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Interview

Putting in the Work with Pritika Swarup

Model Pritika Swarup spills what a day in the life looks like, her most momentous moments, and her outlook on the current pandemic.

Study, strut, smile. Columbia University student, fashion model and Operation Smile ambassador Pritika Swarup really does it all. Discovered at a young age at Disney World, Pritika has become a highly desired beauty model, with a portfolio that boasts names like M.A.C. Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty and Clinique. While she admits that modeling has opened unimaginable doors for her, Pritika never lost sight of her true passion: finance (contrary to her family heritage of doctors!). Currently earning her degree in Financial Economics, it’s no surprise that the 24-year old already has some exciting entrepreneurial projects cooking up… But our lips are sealed.

We did, however, want to pick her brain on beauty and the world at large. Keep reading to find out what a day in the life looks like, career-defining moments, and her outlook on the current pandemic.

YOUR DAY

Wake-up time?

7:00 a.m.

Morning beauty routine?

I wash my face with a light cleanser and moisturize to make sure my skin is fully hydrated.

One activity you do every day without fail?

Meditation.

YOUR ESSENTIALS

Your motto?

Through dedication, commitment, and a strong work ethic, anything is possible.

How do you unwind?

I love to workout or have a glass of wine to unwind.

Guilty pleasures?

Dark chocolate!

YOUR THINKING

Strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: highly motivated, self-aware, perfectionist.

Weaknesses: self-critical, sensitive, perfectionist.

What can men learn from women and vice versa?

Individuals can learn numerous things from one another; however, if I had to highlight anything between the genders, I would say men could learn to be patient through any situation and keep a sense of balance, while women could learn to not take criticism and negative comments so personally.

One thing you would change about your profession?

One aspect that I would change about the entertainment industry, but am already seeing changing, is increased diversity. I am not only referring to ethnicities, but also the inclusion of individuals who have diverse life experiences. The industry shouldn’t be projecting the image of perfection any longer, but instead more relatable and real image.

YOUR LIFE

What one meeting changed your life?

The moment that changed my life was when I was scouted as a model at Disney World while on vacation with my family. A few weeks after this meeting, I flew to New York and met with the top agency at the time; they signed me, and then my world changed completely.

Biggest risk that has paid off?

Moving to New York City and pursuing a career in the fashion industry was the biggest risk I’ve taken. Entering into an industry known for its harshness—but also opportunity—at the age of 17 seemed especially risky. However, a culmination of all of these experiences that stemmed from that move has made me who I am today. I am grateful for those experiences.

Proudest moment?

It’s difficult to identify a single proudest moment. I feel pride each time I am involved in making a positive difference in a child’s life when I am on a medical mission as an ambassador for Operation Smile.

How has the pandemic impacted your vision of the world? There will be a before and an after; what do you think could be improved?

The pandemic has given me a greater sense of what is and isn’t truly important and necessary to live. I’ve realized that certain things, which may have seemed essential, are actually a luxury.

I believe that new industries in different sectors may emerge from this based on the need that the United States faced during this crisis. This will help build an infrastructure that will reduce our vulnerability in the event of another crisis. After the quarantine, I think most social behavior will shift at least in the short term, as there may be less close interpersonal contact and wariness of previously accepted social behaviors such as shaking hands and hugs. However, our sense of togetherness and unity globally will be strengthened.

Feature Image Credit: Ben Lamberty

Alicia Zhang

Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.

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