Freshman Rukiyi Florence is an aspiring surgeon and part-time model

‘Oh my god, you’re Erin’

Freshman year can be stressful with the constant anxiety of what type of career you should pursue. But Rukiyi “Erin” Florence alleviated that anxiety by starting college with a career already lined up.

Rukiyi is a freshman in the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a part-time model.

Beginning her career at only five years old, she started out by modeling for print ads. Today, she focuses more on photo shoots.

Rather than sticking to one company to model for, Rukiyi chose to work solo.

She said: “As of right now, I’m a free agent. I do everything on my own. I basically go out and find different auditions to go to, or my manager helps me.”

Although she may not work for a single company, she still remains popular in the modeling world, having been photographed around various locations in New York City.

Despite taking a two year break to focus on school, Rukiyi still maintains a strong following. With almost 5,000 followers on Twitter and about 1500 on Instagram, the numbers are still on the rise.

Rukiyi even has a fan base on campus.

“I already walk around campus and people are like ‘oh, I follow you on Twitter. Oh my God, you’re Erin’ and I’ll just be like ‘I have no idea who they are,'” Rukiyi said.

Along with modeling, she also dances, sings and acts. At 11 years old, she auditioned for the role of Nala in The Lion King on Broadway and made it to the third round of finalists. Rukiyi has also been a part of popular dance groups, such as Devastation Dance Group and S.W.A.G., and hopes to minor in dance.

Despite already having a future set in modeling and dance, Rukiyi says this is only her plan B.

She said: “My plan A is basically school. My pursuit is really to become a doctor. I want to give back.”

With a major in biology, Rukiyi hopes to become a surgeon.

After all her experience in the modeling world, Rukiyi had one piece of advice to give to aspiring models.

“Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”

To end her hiatus from modeling, Rukiyi plans on doing a photo shoot in January. Afterward, she hopes to do a nature-themed photo shoot around the Rutgers campus.

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