Joan Smalls' heritage has taught her the importance of standing "up for yourself".

Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls

The 'Victoria's Secret' model says being both Puerto Rican and Black has given her a "good mixture of spiciness and passion".

She said: "Being Puerto Rican and Black you get a good mixture of spiciness and passion. I was raised to speak up for myself in any situation, and it's okay to ask questions. Because if you can't stand up for yourself no one else will."

And the 29-year-old model prefers to have the status over money as it acts as a reminder that hard work pays off.

She added: "I think being able to have status just gives you a reminder that your hard work pays off and people give you credit for it and that is extremely flattering. Money is always a plus, it definitely helps and I'm extremely grateful for it. But it's not why I love doing what I do."

Joan admits she is a very driven individual and always searches for "more" when it comes to her career.

She shared: "Believing in myself and knowing that there's more success. My character is hard to satisfy therefore I'm always searching for more, more out of life, more out my career. Constant growth is my drive."

Through her job, Joan travels all around the world and experiences new countries and cultures but she insists Puerto Rico will always be her home.

She told nine.com.au: "Puerto Rico is home. It's were my roots are. No matter where I travel to PR is always in my heart."