With a background in information technology, Anshika Sharma is the newly crowned Miss Universe Nepal. Having two simultaneous passions, she worked as a sales analyst in Sydney for two years after her bachelor’s degree.
And now she is back in her home country to make Nepal stand out on the world map.
How did you know that pageantry was your passion?
I was always fascinated by pageants since my early teens, I would say 13-14. At that time, we did not have Miss Universe in Nepal. But we had Miss Nepal. So I always wished we could have Miss Universe as well because I was always attracted by all the beauty queens of Miss Universe.
Talking a little about Miss Universe Nepal, what were some of the challenges you faced?
Our pageant started virtually in September. I was still in Australia at that time. And we all thought it would be a virtual pageant. So, in the midst of a pandemic, I was so happy that I was able to show my talent on a virtual platform. But things were getting normalized. And we were actually called to Nepal for the finale, which I was very happy about.
But I had some challenges coming from Australia to Nepal. During the pandemic, I had to prepare some documents, which got rejected for the time. Then I had to request help from the Miss Universe Nepal organization. Finally, I could come to Nepal and compete in the finale. Without the help of the organization, definitely, I wouldn’t be here. Other than that I also had to quit my job, which I was doing full time before the pageant.
What about some of the happy moments?
There were so many happy moments that I forgot all about the challenges. I got to learn so much from all the different personalities that came to mentor us during our virtual training. And I got to meet all the 18 lovely contestants, and also all the teams from the Miss Universe organization in Nepal during the course camp in the Marriott hotel. We had fun, and we enjoyed every moment.
What was the first feeling after winning Miss Universe Nepal?
Before the finale, I was very nervous and I cried thinking about everything. I started missing my family here in Sydney as well. So I thought that I would be very emotional and very nervous during the finale, but just the opposite happened, I was just so grateful and happy to be backstage and also performing in the final nights.
After that, I had to rush for interviews and photoshoots. And I also have the responsibility of representing Nepal on the international stage. At that moment I knew that I would have to start working really hard to get what I want next, which is the Miss Universe crown for Nepal.
What are you currently doing these days, post winning the crown?
Since I’m the titleholder, I have to go and represent Nepal. So I’m mostly busy with training and meeting personalities and mentors. I have already started the grooming session for my hair and makeup. I’ve been going to Toastmasters clubs to improve my speaking and communication skills. Other than that I’ve been giving interviews, photoshoots and social media. Social media is something that I need to give more time to now because people are looking up to me and I need to update about my life as well.
What is your ultimate life purpose? What do you want to do all your life?
I started my cause or my life purpose in 2018. I created a team to support 10 students in Jumla with scholarships.
My cause has always been about providing quality education to underprivileged children and I will continue this throughout my reign and throughout my lifetime. With the title I have more reach to people, more reach to personalities who can help me and the organizations. So I am definitely going to amplify my cause through this title.
What advice do you have for women aspiring for pageantry?
Throughout the pageant journey, I realized that the most important part is to take the first step because we all have self-doubt. We all question if we are fit for this platform. But taking that first step and going and working hard to get where you want is the number one thing that I would recommend. Another thing is researching the pageant you are going to because we have multiple pageants in Nepal itself.
If you’re interested in Miss Universe, I must say that you have to work really hard before you get into the national pageant itself. Some of the contestants actually got trained beforehand to be able to join Miss Universe, the national competition. So just believe in yourself, take the first step and also get trained if you think you have few weaknesses.
What are your thoughts on the Miss Universe Nepal crown that was made by Apala?
I have been saying in most of my interviews that the crown is my achievement in a physical form, which I can see. The three mottos, Brave Bold and Beautiful, which I can see physically, is something that inspires me every day. I have my crown beside my bed and I keep looking at it and constantly remind myself that I’ve worked hard, I’m proud of myself and I have more responsibility to bring another crown home.
I loved wearing it and I have been taking this to all my interviews. People also asked me to explain a few things about the crown. So, I told them about the makings of the crown and recommended watching the video that Apala made for the crown.
Do you hope for any future collaborations with Apala?
To be honest, I wasn’t into jewelry that much. But seeing the collection and wearing it on the finale night, I looked beautiful, and gave me confidence on the stage as well. So, I definitely would recommend people to go and look at the amazing pieces that Apala has created.
What does the future hold for you?
Right now, my short-term goal definitely is to represent Nepal at the international stage. My life goal is to continue doing what I’m doing related to education. And even more so now that I have the title.
My professional goal is that I want to be a project manager. I have been an analyst in my two years of career and now I want to pursue project management. So five or six years from now I see myself doing project management.