Meteorologist Maria Molina is not your average weather woman
FOX meteorologist Maria Molina's day starts at 2 a.m. She's up 'n' at 'em way before the sun peeks out from the horizon line, and her day isn't over 'til long after it sets. As one of the youngest weather women on cable, she's fought her way to the top--and had to weather the storm, if you will. Below, she gives you the 411 on how she landed her current gig, what makes it so great and how you can be the next top dog in the news room.
All about me
In high school, I was… both a cheerleader and a majorette at one point.
My first job was… teaching seventh grade science, after I graduated college.
And back then (since I was 5 years old), I knew I wanted to be a TV meteorologist when I grew up.
In college at Florida State, I…was in a sorority; I was a member of the Women in Math, Science and Engineering Program and I majored in meteorology.
And right now, I am a meteorologist and I absolutely love it!
What I do
In a nutshell, my job is to…tell people what the weather will be across the country.
When I tell people what I do, they think it’s very impressive and really cool. And then they proceed to ask me what the weather will be like that day.
The best part of my day is when… I get to do or learn something new. At Fox and Friends, we get the opportunity to talk to so many different people and show the audience many different things that I sometimes would normally not have the opportunity to. I think stepping outside of our comfort zones helps us grow as individuals and helps us be well-rounded.
The worst part of my job is… when I have to tell viewers that dangerous weather is headed their way. It’s never fun to give people bad news, but giving them notice can help people plan ahead, and in extreme cases even save their lives.
When I first got my job, I was surprised that…I was able to get my dream job so young. And, if I can do it, so can you!
I got my job by… working hard at my previous job (AccuWeather – my first TV job) and creating a demo tape, which FOX watched. They then called me in for an interview and eventually told me I got the job! Having completed education and certifications is always very important too.
My biggest career achievement so far is…when I was able to forecast and warn people about Superstorm Sandy.
My next career goal is to… continue expanding my duties and my role at FOX by going out in the field to cover storms or other feature stories. I hope to one day write a weather-related book as well.
And how you can do it, too
This job might be right for you if… you enjoy doing something different every day, enjoy a fast-paced work environment and work well in a team.
You might want to try something else if… you are not willing to work tough hours (sometimes overnights!), weekends or holidays. Work hours can be very unusual in TV news, especially in the beginning of your career. It gets better later, I promise.
The one thing you need to do right now is… watch the news and weather! Pick a few journalists or meteorologists who you enjoy watching and try to find why you gravitate towards them. Is it their presentation skills? Their personality? How credible they are?
At some point in high school, try to… take part in some activities where you will be doing public speaking, such as a drama class, a television production class or even some after school clubs like the debate team. They can help you find the words to express your thoughts quickly and help you gain confidence while being in front of an audience; two important qualities for meteorologists and journalists alike.
When you’re thinking about college, consider… the program you are entering and how it ranks with the same program at other schools, instead of focusing on the name of the school. For instance, in high school, I was choosing between Penn State and Florida State because of their excellent meteorology programs. Also look to see if they have a college student-run television station. That is a great place to get some practice and create a demo tape, which you will need when applying for jobs.
My best advice for getting a job—any job!—is to… be open minded about your first job. My first job out of school was a 7th grade science teacher. I had a very tough time finding a TV job when I graduated in 2008 because of the state of our economy then, but my community was in need of science teachers for the upcoming school year. I found it very rewarding to teach students about science and I really felt that I was giving back to my community. Being a teacher even helped me with my communication skills which I use every time I go on television.
Oh, and one more thing
On your way to your dream career, enjoy the ride, it’s just as important as the destination.
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