Stunning second year crowned beauty queen, runs her own business AND has a book

More than just a pretty face

She’s probably the most successful student at Reading ever: this gorgeous blonde really is the whole package.

Rachel Pitman, who studies Consumer Behaviour and Marketing, has launched a business, written a book, and is entering the Miss England final – and she’s only 21.

Rachel was crowned Miss Buckinghamshire earlier this year, and has made it to the final 50 contestants for the national final from a whopping 22,000 applicants.

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If the crown fits

The Reading undergrad – who will be going into her final year in September – really has proved beauty queens aren’t stupid.

Entering a pageant is hard work, and after struggling with self-confidence in her younger years, Rachel decided to enter the contest to make a positive difference to issues close to her heart.

Her ultimate goal is to start a support group for young girls in school, who are experiencing low self esteem and poor confidence.

She told The Tab: “I decided in order to really start living life, it involves doing things which scare you and challenge you to be better.

“I also felt like it was an opportunity to give something back to my community, and make a positive difference in areas and causes I cared about.

“The pageant is honestly an amazingly supportive environment. I’ve made some great friends from it who I meet up with quite regularly.”

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Rachel third from right

The blonde beauty has weekly sessions with a personal trainer to maintain her fitness, but she had to do her own make-up for the competition.

She added: “We have a whole day of rehearsals for the show in the evening, but for make-up and hair we only have about an hour to work on before taking the stage.

“For Miss Buckinghamshire we had to our make-up ourselves, but at the finals of Miss England we get professional hair and make up artists, which is exciting.

“We also get to do lots of photoshoots and it opens so many doors into the industry.”

Not only do the girls have to wow the judges on their model looks, they also have to do sport courses, create an eco-friendly dress, and complete a decent amount of charity work.

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Pretty in pink

When asked what advice she would give any girls wanting to try beauty pageants, she said: “When you walk in, forget any of the negative stereotypes, they couldn’t be further than the truth.

“This is going to be something which can change your life and give you a platform to help change others.”

Rachel has just finished a year placement with a small software company which inspired her to launch her own business, The Social Media Café.

The two-person company is comprised of herself and 20-year-old Elly Mosley, a Business Management student.

And it’s not surprising the 21-year-old has a business mind. When she was just eight-years-old, her parents started their own business, and asked her for help naming the company.

Inspired by her then teddy “Forest”, the company’s name became “Aqua Forest”.

Rachel added: “That small part of me which played a role in the beginning of my parent’s business is probably what started by business minded drive to create my own start-up.”

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Rachel and Elly

The business provides social media consultation for small businesses trying to grow and make the most of marketing platforms, specifically social media.

She told The Tab: “We go in, audit their current social media and results, we then consult with them about what they want to achieve and implement the strategy and train employees.

“Bearing in mind we’re still launching – so we’re just trying to test our processes and results – we’ve got five clients so far, including spas, cupcake shops and cosmetic companies.”

She added: “If you want to start your own company, go for it. You will learn along the way.

“Always carry a notepad around with you, so when you have sparks of ideas you can be ready to capture them.”

The entrepreneur is also waiting on her book, The Social Media Recipe Book, to be published.

This book is solely her own work, and advises small businesses how to make the most of using social media as a marketing technique.

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Being pro-active is the key to success, according to Rachel.

She said: “Getting good grades isn’t enough to get us noticed by employers any more.

“We have to also have numerous outside academia achievements, detailed work experience, charity work, extensive industry knowledge – oh, and be able to juggle all this while trying to enjoy our uni years.

“We are working harder than ever, so it’s time the ‘lazy student’ stereotype is dispelled.”

When asked what the future holds, she added: “Originally I didn’t think The Social Media Café would be this successful, but since we’ve started to grow I can see myself continuing with the work after uni.

“If not I would love to work for someone like LinkedIn, or Google.”

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University of Reading beauty pageant miss buckinghamshire miss england model national pageant reading university