These days, college students may be used to casually dating many people at once as they try to narrow down the options until one—hopefully perfect—match remains. Yet, having this process filmed and then broadcasted to people across the United States is a whole different ballgame.
For Buffalo native and Geneseo alumnus Jason Tartick ’10, being a contestant on ABC’s reality show “The Bachelorette” gave him a crash course in dating like nothing he had ever experienced before.
Tartick and two dozen other contestants spent the early half of 2018 competing for the titular bachelorette, Becca Kufrin, hoping to be the last man standing and potentially receive her hand in marriage. Tartick finished in third place behind Blake Horstmann and Garrett Yrigoyen who proposed to Kufrin in the season finale.
Despite not ending up with the bachelorette, Tartick has nothing but positive things to say about both Kufrin and the show itself.
“In summary, I would say my experience was phenomenal,” Tartick said in a phone interview. “Becca was an amazing bachelorette and a better person. I came out a better person than I went into it.”
He described the reality show experience—with no cellphones or Internet during filming—as “refreshing.”
Tartick’s path to being cast on the show was slightly unconventional. A video of him performing at a charity fundraiser was sent to be ABC, the producers of “The Bachelorette.” ABC then contacted Tartick, who had just moved across the country to Seattle, and he decided to pursue the opportunity.
As anyone would who had the knowledge that their dating life would be filmed 24/7 for two months, Tartick had his reservations going into filming.
“For the first couple weeks, it was challenging to deal with all the cameras, especially while having deep, intimate talks,” Tartick said. “But you get numb to it … by week three, I didn’t have a clue cameras were there.”
Reality television also has a reputation for not being a true representation of reality. Even Tartick originally went into the process thinking most of it would be staged or planned out by the production team, but he said his experience was authentic. Tartick also felt happy with his portrayal on television and felt that it was an accurate reflection of who he is in real life.
Tartick quickly became a fan favorite due to his charm and story that resonated with viewers.
“All the fame and followers and attention...it’s endearing and flattering,” Tartick said. “You don’t know what to expect [going into the show] if people xare going to hate you or love you. I’m very thankful for the support. It’s been really fun. Geneseo alumni have also reached out—people I didn’t go to school with and current students. If I see messages or meet people from Geneseo, they get my attention.”
While attending Geneseo, Tartick was a business major and a member of the men’s soccer team, serving as captain during his senior year. After graduation, Tartick took a job with KeyBank who recruited directly from Geneseo’s School of Business.
Over the past eight years, Tartick has worked his way up through the ranks of KeyBank, most recently being promoted to the position of senior banker. He feels Geneseo prepared him well for his career.
“Geneseo does a good job of preparing their students in the classroom,” Tartick said. “The school promotes and pushes having a well-rounded base and a well-rounded foundation.”
In a way, Tartick feels Geneseo also helped prepare him for reality television. Geneseo taught him how to overcome adversity both in the classroom and on the soccer field, as well as how to deal with the changes of life throughout the years of college.
“[Reality television] is all about understanding life, understanding people, reading and reacting to situations,” Tartick said. “Geneseo helped teach me how to handle things with poise and confidence and composure. I don’t think a lot of the people on [“The Bachelorette”] had that.”
Tartick describes life since the premiere of his season on “The Bachelorette” as crazy.
“I’m just a Buffalonian who went to school at Geneseo and pursued a banking career,” Tartick said. “I didn’t expect or foresee any of this.”
As for a future in reality television, Tartick isn’t completely ruling out the possibility. He was approached by ABC to star as the next leading man in “The Bachelor,” but ultimately wasn’t chosen. If he had been offered the spot, he believes he would have accepted the position.
On Tuesday Sept. 4, ABC announced that Tartick’s fellow “Bachelorette” contestant Colton Underwood would be the new bachelor.
“Colton is a friend of mine so I’m happy for him,” Tartick said. “I was very fond of my experience on the show and look back on it smiling from ear to ear. I would certainly entertain the [idea of being on another reality show].”
Tartick advises current Geneseo students, whether they’re hoping for a career in reality television or not, to “be resilient and adaptable in your approach to education and as you move amongst your career. Understand your passions and pursue them.”