Erin Sam: Cape Town's Hidden Gem

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Erin Sam

Erin Samakosky, prefering Erin Sam for short is 19 years old, living in Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently studying Finance with Accounting at University of Cape Town (UCT), and just recently began his modeling career. He has got big aspirations and expectations for what’s ahead, and hopes to make some kind of success out of this very competitive industry.

At a young age, everyone has a picture of the future in mind. What was yours and how has it changed since then? 

Since I was very young, I’ve always been very driven and ambitious (sometimes unrealistically so- for example, during my early teen years I was convinced I was going to play professional soccer for Real Madrid ). I’ve always aspired to make a success of my life, and strive for greatness. When I was very young, I knew I wanted to make lots of money- but being about 3 years old, I of course had no plan on how. Over the years, I’ve refined my goals and currently, at the age of 19, I plan on going into the world of finance and investments once I graduate.

How did your interest develop in modelling? From what age and who inspired and push you towards it?

The modeling industry is one which I viewed as a way to make some extra money for myself. I was told by a few people that I potentially had the right kind of look, and that I should apply to an agency. I was inspired by famous male models such as Nick Bateman, as well as other ‘Instagram stars’. Recently, I signed with Pulse Models in Cape Town, and that is where my journey into the modeling industry has started. However, I’m still right at the beginning of this potential career, and so I have very little experience as yet.  

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Erin Sam – a model in Cape Town.

Currently studying at University of Cape Town (UCT), what are the challenges you face as a student? How do you plan on using university life to help your career?

As a student, the biggest challenges I face is the extreme workload, as well as managing on a student budget. I have just completed my first semester of first year, and the adjustment from high school to this has been quite difficult. I’ve been shocked by the volume of work, and the expectations that the courses and lecturers have of you. I plan on qualifying as a chartered accountant, and then potentially getting an MBA from an overseas university. I also plan on working toward getting a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. I plan on using these qualifications to go into the world of finance and investments, with my key focus area being asset management.

Spending your time out of studying is very important. What are your hobbies and how do you spend time on it while studying? 

I enjoy playing and watching soccer and I gym regularly (around 5 times a week). I also love FIFA, going out with friends, and adventuring and spending time with my girlfriend.

Being born and bred in Cape Town, what languages have you picked up over the years? Which one do you hope to learn?

At school I’ve been taught English, Afrikaans and Hebrew, however the latter 2 languages are not ones which I have mastered I was also taught a bit of Xhosa in primary school, but I don’t remember any of it. A language which I plan on learning is Italian, as my mothers side of the family is Italian and it strikes me as such a beautiful language which I have a family connection to.

What are your majors? Why did you decide to choose them?

My major is Accounting. I decided to pursue a degree in Finance with Accounting after speaking to many influential people in my life, with the general consensus being that it is a great background to have going into the business world, and is very highly regarded.

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Erin Sam is studying to be a Chartered Accountant.

Modelling is a very competitive industry. How do you even enter the industry? 

Modeling is indeed a very competitive industry with stringent requirements (dependent upon the type of modeling you want to do and the agency in question), as I’ve already seen. Your entry point into the industry is first and foremost to get signed with an agency. From there, the agency will market you and organize ‘castings’ for you, which is basically an audition process for a job/advert.

What do you plan on doing in the next years career wise? Who are your role models and who has been supporting you so far?

Over the next few years, I plan on finishing my 4 year degree at UCT, and hopefully establishing myself in the modeling industry. Career wise I aim to potentially secure internships at investment firms, and learn more about the economy and stock markets. Ultimately, once I complete my studies, I plan on moving to Europe and working there.

Balancing your time is a huge challenge at this age. How would you advise youngsters or those the same age as you to handle their time with education and career?

I would say that it’s important to remember to have fun. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with work, and stress yourself out- I’ve found this out the hard way. Find a good balance. Work hard but don’t neglect living your life, or you’ll definitely regret not taking advantage of being young and free once you’re older and have real responsibilities, a family to care for, and a demanding job. 

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Erin Sam is represented by Pulse Models.

In a brief summary, how would you describe the process of auditions, the wait and getting a call back?

As I’m only right at the start of my modeling career, I don’t have many experiences to talk about yet. I’ve been to a few castings, and my experience thus far is that they are always nerve wracking. The atmosphere in the waiting room is awkward and tense, surrounded by other models also auditioning for the job. Usually, no one is chatting, and you could hear a pin drop. Castings themselves usually consist of the photographer taking a few photos of you, a brief introduction video, and dependent upon the type of job, having to act out a scene. Once the casting is done, the company will let the agency know which models they want for the shoot within a few days. Thus far, I haven’t yet done any competitive shoots, so I don’t have any experience here to speak of yet. Hopefully, this will change soon!

Hopefully in a few years we can do this again. In case someone wants to reach out to you, how would they do that?

Yes, definitely! I’m sure by then I’ll have far more experiences to let you in on. Anyone wishing to follow my journey or get in contact with my can follow me on my Instagram account- erin.sam.