Supermodel as a teenager, now a model student.
European supermodel catwalker Zuzanna Bijoch, 28, has strutted in fashion shows for Chanel, Gucci and Prada.
Now, the Katowice, Poland, native has been named valedictorian of Columbia University’s School of General Studies’ Class of 2023 — and she’s about to make Wall Street her runway.
The 5-foot-10-inch stunner sank her modeling money into a financial economics degree from the Ivy League institution — an investment that appears to have paid off.
After addressing her fellow classmates at Monday’s graduation ceremony, she’ll head to her new job as a financial analyst at a prominent bank, BDT & MSD Partners.
“I started modeling when I was 13, but it was never my dream,” Bijoch told The Post.
Her older sister was a model, and so she followed in her family member’s footsteps, sending out Polaroids to agencies as a tween.
© Provided by New York Post Bijoch has been modeling since she was 13, following in her sister’s footsteps.
Her first big break was a photo shoot in Greece for American Teen Vogue.
She said, “After that, it was all about balancing school and modeling as a supermodel. I was still very young, but modeling awarded me the opportunity to travel around the world — Japan, China, Paris.”
By the time she was 16, she was running to 15 casting calls per day in New York City. But the grueling experience taught her not to “put all your value into one job,” she said.
Bijoch was elated when she booked her first big gig with Marc Jacobs. Then, at the last minute, she was told she was being cut — while she was on her way to the show.
© Provided by New York Post The 5-foot-10-inch Polish model has covered multiple issues of Vogue. © Provided by New York Post Bijoch enrolled at Columbia University in the fall of 2018 and will graduate summa cum laude, as a member of the school’s Honor Society and Dean’s List.Monika Lis
“That was the first great lesson for me. It’s great when it’s great, but you also have to know who you are at your core, be strong and don’t take it too personally. It shaped my modeling career,” Bijoch said.
Later that same season, she was booked for Prada during Milan fashion week as a supermodel.
“It was surreal. I was really happy but also aware how many girls do casting and really want this job. It was definitely intimidating. You realize how small the probability is to be that one girl out of the thousands of beautiful girls,” she said.
Bijoch has graced the cover of various editions of Vogue magazine as a supermodel, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, and went on to guest judge on Poland’s Top Model. A career highlight came when she received the Poland supermodel Woman of the Year award, presented by Glamour magazine.
© Provided by New York Post In 2012, the Polish model and novelist told Vogue: “In the future, I want to study economics,” and had aspirations of working on Wall Street. AFP via Getty Images
In order to feel more in control of her success and her career, she published a novel, “Modelka,” in 2017. Written in Polish, it’s a fictional story based on her experiences growing up inside the fashion industry.
Similarly, using her earnings to study math and economics was a way for her to take charge of her financial future — rather than leaving her fate up to a casting director.
It was also something she’d long dreamed about. “In the future, I want to study economics,” she told Vogue in 2012 when she was 17.
© Provided by New York Post Modeling was “never my dream,” BIjoch told The Post.Monika Lis
Bijoch enrolled at Columbia University in the fall of 2018. She’ll graduate summa cum laude, and as a member of the school’s Honor Society and Dean’s List.
“We are proud but not surprised,” her agency, NEXT Management, wrote in a statement to The Post. “[Zuzanna] has always been diligent, hard working, and beautiful inside and out.”
“I came from pretty humble beginnings,” Bijoch said. “I was lucky to be able to support my parents when I started making money modeling. Growing up in Poland in a middle-class family, it’s tough. Modeling changed my life. It was great to be able to get myself through school.”