If you really want something badly enough and you’re willing to work for it, the sky is the limit, or in this case, the “universe”.

With the motto, “You can’t score without goals”, newly-crowned Miss Universe Malaysia Kiran Jassal achieved one of her goals with her win over 13 other contestants.

This interview was done two days after the crowning and the 20-year-old says she was “still settling down and into the role before her but is hoping to learn quickly”.

Kiran is a first-timer in entering pageants, so the win is that much sweeter.

“I am very new to this industry as I have never modelled, done photo shoots or walked the catwalk prior to entering the competition,” she said. “This was where I had to step up and improve on in the three months I was given. I am still learning actually.”

During the beauty bootcamp for the pageant where the girls took part in various activities such as photo shoots, training sessions and rehearsals, Kiran says a lot of her initial progress was thanks to the help of the other contestants.

Kiran Jassal. Photo: The Star/Raymond Ooi

“I was very lucky to be a part of this batch of contestants because everybody was so sweet and helpful. There were a couple of girls who gave me tips about the way I walked and helped me refine it while another was assisting me in projecting my voice. I can honestly say that it was a very healthy competition. Stiff, but healthy.”

She also won the subsidiary title Miss My Dentist Winning Smile, appropriate considering that she was also accepted into the International Medical University (IMU)’s dentistry programme this year. However, following her win, Kiran will be deferring her studies to prepare for the international pageant which will take place at the end of the year.

On her preparation plans, she’ll be working on her runway walk and going for voice training. She’ll also be making public appearances and doing more public speaking.

Being naturally svelte, Kiran will continue her routine of working out (sometimes twice a day) and sticking to her three-small-meals-a-day plan.

She’s been receiving plenty of support from her parents and fans. Her mother, lawyer Ranjit Kaur, was last year’s Mrs Malaysia World 2015 winner and completely supportive of her joining the pageant.

“My mum just said to take that leap of faith and join the competition because you never know where that may lead you and if I didn’t win, other opportunities were sure to arise. So with that, I submitted my application and three weeks later, I was called in!”

Kiran Jassal in a publicity shot wearing a Melinda Looi gown.

Kiran Jassal in a publicity shot wearing a Melinda Looi gown.

Kiran after her crowning by Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 – Vanessa Tevi Kumares. Photo: The Star/Faihan Ghani

Kiran after her crowning by Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 – Vanessa Tevi Kumares. Photo: The Star/Faihan Ghani

The fans also played a large role in keeping Kiran on track: “They were so sweet and every day they would send me personal messages telling me to keep going. For someone who is so new to this, support was what I really needed for assurance to get as far as I did. And now that I’ve got it, I feel really blessed,” she said.

Of course with fandom comes criticism, and as a beauty queen, Kiran shared that while she hopes it doesn’t get to a point where it’s bad, she will always try to heed the advice given to the best of her abilities.

“I think people appreciate it when you communicate with them and I think what I can do is to include the fans and their opinins along the way, talk to them and tell them about my progress. All of this will of course occur over social media.”

Kiran added that she will also be involved in more charity work: “I will also be working on my own branding and while I am still figuring that out at the moment, I do know that I would like to touch the lives of the people I know and who know of me.”

She’s glad that the hard work paid off and has definitely gained more experience in the past three months. She’s not resting on her laurels though, as there’s still the international pageant to go, but she has a thirst to learn.

“I joined the competition feeling quite unequipped, but I mentally prepared myself for the challenge. Now, looking forward, I realise that what is most important is that everything is a work in progress. It doesn’t mean that if I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t learn it.”