What is your degree; what was your major? Specialization?
Atmospheric Science, with minor in Communications.
When did (will) you graduate? March 2003.
Current employer, location of employment, and description of job responsibilities.
Jeppesen/The Boeing Company. San Jose, CA. I am an Aviation Meteorologist. My job is to produce weather graphics and write weather briefings for Jeppesen’s corporate clients around the world. We analyze model data from National Weather Service and other sources, and input them in clear, concise way for our clients to understand. We are also involved in verbal weather briefings, where we talk to pilots and dispatchers directly over the phone, sometimes from the cockpit itself.
What best prepared you for this job: courses, internship experience, faculty recommendations?
Some of the UC Davis forecasting courses were helpful. Drawing fronts, jetstreams, and turbulence based on model data was what we did in forecasting classes. Learning about the climate of different regions of the world also helped at this current position
How did you find your job?
I was working at ABC television for a short period of time and talked to the weather producer, who had a contact name from someone at Jeppesen. I called the contact, and kept in touch with the company until they began hiring.
Best part of your job? Location of the job, getting to do what I studied in college, and having a great work environment.
Career suggestions for students with your major? I suggest that if you want to be an operational meteorologist for a private company, find a place where you can support your cost of living. Expect to work shifts, meaning night shifts, weekends, and holidays. If you are planning on working at the NWS, a masters degree is generally what is being looked at for admission nowadays. The competition has become fierce within the industry. If you are planning on going into broadcasting, I would recommend you get an internship at a local TV station, start making tapes of yourself doing the weather, and then send them out to small market TV stations. Don’t be afraid to take criticism, it will only help you do better on the air. And if you can make it to the top five television markets in the country, you’ve most likely found a high-paying weather job. Most salaries in meteorology are not as high as you would expect, so financial planning is definitely important.
Any additional comments?
At the end of the day, what matters is what you truly enjoy and love to do. It’s a tough job market out there. So, make sure you get those resumes ready and stand out when it comes to applying. That means, find a contact or call the company and talk to the supervisor. Show your interest, and when a job opens up, perhaps you may be the one selected.
Your contact information.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to entertain any questions.
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