Haley Kalil's career path didn't turn out how she expected — in fact, it's even better than she imagined.
Kalil started out as a lab technician studying for the MCAT after she graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in medical biology and psychology. While studying, she took a chance and applied for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit open casting call, resulting in her getting picked for the 2018 issue.
Now, Kalil is a successful model and social media personality who is excited for what the future holds. "My biggest advice to people looking to transition into a new career is to ask advice and questions from the people you look up to. Don't be afraid to ask dumb questions, do your research to understand how they got to where they are. Study like you would for a test!" the 31-year-old, who is passionate about tech, exclusively tells Morning Honey while discussing some of the perfect gifts — Meta Quest 3 and Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses — to get your loved ones this holiday season.
"Being a scientist-turned-model has been a wild ride, but I'm grateful for my education and to be able to apply the things I learned in school to content. I look at the analytics of social media and it's kind of like a project," she shares.
The beauty has been open about not always feeling herself, but these days, she's learned all about self-love.
"Fortunately, I have really good friends and family who remind me that we'll all look like raisins one day. It's who you are on the inside that matters!" she jokes. "By going through a long period of time where I wasn't confident I realized it was getting me nowhere and making me feel bad about myself. I started talking to the most attractive men and women who also weren't confident, and I realized we're all just human."
Kalil hopes her platform — she has 13M+ followers across accounts! — can be helpful to people. "I want women to watch my content or see my account and think, 'I want to be friends with her.' Life is already hard enough as a woman, I want to make it easier for them, not harder," she explains. "I stay motivated by my followers reaching out and messaging me to tell me that my videos make them smile. That's why I continue to make videos."
Additionally, the Minnesota native is soaking in this time in her life.
"The best part of my career is getting to see massive celebrities in my apartment, it's so crazy! I watched Ed Sheeran take a sip out of a glass in my kitchen, and it felt normal until he left and I realized Ed Sheeran was in my kitchen," she says. "I'm the most excited for more growth in my career and checking off big bucket list items!"
As for what the future holds, Kalil hopes she's "happy" in the next five years.
"I feel like I've lived 10 different lives already, so you can never predict where you're going to be. As long as I'm happy and humble I can be anywhere!" she says.
In the meantime, Kalil is thrilled to be sharing some gift ideas ahead of the 2023 holiday season.
"I love receiving things that make my life easier. As an adult, half the time I ask for toilet paper because it's something I use every day. Both the Meta Quest 3 and Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses make my life easier and make filming more efficient," she shares. "Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are a great gift for friends who want to capture content but not hold a phone. The Meta Quest 3 is just super fun. It's great for nights in with friends. The most fun nights include a Meta Quest. My best friend asks for a new one every year!"
"For gift giving I try to find something that represents that person," she adds.