In ‘Bachelor-Bachelorette’ Spotlight
by: MORGAN STOLPA, CSU Public Relations Intern
From a Midwest university to the national spotlight of a popular reality TV series, Minnesota State Mankato alumna Becca Kufrin said high-profile romance brought love and anxiety, friendships and life-changing experiences.
Following a heart-breaking end to her romance with Arie Luyendyk Jr. on the 22nd of ABC’s reality series, The Bachelor, Becca returned to the mansion, but this time as the lead of the 14th season of The Bachelorette. At the conclusion of her season, Kufrin’s second chance at love lead to her engagement to Garrett Yrigoyen.
Minnesota girl turned celebrity, Kufrin said The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, thrust her into the public spotlight.
“It changed my life drastically. I’ve now found my partner in which I will go through life with,” said the 2012 Mass Media graduate, “It’s also opened up so many doors for my future – career-wise and personally and has allowed me to travel to some places that I never thought I’d experience in my ‘normal’ life.”
“In this world of social media influx, be prepared for everyone to insert themselves in every decision you make, action you take, or word you utter. Once it begins airing, things will never be the same.” – Becca Kufrin
A double dose of reality TV romance also came with “new learning curves and anxiety-ridden situations” that often accompanies celebrity status.
“I can no longer go out in public without being recognized or be able to just ‘sneak through’ my normal daily tasks,” she said. “It’s opened the doors for anyone to question or comment on every aspect about my life, even though I’m a fairly private person. It’s been a huge change and one that my family, Garrett and I are still learning to adjust to.”
Despite the changes Kufrin is still adjusting to in her life, she doesn’t regret her decision to appear on the Bachelorette.
“I would do the Bachelorette again because it brought me to Garrett and new friendships, but I wouldn’t necessarily sign up to be on TV again,” said Kufrin.
For Kufrin, making it onto The Bachelor series was a lengthy procedure.
“The overall process was quite long. I had to submit several questionnaires and images, video, attend two casting calls, complete a psych test and background check,” she said.
Kufrin said she attended her first casting call in New York City. Her best friend’s wedding fell on the same weekend as the nearest opportunity – “which was in Chicago,” she explained.
“Thinking it better be worth it, I used all of my Delta Skymiles to fly out for it,” she added.
As both the winner on Season 22 of The Bachelor and the lead in Season 14 of The Bachelorette. Kufrin said her experiences gave her a unique viewpoint of the reality show franchise.
“I felt that as the Bachelorette I had somewhat more control over situations, but with that I felt much more pressure,” Kufrin said. “While being a contestant on the Bachelor I learned patience and to just go-with-the-flow, but as the lead I realized the immense pressure of making decisions that would affect my (and 28 other men’s) life, which was a lot more stressful.”
Although Kufrin had more control as the Bachelorette, she didn’t have much say in picking the locations and sites for dates or what artists performed during her season except for, “deciding what men I wanted to join me for each date.”
“Almost all travel, date activities and celeb appearances are locked and loaded well before each season begins. I don’t find out about any of it until moments before. I was able to give my input for date ideas, which is why the Lumberjack date was planned, other than that, almost everything is already set.” Kufrin explained.
For future contests or people interested in participating in the Bachelor or Bachelorette, Kufrin offers a piece of advice.
“Really think about your life and how much it will change,” she said. “In this world of social media influx, be prepared for everyone to insert themselves in every decision you make, action you take, or word you utter. Once it begins airing, things will never be the same.
“But on a lighter note – you’ll have a handful of cool experiences and friendships (and hopefully love) that you’ll take away from it,” Kufrin added.
Alumni Spotlight With Becca Kufrin
How did what you learned during your college experience prepare you for the challenges that you have faced on the Bachelor and the Bachelorette.
College forces everyone to be around a variety of people and opinions, and the bachelor/bachelorette is no different. I went into each season preparing myself for a multitude of differing opinions and personality types but knowing to respect everyone I came in contact with, even if I didn’t agree. College also taught me to accept and embrace change (it was the first time I lived away from my family, had to pay bills and adult on my own, and learn to grow up), and the show was the biggest changing point in my life, so college just helped pave the way for me to start on the next journey in my life.
What made you decide on Minnesota State University, Mankato?
When deciding upon where to go to college, I wanted to stay somewhere semi-close to where my family and home-base were. Since my dad was battling cancer, Mankato was the perfect location where I was far enough to ‘do my own thing’ but also make it home enough to be with him and my mom. Also, I really fell for the campus and how accessible everything seemed when touring.”
Share a favorite college memory and/or experiences at Minnesota State Mankato?
“I worked at Jonny B’s for three years while attending school and absolutely loved it. All of the employees became family and it was by far the most fun part-time job I ever had. I loved interacting with any and everyone while working, and it gave me so many great tools on how to work in a fast-paced industry with ALL types of people, which ultimately helped me succeed in the PR world.”
Why did you decide to pursue a degree in Mass Media with an emphasis in Public Relations?
I originally wanted to work with a non-profit organization and knew that PR would be the most beneficial degree for this type of industry. I wanted to be very interactive with people and clients and thought PR would offer the perfect variety for this.
How did Mass Media help you in your career?
Mass Media in general helped with a general knowledge of PR and looped in other skills and lessons needed for any job. With it I learned how to be more concise but also how to target groups with specific messages.
Did/do you have any faculty or staff members that went the extra mile to help you during your time at Minnesota State Mankato?
Both Chuck Lewis and Ellen Mrja are some of the professors that stand out to me even years after being away from MNSU. They kept lessons interesting & fun, and allowed me to come to them after hours to help answer any questions I had.
6. What advice would you give to Mankato State University Mass Media graduates as they begin looking for jobs?
“Internships and networking are key. Even if an internship isn’t paid, take it and learn as much as you can in a short amount of time. Also intern within different industries to see what you really enjoy or excel at. As someone who always thought she’d work in non-profits, I quickly learned that as much as I loved helping, it wouldn’t necessarily be sustainable as a career for me personally.
“Also, there is more to life than just a press release.”
Jonny B’s remains a popular hangout (it now has a second Mankato location). What was your favorite thing about working there? Favorite thing to order?
Favorite things about working at Jonny’s: 1) Jonny himself is an amazing man and I love him to death. 2) Karaoke nights are pretty entertaining. 3) Everyone I worked with became like a family.
And the best thing to order…even though Jonny probably wants me to say the roast beef (which is wonderful with a side of au jus), my favorite thing was something not even on the menu. Next time ask for the crispy chicken sandwich tossed in a mixture of frank’s red hot and ranch dressing – you won’t be disappointed.