The world of Miss Switzerland: halfway through her year as Miss Switzerland, Fiona Hefti talks to Swiss News about the experience, including traveling, championing good causes, pageant competitions and what it all means for her future.

AuteurBlake, Chris

When she walks in, everybody's head turns. It is a ritzy hotel lounge, mostly full of grey haired men in dark suits, appearing to discuss the most sombre of matters. But despite this and the noisy sounds of clinking silverware and dishes, they all notice her. The few women do too. Because 24 year-old Zurich native Fiona Hefti is the current Miss Switzerland. selected by the public and a panel of judges. Tall, blond.... immediately striking.

And as Swiss News discovered, she is also sharp, engaging and surprisingly down to earth. Throughout the interview, Hefti is as quick with a wry, smile as she is with her laughter.

Swiss News: So what is it like to be Miss Switzerland?

Actually, I haven't changed. The circumstances around me changed. In September I was a student and right now, I'm not studying. Still I'm the same person. I'm still Fiona. Yes, I'm also Miss Switzerland, but I like to do the things I liked to do before. What I like best is to communicate. And with this job, I meet a lot of people. So I'm very happy and excited. I try. to do my best for Miss Switzerland and also for myself. It would be very difficult to always play a role or something so I am always just who I am.

What's been your biggest surprise about being Miss Switzerland?

[Laughs] First of all, it was a very big surprise that I won. There are a lot of things that I could never have known before. The beautiful thing is that my family and friends stand behind me, no matter what, supporting me.

What's a typical day like for you?

I start quite early, I have to prepare myself. That is one difference. When I was a student, I never had to worry, about wearing makeup or anything like that. Now I have to think about what 1 wear. what makeup ... It's nice, still sometimes I like to just go out completely natural, more the way I really am. Today I have this interview and another one this afternoon. And I had a meeting earlier. [With a globally acclaimed photographer, interested in working with her.] Sometimes I have photo shoots or autograph signings. It's usually two to three different jobs a day. One day is never like the other.

Does Miss Switzerland ever get a day off work?

Yes. I do now, but not in the first three months. There was almost never a day off! Especially on weekends, when I also had to make phone calls, send emails and read articles. It was a very exciting time and also hard. Now it is getting more normal.

Who is the most famous person you've mot since becoming...

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