Matt James is heading into his Bachelor season with a pretty well-rounded resume. Before taking on the show's leading role, Matt dabbled in both football and finance before moving on to work in the real estate and charity fields.
According to LinkedIn, he graduated from Wake Forest University in 2015 with a degree in economics. But instead of entering into the corporate world, Matt decided to try his hand at professional football, having played on his college team. He didn't get far: though he was audited in rookie camps by both the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, Matt ultimately wasn't picked to play with either team. So he went back to econ, landing a job as a banking analyst for PNC from 2016 until 2017. After that, he switched gears again; he's now a real estate broker in New York as well as the co-founder of ABC Food Tours, a charity he began running in 2018 with his BFF (and Bachelorette alum) Tyler Cameron.
According to People magazine, the two met in college while playing football together. They decided to start the charity because they missed the sense of camaraderie that a community can bring. ABC Food Tours focuses on giving underprivileged youth in New York City the opportunity to try local restaurants while also helping them be active and learn about healthy living. As of August 2019, Tyler and Matt had worked with more than 50,000 kids through the program. During the pandemic, the organization shifted to handing out meals to those in need and organizing virtual recess exercise sessions. "[You have to] use what you’re gifted at to just help service the greater cause," Matt told People in 2019.
Thanks to The Bachelor, he'll have an even larger platform to continue this work after the show.