The wait is almost over: Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor premieres on Jan. 2 on ABC and fans — including myself — are so excited. The new season will introduce fans to a whole new journey for Nick, as well as a brand new cast of women hoping for roses and true love. This year's women are as interesting as ever, including Alexis, an aspiring dolphin trainer on The Bachelor who wears a shark costume during her first meeting with Nick, according to the show's promotional photos. So what does The Bachelor's Alexis do as an aspiring dolphin trainer?
For right now, the New Jersey native has relocated to Miami, according to Alexis' official Bachelor bio, and she seems to be currently working for a spokesmodel/brand ambassador company called PromoStaffing, according to the company website. While a student at Montclair State University, Alexis' LinkedIn profile stated that she worked as a marketing associate at Positive Impact Partners in 2014. So as of now, it looks like Alexis' dreams of working with dolphins full time aren't quite a reality just yet, which is where the "aspiring" probably comes from in her Bachelor job title.
This year's group of Bachelor women seems to really love dolphins, but Alexis is the only one who has stated that she wants to work directly with them someday — and even tries to dress up as one. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bachelor host Chris Harrison said that Alexis really did mean to wear a dolphin costume — and not a shark costume. “She just didn’t know that it was a shark costume," he told the publication. "She thought it was a dolphin costume and I had to explain to her how the fins are clearly different and a dolphin fin is curved and a shark fin is straight. I said, ‘You have a shark costume on,’ and she was like, ‘No but I love dolphins.'”
And Alexis clearly loves dolphins enough to want to work with them as a career. The 23-year-old contestant may be merely "aspiring" to be one right now, because it does take a lot of training to becoming a full-fledged dolphin trainer, according to many sources.
Here's what Alexis is probably up to on her road to becoming a dolphin trainer.
Getting SCUBA Certification
According to Florida-based center Dolphin Connection, they required their dolphin trainer applicants to be SCUBA certified.
The Houston Chronicle reported that advanced SCUBA training may be helpful in the job market, as well as the first aid and CPR training, which the SCUBA certification may also include.
Be Good At Swimming
This one should probably be a given, but you'll need to be comfortable in the water and pretty good at swimming in order to be qualified for the job, according to the Florida-based Dolphin Research Center.
Earn A Bachelor's Degree
Alexis posted the above photo to her Instagram account after she graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey. According to the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, a college degree is not required for the job, but it is seen as an advantage. "Usually, the only away around this requirement is to have a substantial amount of applicable experience," the organization's website said. "Realistically, a college degree is very important."
The Houston Chronicle reported that aquariums and zoos look for trainers with degrees in marine biology, animal behavior, and other life sciences.
Be Comfortable With Public Speaking
This is another skill that is very much emphasized for trainers by many organizations, including Dolphin Connection, and Dolphin Research Center.
Get Experience Working With Animals
This is a big one. If you're going to work with dolphins as job, you need to have experience with them —and be sure that you enjoy the mammals' company, advised the Dolphin Research Center. The Houston Chronicle, Dolphin Connection, and the Dolphin Research Center suggest that aspiring dolphin trainers get that experience by volunteering or interning at a marine mammal or animal facility.
Show True Dedication
Both Dolphin Connection and the Dolphin Research Center emphasized on their website that being a dolphin trainer is a 24/7 job and it takes a lot of dedication. "People often have a glorified image of marine mammal training and do not realize the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed in the field," the Dolphin Research Center website said.
So being an aspiring dolphin trainer is a journey itself — and perhaps Nick will join her on this season of The Bachelor.