SUBSCRIBE NOW

Exclusive: Meet the Bumble 'global connector bees' getting paid to go on dates around the world

David Oliver
USA TODAY

Ever dreamed of going on dates around the world, free of charge? Bumble is making that a nine-month-long reality for two lucky women this year.

Brigette Muller and Juliana "Jules" Broste will be the company's first "global connector bees."

In addition to going on dates around the world, they'll be in search of friendship and business connections – all the while documenting the experiences for Bumble through videos, blog posts and social media.

Muller and Broste will visit designated locations together all over the world for about two weeks at a time, from Canada to Japan. In addition to free travel, they will also receive a salary (the company didn't say how much).

They'll showcase their lives while using Bumble. Following the Singapore launch of Bumble Bizz (the app's networking option), both women will travel to countries such as Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States, Japan and more.

What is Bumble and why this venture?

Bumble is a women-first social network and has 80 million users worldwide. Users can choose between three different modes: Bumble Date (for dating), Bumble BFF (for friendship) and Bumble Bizz (for networking). In opposite sex match-ups on Bumble, women must be the ones to initiate conversation.

Juliana Broste is getting paid to go on dates around the world for Bumble.

So why go global this way with a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity? Chelsea Maclin, vice president of marketing at Bumble, tells USA TODAY that it's "important for us to advance our on-the-ground research about dating culture worldwide so we can gear our product offerings toward new communities and future generations."

Meet Bumble's global connector bees

The positions opened to Bumble users in summer 2019, and thousands of people applied before the June 14 deadline.

Brigette Muller is getting paid to go on dates around the world for Bumble.

Muller came up with an idea to create a travel dating show and wanted to partner with a dating app to do it. Then, eight months ago, she got a text message from a friend with a link to Bumble's new venture. Her plans changed: "As soon as I saw the headline I was like, 'No, this is what I want to do,'" Muller tells USA TODAY.

Broste thought she'd be amazing at telling stories and traveling – and since she'd been neglecting dating, she thought she could kill two birds with one stone (as well as make friends and business connections).

The application process involved many steps: Everything from applying within the app to sending a resume to creating and sharing a video talking about Bumble and using all three app modes. Next came a phone interview and then a visit to Austin, where the company is headquartered.

It was originally supposed to be one job, but Maclin said in a statement that Bumble knew it had to hire both women after meeting them (the two will be traveling together). "We felt that it was important to have two people who can speak to their individual experiences of making connections and cultivating their own relationships across cultures, all while traveling together," she added in the statement.

Maclin tells USA TODAY that the finalists were made up of all genders and sexual orientations.

"Juliana and Brigette are real, authentic and genuine users of Bumble," Maclin says. "They aren’t 'influencers' in the sense that they don’t have millions of social media followers or have a ton of brand sponsorships. When we were looking at the global connector bee applications, we really focused on choosing someone who the members of our community could relate to."

Muller, 32, of New York was most recently a social media specialist at Etsy. She's been a content creator for almost a decade and has nearly 24,000 followers on Instagram. Broste, 36, is a video journalist who's worked with the Travel Channel, Lonely Planet and more, and has about 4,000 followers on Instagram.

Wait, they'll actually date across the world?

Yes. In addition to Canada and Japan, the women will head to Australia, Indonesia, Germany, Mexico, the United Kingdom and U.S., among others, plus Singapore.

The company partnered with the Singapore Tourism Board to start the program there; Bumble is also launching its "Bizz" option in the country. Muller and Broste arrive on Tuesday.

“We’re excited to welcome Bumble’s Global Connector Bees as they start their worldwide journey in Singapore and invite them to discover all the possibilities Singapore has to offer – from our rich culture, vibrant culinary and nightlife scene, and warm hospitality of our people,” Rachel Loh, regional director, Americas for the tourism board said in a statement.

Is this job really about dating? 

Yes and no.

Muller is well-versed in the dating app world and is ultimately looking for a relationship. But that doesn't mean that's all she's looking for (though she is excited to date people in different countries). She wants to live her life and grow, too. "I feel like one week of travel is like six months worth of living somewhere else."

She doesn't consider this her own personal dating reality show, either. "I'm not viewing this as a dating reality show, it's more just like, this is my life and I get to document it," she says. "We all know that reality shows aren't totally real." (Tell that to "The Bachelor" contestants.)

Broste is relatively new to dating apps, but is single and "ready to mingle."

Are they nervous about dating abroad?

Yes, but not about what you might think. While Muller and Broste will get breaks in between traveling, they're concerned about the physical toll it will take.

Muller wants to make sure her body has everything it needs to function at maximum capacity. Broste is scared of not sleeping enough. "You gotta charge those batteries, you know?" she says.

Are either nervous about going on dates in foreign countries? Both were quick to highlight Bumble's safety features as something that alleviates their worries. According to its website, the app (like others of its kind) has block and report features for users to signal red flags, for example.

Maclin says: "We have a zero-tolerance policy toward racist, hateful language and have partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to ensure that hate speech is banned from our platform. Those who encounter harassment of any kind are encouraged to use our robust blocking and reporting system."

"As any solo female traveler knows, you want to have some plans in place so that you're always safe," Broste added.

Muller is happy Broste – who she didn't meet until last week, though they're becoming fast friends – will be by her side, too.

Both are open to the idea of making one of the destinations permanent if they find love.

"Hell yeah," Muller says. "If you find love, you find love."

Will they find love in the hopeless place that is modern dating? We'll have to watch.