New career right tonic for former Miss Ireland Rebecca Maguire
Proving she has both beauty and brains in abundance, a former Miss Ireland will graduate from Queen's University in style this weekend.
Rebecca Maguire (23), from Belfast, was crowned Miss Ireland 2012 and had to juggle public appearances and modelling work with the ongoing demands of her degree.
She has become a much admired face on both sides of the border, represented by modelling agents Cathy Martin in Belfast and Andrea Roche in Dublin.
Rebecca will celebrate the culmination of her hard work and personal organisation on Saturday when she will graduate with a Masters in Pharmacy.
She plans to pursue a career as a pharmacist and will next year begin a placement at Woodbourne Pharmacy in west Belfast.
Rebecca paid tribute to the support from staff at Queen's who helped her manage the demands of her course alongside her modelling work.
"I came to do pharmacy at Queen's because I love science and it has one of the best pharmacy departments in the whole of the UK," she said.
"I've really enjoyed my time here and the staff have been really supportive, helping me to balance my duties as Miss Ireland with my studies.
"Queen's has a reputation for creating global citizens who are ready for the workplace and that has definitely been my experience. A degree at Queen's opens the doorway to a range of opportunities and I can't wait to go out and grab them."
Rebecca has previously spoken about her passion for Alzheimer's research after the heartbreak of seeing her granny Marie suffer with it.
"If there was one disease I hope to conduct more research into it would be Alzheimer's," she said.
"My granny has suffered for a few years now and it is truly heartbreaking for the entire family.
"You could go up to see her every night and cry your eyes out, it's just so sad; but we make the most of our time together, and when she says something she wouldn't normally say we just laugh along with her.
"I read that the number of people suffering with Alzheimer's will continue to rise and it runs in families, so I want to raise awareness of the signs to look out for and publicise the fact that it can be genetic."