Kathryn and I met on social media, which is kind of like an en vogue way to meet online these days. We have some mutual friends both online and off, but this interview was the first time we actually spoke to each other! You know, with voices.
Kathryn is a producer at The Weather Channel, contributor to The Capital Weather Gang and U.S. Tornadoes, and a reluctant-turned-proud Virginia Tech hokie. She talks about how she was rejected from or unable to go to some of the top meteorology schools in the nation, settled in initially as a geology major at a school with one meteorology course, then helped to establish a full meteorology program in another department!
While college connections are often vital in obtaining high-end positions after graduation, Kathryn proves that it never hurts to ask for something or apply to something that you think is out of your reach, regardless of your college program’s budding (or even nonexistent!) reputation.
I should stress that, although Virginia Tech is the rival of my alma mater, the University of Virginia, my younger brother is a Hokie and I really love the school. The school itself has a strong reputation, and the geography department’s new meteorology program is really taking off, especially since there are few full atmospheric science programs in Virginia. Even my degree from UVA is in environmental sciences, with my concentration in atmospheric science.
Other fun facts:
- Kathryn tested out all the hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants while storm chasing in the Plains. Her favorite was Taco John’s.
- Kathryn has over 1000 Twitter followers at the time of posting; check out her page!
- Kathryn and I were stuck on the same storm in Kingfisher, Oklahoma in 2010. Here is my old blog about that day!
- I learned how to pronounce Kathryn’s last name from a post on Twitter the day before our interview.
Challenges for YOU this week:
- Reasonable challenge: Talk to someone you don’t know, either in person or online. Tell someone you enjoyed their blog post or like their outfit. Of course, don’t be creepy!
- Bigger challenge: Think about how you could leverage your network to make contact with someone high up in your industry. Are you already high on the food chain in your industry? Figure out how you could set up tea with a member of royalty. Bonus points if you succeed!
Tweet me a picture of your success (or royal family tea time)! @MetNightOwl