Advice from Graduates
It's a very hard business to be especially in this day with all the weather apps and wanna be meteorologist on social media. My best advice is to not be afraid to step out on a limb and be your own meteorologist. Don't be afraid to call it as you see it. Every site you go to will have convective outlooks and NWS forecast. Don't always rely on that. Use it as a reference but don't be afraid to be your own forecaster. Remember, the public doesn't remember the ones we get right, only the ones we get wrong. Be wrong, but be wrong because you were wrong. Not because of what everyone else was saying! Best of luck to you.
Chief Meteorologist, KAUZ-TV Wichita Falls, TX
Remember - everything in front of you is a new opportunity to learn, to grow, and to expand in the world of weather.
Make every second and every moment count. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It may just be what you need to take that next step.
Past President, East Mississippi Chapter of the NWA & AMS, 2017-18
Meteorologist, KGBT-TV Brownsville,TX
Going into TV? Be prepared for life after TV: you're likely not going to retire from the business at or after retirement age. While you're playing TV, always have something in mind for when you have **that** meeting with a News Director and no one shows interest anymore when you search for another TV job.
Prepare for those times where you're on "the beach" when your demo tape (ok, YouTube video) isn't making it onto the ND's pile...I mean favorites. Being unemployed is expensive, and when your income is zero or nearly zero and everything you're doing is job search related, it gets expensive in a hurry and the bills still have to be paid.
The obvious alternative professions such as media relations or PR may not work out, either: plan for something outside of the media. Teaching science or broadcasting in secondary school, or a community college, or maybe a nearby college/university to wherever your "destination" is, perhaps?
Don't be a douchebag to anyone at your station: you WILL need those people for professional (and personal) references 10, 15+ years from now.
Enjoy wherever it is (the town) that you work, even if it's the biggest turd of a place you can think of: local customs, traditions, businesses, sites, history, etc. You'll look back at that some time in your future with fond memories, even if it smells like a paper mill.
Oh, and no: you won't be banished to Glendive: they simulcast the news from Billings. If you do make it through there, see the Dinosaur Museum and hit up the local brewery.
Past President, East Mississippi Chapter of the NWA (before AMS was included), 1995-96
Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Glasgow, MT
Seniors - thinking about graduate school? Start thinking about what you want to study/potential places you want to go. Take the GRE ASAP. (Or schedule it). Start emailing professors of interest and meet with them around October/November.
Funding opportunities will be more available! Take initiative!
Graduate Student, University of Alabama-Huntsville
Stay true to you. Don't try to be like others, in style, delivery, etc. Every station needs to have the person that's great at building graphics, or is wonderful out live, quick with social media in severe weather, etc. You'll find your niche and know that you're contributing to a bigger picture of trying to keep viewers informed on tv, radio, online, and on social media. :)
Chief Meteorologist, WVLT-TV Knoxville, TN
It’s no surprise that pay in the field of broadcast meteorology isn’t rewarding, but the job itself is. Remind yourself every day why you chose this path in the first place and don’t let bad news directors, unpleasant co workers, or not a whole lot of money deter you from the path you originally set out on.
Meteorologist, WJAR-TV, Providence, RI
Wishing all of you the best! One thing to remember, your career path and interests may change at some point, but you will always have the skills and knowledge you acquire at MSU and on the job. After 11 years working full time in tv, I transitioned to nonprofit work. I freelance now for a station in Louisville, KY and have been doing so for 5 years. I love it. It has to be the most fun and interesting “moonlighting” job ever, and also a lucrative one. But first - you have to make a name for yourself and great relationships in your market. Do that. You have all the tools you need and will enjoy the work. A rough day at a tv station is still awesome compared to a cubicle. Godspeed!
Too much from me, but also this: find a mentor on your team. Forecast with them. You can always learn more and will be better for it.
Freelance Meteorolgist, WDRB-TV Louisville, KY
Take every single opportunity that’s given to you. I’m not talking JUST about the big opportunities like internships, but the little ones like office hours, study groups, AMS/NWA meetings, and so on. Every chance you have to further your relationship with people in this community, take it! Connections go a long way.
Past President, East Mississippi Chapter of the NWA & AMS, 2018-19
Graduate Student, University of Oklahoma
Be yourself. You can be the best forecaster but in broadcasting, you have to be relatable. I started at WHSV as a weekend Meteorologist, and I'm now the Chief. I love where I am, and I love the people in my area. Biggest compliment I get on why people watch me, is because they feel like "I'm one of them", in the community. Having a personality that's relatable to the viewers establishes that trust. Talk to the viewers, what's important to them- what do they need to know? So you can not just forecast, but give the information that they need to make their plans.
Chief Meteorologist, WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg, VA
Remember who you’re there for...the viewers on the other side of that camera. Be genuine. Don’t be afraid to show a little bit of your personality.
Wherever you go, LEARN THE GEOGRAPHY THERE. Take a few weekends (or whenever you’re off) and just drive around your DMA learning the towns, the landmarks, and the people. Keep that in the back of your mind and use it in your coverage, be it what the high temperature will be at Possum Trot on a sunny day or letting people at the Dollar General in Possum Trot know a tornado is bearing down on them.
Get out in the community and be visible. That goes a long way towards your credibility. At the same time, be careful when you’re out and about in public. You’re representing yourself and your station in any public setting. I can’t tell you guys how many places I’ve been that I thought were totally obscure and someone walks up and says “are you that weather guy?”
Meteorologist, WLTZ-TV Columbus, GA