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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston grad student brings crown home from Miss Jewel of India USA competition

Sangani+during+her+crowning+moment.+Photo+courtesy+of+Facebook.
Sangani during her crowning moment. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Once a year, the glitz and glamour of Ceasar’s Palace in Atlantic City, N.J. forms the stage for the female contestants of the Miss Jewel of India USA competition. This year’s competition, which took place on March 2, crowned University of Massachusetts Boston grad student Mansee Sangani the prestigious title. Despite gaining national attention, Sangani remains grounded as she discusses her career plans, her future in pageantry, and her affections for the UMass Boston community.
“I actually did my bachelors at UMass [Boston],” Sangani said. “I majored in biology. I graduated in December 2012 and then I took one year off, I have been working full-time. I’m back and this is my first semester. I’m doing my master’s in IT.”
“I work in a lab right now, so I have a science background. I want to combine that with IT so I can go on and work as assistant general.”
When reflecting on her reasons for choosing UMass Boston to pursue her undergraduate and masters, it didn’t take long for her to design a list.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Sangani humors. “Every time I’m at UMass I feel like I’m at home. Especially the campus in the summer. I love being there. It’s amazing. I don’t even know where my summers go.”
She was active in many student clubs during her undergrad years, but her agenda today doesn’t allow her room to juggle. “I was in the pre-med society, the graduate international student association, Pakistani association, but right now it’s just so hard to find time between working full-time and going to school. I’m just trying to find the balance between the two.”
“Since I’ve won, I feel like I’ve been even more busier. I’m going to be promoting a lot of different events. So right now, if I tell you my calendar, I’m already booked half-way through May. But it’s fun.”
Where does one begin a career in pageantry?
“In spring 2011, there was a local bridal fashion show that was going to happen here, so I applied for it and got accepted. So that was really my first fashion show or really anything that had to do with fashion. I liked it so I went ahead and did a couple of more events. ”
Networking has proven its worth when it came to discovering different opportunities. “When you’re doing events, you’re meeting a lot of people and making a lot of contacts. When the Miss India New England pageant was going to happen, the director that was organizing it basically told me I should apply and that I was a good candidate and everything.”
“I went ahead and applied for the pageant. In order for you to go to Miss Jewel of India USA, you have to win the local one. It’s just like a stepping stone.”
In order for Sangani to take home the crown in Atlantic City, she had to excel in multiple categories including Indian Wear, Evening Gown Talent (in which she performed a Bollywood dance), and a final question, where she wowed the judges with her answer about how to curb obesity. 
So what is next for Sangani and her crown?
“The international one starts off in India and it’s going to happen in January…You go to India and you have your training session and from there they take you to Thailand for the grand finale. It’s exciting.”
Sangani discusses the competitiveness behind competition, but also the support and camaraderie behind the hype of the stage. “It’s actually very competitive. There’s so many girls coming from so many different states. Everyone’s nervous, everyone is preparing the best that they can. Especially for a pageant like this, it’s very competitive.”
“One of the good things, as I have told a lot of different people, all of the girls were like family. It just makes everything so much easier. You’re communicating with others. Especially when you’re spending an entire weekend with all the girls. It was fun though. A lot of fun.”
In the end, there is one memory that is hard to forget, “I guess the best part was having your name called and being crowned, which was completely memorable.”
Despite the contrast between both careers, Sangani does not rule out pageantry in her future.
“I’m going to be promoting a lot of different events, but I will try to be part of everything that is offered to me as long as I can squeeze it between school and work and everything.”
“After this,” she jokes, “it is the international one that I am really looking forward to.”