Entering the military one thing all personnel should have is leadership, GPA, and volunteering. Volunteering goes hand in hand with leadership.
Internship. Internship. Internship. I cannot adequately express how important it is to pursue internships. College professors can teach you a lot about meteorology, but applying this knowledge in a real working environment is critical to getting that first job.
The biggest things I look for are weather knowledge and how you communicate in person. If you can't communicate in person, you will struggle communicating to thousands of people. Also, work ethic! If you are going into this field, you have to be willing to put the time and hours in.
When there is threatening weather, when you have tornado warnings or a hurricane moving toward people or flash flooding occurring, I really love the privilege I get to help warn people and help them stay safe and get through the storm.
Currently, it's all about computer science and information technology. Everyone has the skills in meteorology and climatology, but if you can't analyze lots of data and communicate it efficiently, then the work becomes exponentially harder. Skills such as GIS, programming, and cloud technologies will go a long way.
No day on the job is ever the same! I may be teaching a class, writing a report, doing business administration and development work, meeting with clients to brief them on findings, working with subcontractors, doing a talk at an elementary school, or testifying at a trial. Forensic work and being a small-business owner is so varied and wide-ranging which is both challenging and gratifying, and definitely never boring!
I like learning something new every day, and I also like the process of developing and evolving a big-picture plan for where we want to go with our capabilities and technology. I like the people I work with as well; we all have a passion for the weather and environmental missions at NASA, NOAA, and Air Force Weather.
The most surprising and exciting thing about my career has been all of the international travel I've been able to do. I've been to the Indian Ocean, Thailand, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, Austria and many more places all associated with research. I didn't expect it when I decided to pursue a career in research and it's been a very rewarding surprise.
I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the weather with young and old, visiting nearly 100 schools, clubs, charities and service organizations each year. My "Tornado Dance" is a much-anticipated event! I estimate that I have spoken to nearly 1,000,000 children in my 40-year career!
If your values are not represented, if you do not see yourself mirrored back within a company, then you will become frustrated and less empowered. Always remember that you are interviewing people at the same time that they are interviewing you. As often as possible, choose to work in places that value you and the things that you value.
I'm a happy person and I'm one of those people that loves to make people laugh and help them get their day going. Being on the morning show helps me to show more of my personality. I also love that I get the chance to help the viewers understand how the world of weather works and how it's going to impact their schedule or plans.
I returned to San Juan as a journeyman forecaster, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a lead forecaster at age 27. I then moved to the National Center for Environmental Predictions to be the chief of the South American Desk. But I was only at that job for a few weeks because I got offered a job in broadcast news in Miami. I became the first ever degreed meteorologist on Spanish language television in the United States.
Take advantage of committee participation as a student. I served on three different committees as a graduate student and that said a lot about my character and the kind of academic professional I wanted to be. Academic employers like to see diversity and involvement in various collegial activities.