Beauty and Brains: Avalon Dawn

Avalon Dawn is a first-year finance major concentrating in retail studies. When she is not watching economics lectures or studying for her next exam, Avalon is working as a freelance model. Starting out in Tampa when she was 13-years old, she learned the importance of networking and how to get by in the competitive industry. We talked with Avalon about her experiences and her take on what it’s like to be a full-time student and part-time model.

Her Campus UFL (HC): How did you first get involved in modeling?

Avalon Dawn (AD): A photographer in Tampa had contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a test shoot with him when I was thirteen. And then from there it was just networking so I was hired for jobs from there on out.

HC: Tell us what a typical day is like for a model.

AD: A lot of it is not so much the photo shoots but [the] prep. It’s a very strict diet and exercise routine every single day. As far as a photo shoot day is concerned, you usually go into hair and makeup early in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day shooting.

HC: Do you deal with stereotyping on a regular basis? if so, how do you battle this?

AD: Yes, I do. People always assume I'm stupid because that's the typical "model" stereotype. I just prove them wrong by excelling in school. I show people I'm smart. I mean my looks didn't get me into college - my hard work and intellect did.

HC: What pushed you to pursue an education while pursuing your modeling career?

AD: I know that a model’s career is very short-lived. So if I want to make enough money to live the lifestyle I want to, I know I need something more stable. I chose finance because I know I want to be within the retail industry. A finance major will teach me the analytical skills  necessary to be successful. I feel other skills like marketing and personal skills are learned by actually working. Hence, why I picked finance over any other business major.

HC: In your own words, how are you bridging your passions and your career goals? Tell us about your dreams and how modeling fits into them.

AD: Good question. Ideally, I would want to model full-time. While my dream is to be a full-time professional model, I also have an immense passion for the retail industry. So, as far as my career besides modeling, I am focusing on getting into the high fashion industry because modeling and fashion work well together.

HC: What advice would you give to a student who wants to break into the modeling industry?

AD: I would say you first have to find photographers to network with. You aren’t going to get any paid jobs starting off, so it’s all about finding the right photographers to network with. Also, be very careful because there are a lot of scam artists in the industry, and it’s very hard, sometimes, to determine who is real and who is a scammer. So pay attention, get referrals, and if you’re going for a photo shoot for the first time, bring somebody with you.

Avalon Dawn has been working hard to receive a degree in finance to hopefully break into the competitive industry of high-fashion retail. Her passion for expanding her perspectives and knowledge demonstrates the importance of education for a successful life. Beauty is thought to be a definition of success in today’s society, but Avalon is an example that while being beautiful is praised, pursuing an education is more important.


Photo Credit: Megan Claire