A Tsinghua University graduate, a Mr World finalist, a model and a trader at a top commercial bank, Zhou Shuangjian has credentials as impressive as his 1.9-metre frame. Vivien Cui talks to a man who balances mind and body Q: Why would a Tsinghua University science graduate and trader embark on a career as a model? A: It was all by accident. When I was an undergraduate in electrical engineering, I only weighed 59kg. I was so bony that my teachers joked that I would be blown away by a strong wind. I felt quite embarrassed and started to work out. After four years of exercise, people noticed the improvement in my physical appearance. In the summer of 2000, a day before I was to leave the campus for good, my younger brother, Zhou Shuangjie , who was also a Tsinghua student then, was helping me pack and clean the dormitory. He happened to see an advertisement in a newspaper for a modelling contest. He said I should apply and I did. Q: How did you do in the contest? A: I won first place in the Beijing stage in the New Silk Road Model Contest. I was the oldest of all the contestants and had the most education. It felt like a door to a new world was opening for me. It was then that I fell in love with the catwalk. Q: How did you get your body into shape? A: Practice, practice, practice. When I was at school, I worked out two hours a day and six days a week, usually after I finished classes or left the laboratory. As a science student, the academic life at Tsinghua was generally known to be a bit boring, so body-building became my only hobby. Q: People often say there is no point having a brain if you're a model. What do you say? A: You can do well as a model if you are pretty or handsome, but appearance simply does not distinguish you from others. As an educated person, your charisma, self-confidence and attitude can still come across on stage. It is these things that make you unique, and irreplaceable. Q: How did the new career affect your job at the Bank of China? A: My two jobs enrich and supplement each other. I used to be introspective, quiet and shy. Now I am more open and sociable. My modelling work has actually helped me in banking by providing a topic of conversation to break the ice with my clients. Q: What do you think of modelling? Are you worried that you would be tainted by the glamorous world? A: Temptations, desire and dazzling illusions abound in the modelling world. I do know that many people are easily tempted in this environment. You have to stay cool, rational and self-controlled or you will give in to temptations. I am kind of lucky to have started modelling at a relatively old age, when I am experienced enough to be able to know what I want from it, and can see through the glamour. Q: How do you perceive the career of modelling for men and women on the mainland? A: Modelling is still an occupation with limited social respect, As far as I know, the majority of male models on the mainland are only part-time. They usually have another job between fashion shows. Because men are traditionally considered to be the breadwinners, they have to keep working to make full use of their time. And male models usually are able to work longer but still maintain their edge. As for my female counterparts, the younger they are, the more popular they are.