Another beauty with brains

When it comes to beauty with brains, newly-crowned Miss Universe Singapore 2013 Shi Lim has got it covered.

The 24-year-old business executive at an investment company is probably the winner with the most impressive academic credentials since lawyer Nuraliza Osman from the 2002 competition.

She was also the tallest contestant - at 1.76m - and a clear front runner at the finals held at Shangri-La Hotel last Saturday night, when she beat 15 others to the title.

Miss Lim left Singapore in 2005 after her O levels - for which she said she scored "less than 20 points" - at CHIJ St. Teresa's Convent School and spent the next eight years in North America.

She studied at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for two years before transferring to the renowned New York University (NYU) in 2010 because she preferred the vibrant city life of the latter to the rural environment of the former.

And it was there that she transformed from average secondary school student into a top graduate who made the Dean's List three out of four semesters.

Miss Lim returned to Singapore in January this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Study, specialising in cognitive science.

She scored a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) for her final year and a 3.75 accumulative GPA overall.

This means she was an overall A-student who ranked in the 80th percentile of her cohort.

She told The New Paper over the phone yesterday: "My accumulative GPA was affected when I dropped off the Dean's List in my second semester at NYU because I was juggling an internship and didn't put in enough time for my studies."

Canada

Before that, her family had packed their bags for Vancouver, Canada, because her father was to complete his masters in theology at the University of British Columbia.

Miss Lim spent two years at Vancouver's York House School, completing Grade 11 and 12, which is the equivalent to junior college. She was placed on the honour roll as her GPA was 3.5.

It is of little surprise that she aced the Miss Universe Singapore 2013 Q&A segment.

Miss Lim, whose diction was clear and sharp, spoke with a hint of an American accent.

She was asked: "If footballers make tons of money, would you allow your son to be one in place of education?"

The eloquent beauty answered: "If football was my son's passion, then yes, I would allow him to pursue it, but not in place of education.

I believe you can find a balance between both, and education can help refine one's learning and critical thinking skills.

"Knowledge is very important, it leads to a fuller and more vibrant life, so if he can find a balance between them, that would be most ideal."

Even the way she handles harsh online criticism about her physical flaws is classy.

Of her large ears, a netizen posted: "Her ears could be useful; if she ever took up sailing." Miss Lim said: "I wasn't really offended by the comments that were posted online. In fact, I found some of them really funny and I was laughing so much."

She also stood out in her youth because of her imposing height.

In secondary school, she was always one of the tallest girls in her class and cohort.

When she started to shoot up during her teenage years, she remembered her classmates asking her, "Why are you so tall?". Not knowing the answer to that question, she would reply: "Because my father is tall."

Miss Lim's father Mr Clive Lim, 55, runs his own business and her mother, Michelle, 53, helps out.

She has two brothers, Dante, 23, who is studying finance at the University of Toronto, and Zane, 19, who is doing his national service.

Miss Lim will represent Singapore at the international Miss Universe finals in Moscow on Nov 9 .

Besides her cash prize of $5,000, she was also awarded an elegant $48,000 "tiara ring", which she will wear to official appearances instead of the crown.

The first runner-up is Miss Cheryl Desiree Chan, a 23-year-old student and entrepreneur who also bagged Miss Best Skin and Miss Body Beautiful.

The second runner-up was Miss Cordelia Low, a 24-year-old events coordinator.

The judges were also pretty unanimous in selecting Miss Lim for the win.

Mr Errol Pang, owner of Miss Universe Singapore organiser Derrol Stepenny Promotions, said: "She definitely deserves the crown. She's beautiful, she speaks well and carries herself well and can give a straight-to-the-point answers."

Contest judge and Miss Universe Singapore 2000 winner Eunice Olsen added: "And I think generally she did really well in all three segments of the competition (evening wear, swimwear and Q&A) and I think we should come together and support her."

Judge and local supermodel Charmaine Harn raved: "I'm very happy with the winner and she was my pick from the very start."

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