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Becca Kufrin Applied for The Bachelor Twice Before Making It on the Show

For Becca Kufrin, getting on The Bachelor was a process that took “years” to complete.

During an interview with Stassi Schroeder on the Vanderpump Rules star’s weekly Straight Up with Stassi podcast, the new Bachelorette revealed that she went on quite a journey before competing for Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s heart last season.

“It actually started years ago,” she explained. “Two of my coworkers had applied for me and I got this random call one day from this guy named Scott in casting and I thought it was a joke at first. And I went to work and my two coworkers, I could hear them giggling next to me. They were like, ‘Oh, haha, that was us.’ ”

While Kufrin, 28, said she initially planned on “going through with applying,” she ended up scrapping those plans after “running into my ex-boyfriend at a bar.”

RELATED: The Bachelorette’s Becca Kufrin Doesn’t Know if She Would Attend Ex Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s Wedding

Kufrin got back together with her ex, but after they broke up again in 2016, she decided it was time to follow through with the application process.

On a weekend hiking trip, Kufrin and her best friend found themselves “sitting at the top of this cliff overlooking Lake Superior.” Her pal turned to her and said, “Let’s just sign you up right now. Let’s just see what happens.”

“Months later, I got a call again from casting saying, ‘Hey, we got your application. Do you want to move forward?’” she continued, adding that she thought to herself, “Why not? What do I have to lose?”

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RELATED: The Bachelorette’s Becca Kufrin on Getting Engaged Again: ‘This Time It’s Going to Stick!’

Although Kufrin was initially heartbroken when her then-fiancé Luyendyk Jr. broke things off on national television earlier this year, she’s happily engaged to her pick on The Bachelorette — and this time, it feels a whole lot different.

“I feel like I finally found my missing puzzle piece,” Kufrin tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “I just can’t wipe the smile off my face!”

While the publicist did feel like she was “ready to commit” to Luyendyk Jr. last season, she says her stint as the Bachelorette helped her find somebody “who would be the best fit for me.”

“I wanted someone who is genuine,” said Kufrin, adding, “someone who can open up and be vulnerable and really show me who they are, and I found that.”

Download our Bachelorette bracket PDF now to play along with Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette, which premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.