 and met soldiers stationed on the border with North Korea.
She plans to spend her small cash prize paying off her student debt and will lead missions to help underprivileged children during the next year.
Katie said: ”I aim use the title as a platform to speak on issues I am passionate about, to complete more volunteer work and give other young people opportunities to do so too.
”I think I learnt a lot more about Korea, its people and culture and the political tensions between the north and the south.
”I am absolutely over the moon to have won the international title for my country. To choose me as a winner amongst such beautiful and intelligent girls was amazing.
”Beauty pageants are not what they used to be and contests such as this should be championed as it celebrates intelligence and inner beauty.”