Beauty queen Lauren’s not just a pretty face

Lauren Wilkinson

Lauren Wilkinson

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WHO says you can’t have brains and beauty?

A former Miss Sunderland finalist is dispelling the myth after getting on track to a high-flying career.

Launch of Miss Northumberland at Bamburgh Castle.'Lauren Wilkinson (runner up in Miss Sunderland) and event organiser Simon Robertson showed the theme of the event - Medieval meets Rapunzel.'Photo Jane Coltman

Launch of Miss Northumberland at Bamburgh Castle.'Lauren Wilkinson (runner up in Miss Sunderland) and event organiser Simon Robertson showed the theme of the event - Medieval meets Rapunzel.'Photo Jane Coltman

Lauren Wilkinson, 22, from Cleadon Village, did her degree in corporate management and her masters in global business management at Northumbria University.

Her grades impressed bosses at transport firm Nexus so much that they decided to recruit her on their graduate training scheme.

Now, Lauren has left the beauty pageants behind and is looking forward to spending the next two years working in a range of different Nexus departments.

She will also get the chance to work on a number of key projects, including the £350million Metro: all change programme and the NESTI smart ticketing programmes.

Lauren said: “I am hoping to forge a long-term career at Nexus. I worked at Nissan as a placement parts controller for two years and I feel that the skills I learnt there will benefit my role here at Nexus.”

Lauren took part in the Miss Sunderland pageant in 2010, where she came third. She was crowned Miss Charity as she was involved in raising money for Grace House children’s hospice and Help for Heroes.

She said: “Raising £1,500 for charity was very special to me because I participated in giving back to the community.”

Two other graduates have been recruited by Nexus alongside Lauren after going through a rigorous selection process to secure their place.

Nexus human resources director David Bartlett, said: “Recruiting graduates is important for an organisation like Nexus. It helps the business as well as gives the graduates a platform to start their careers.”