Spotlight on Early Career Professionals

November 16, 2012 · 0 comments

If you haven’t noticed, a lot of AMS members are just starting out in the atmospheric sciences, making their way to success in a field that is full of continually evolving–and often little-known–prospects for advancement. Now is a good time, however, for those early career professionals trying to learn more about what’s ahead and meet the colleagues they’ll be encountering in coming years: AMS is providing new opportunities for them to get to know more about each other and their common futures.

The November issue of BAMS features an interview with KMGH, Denver, Colorado, weekend meteorologist Maureen McCann, part of our ongoing series of features about young people in the atmospheric sciences community. Maureen has a lot to share about getting started in the field. For example:

On advice she would give to an early career professional starting in this field: The best advice would be take whatever comes your way for your first job.  Your first job is key to fine tuning your skills and becoming familiar with the nuts and bolts of television news.  Keep in mind that it’s temporary and you will use this experience to move onto the next job, if that’s what you desire. Small market life has a lot of benefits! I look back on my time in my first market, Bangor, Maine, with great memories. The friendships I made there were with people in the same boat as myself: fresh out of college looking to get their career started.

Another point of advice is to always keep your resume current. You never know when opportunities will present  themselves. I aim to update my demo reel every six months. I probably would have missed out of the Denver opportunity if I didn’t have an updated reel online for the news director.

On who she seeks advice from and why: I’d have to say the broadcast community as a whole. Social networking has revolutionized how meteorologists can exchange information or gather feedback. There are some message groups on Facebook that serve as an excellent forum for this dialogue. Whether you have a question about graphics, or forecast models, or you’re looking for input on a prospective job location, chances are someone else has the same question too. It’s a great resource to poke through daily and see what the discussion topics are.  It’s also a good way to make connections beyond traditional ways like conferences.

For the full interview, see the November issue of BAMS and look for similar features in the future thanks to your new AMS Board on Early Career Professionals.

Another opportunity to get to know early career professionals is coming up at the Annual Meeting in Austin, with the First Conference for Early Career Professionals on Sunday, 6 January 2013. Early- to mid-career professionals will offer guidance and hold open discussions to solicit input on how the AMS can further benefit members who are beginning their careers in the atmospheric sciences. That evening, attendees and all other Annual Meeting participants are invited to attend the third annual AMS Reception for Early Career Professionals.

If you have advice for early career professionals or would like to nominate an early career professional to be featured in BAMS, the Board for Early Career Professionals would love to hear from you. You can contact Andrew Molthan, current chair of the AMS Board for Early Career Professionals, at andrew.molthan@nasa.gov.