Ronelle Williams, Weekday Morning Meteorologist, KSN News

Ronelle Williams, Weekday Morning Meteorologist, KSN News

Please include details about your educational background and what sparked your interest in atmospheric or related sciences.

My passion for weather started at a young age. It began with a church member giving me storm chasing VHS tapes. The interest continued with frequent trips to the library and reading up on the weather. Eventually I decided that's what I wanted to study in college. I graduated from SUNY Oswego with my Bachelor's in Meteorology.

What was your first job in the field and how did you end up in the job you are in now?

My first job was in St. Joseph, MO. I took a leap of faith and left my hometown of Rochester, NY without ever visiting St. Joseph. Where I am now has a lot to do with my last job in Kansas City, MO. This is where I briefly worked with Lisa Teachman. She is currently the Chief Meteorologist at KSN in Wichita, KS. She let me know about an opening for a weekday morning position and the rest is history.

What opportunities did you pursue that you knew would be beneficial to securing a job in the profession?

I reached out to a local TV station while in Rochester, NY and the opportunity to practice in front of a green wall was essential in securing my first job. I also did some forecasting for an organization called Foot's Forecast. There was no pay involved but it helped me get some experience on my resume.

What other courses/skills beyond the required math and science courses do you think would be the most helpful to individuals wanting a career in your profession?

I wasn't able to take a broadcast meteorology course in college due to a small number of students at the time. I'd suggest taking one if possible.

What is your typical day on the job like?

I'm up at midnight every night and immediately begin forecasting. I'm at work no later than 1:30 am and usually done with my shift by 9:30 am. Sometimes I have to cover the noon shift and won't be finished until 12:30 pm. My daily duties include forecasting, editing weather graphics, working a 2.5 hour show, 2 hours of cut ins, and lots of social media posts.

What do you like most about your job? What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The most challenging part is the fact that my day starts in the middle of the night. But I really like having a somewhat normal weekend and being off on Fridays before everyone else.

Does your job allow for a good work/life balance? If not, why?

It's tough. A good diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising help when it comes to working odd hours.

Over the course of your career what is the most exciting thing that has happened to you?

Any time I'm able to go out and track storms. That never gets old and it's always like going out for the first time. Also getting to meet famous people who I'd probably never get close to if I wasn't doing this.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently in your career?

Starting earlier is the one thing that comes to mind. Getting into YV is something that I wasn't interested in at first but it's okay. It took me a few years after I graduated but I'm doing it now and that's all that matters.

What are some ‘must haves’’ on a resume if a person wants to gain employment in your field?

Any kind of experience forecasting or broadcasting, even if it means working for free. This is very important to have on your resume.