By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2020 04:02 PM
Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC

She left her job at Facebook to be a contestant on The Bachelor last season. But after making it as one of the final four women vying for Dallas pilot Jake Pavelka’s affection, 25-year-old San Francisco resident Ali Fedotowsky said goodbye and went back to work. Now she’s returning as the star of The Bachelorette, which premieres Monday (9 p.m. EST) on ABC, following the first night of the Dancing with the Stars finale.

Why the change of heart?

“It became clear to me that love is much more important to me than a job,” Fedotowsky tells PEOPLE.

Facing a field of 25 potential suitors, Fedotowsky says she was surprised how emotionally trying it was being in the driver’s seat.

“Going in I thought how good it was going to feel to give someone a rose. That made me excited,” she says. “I never thought what it would feel like not giving someone a rose. I didn’t like hurting someone else or making someone feel like ‘Did I do something wrong?’ ”

While she declines to say if she found love this season, which was shot all over the U.S. as well as international locations like Portugal, Iceland, Turkey and Tahiti, she will say, “I’m happy.”

Viewers “will have to tune in” she says coyly when asked about Internet rumors and spoilers about the outcome of the season. But she does promise that the show will be good TV.

“You’re going to see me get mad, cry, be happy, stressed out,” Fedotowsky says. “The real me — the good, bad and the ugly.” Bob D’Amico/ABC