How great would it be to get one-on-one weathercast coaching from The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore? If you are a senior broadcast meteorologist at Lyndon State College, that is exactly what you get to do. Jim Cantore (Class of ’86) offers his time and expert advice every November to help Lyndon State broadcast meteorologists become the best they can be. We just wrapped up another Jim Cantore workshop this past weekend, and it was another excellent experience.
Jim starts the full day workshop with a general presentation about the state of the business and trends within the field. We were joined again this year by meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin (Class of ’08). Together they talked about the process of getting your first job in broadcast meteorology, and tips to be successful at your first job. We were fortunate this year to be joined by talent coach Lou Michaels from Talent Dynamics via Skype. Lou is a pro in helping broadcast professionals improve their résumé tape, develop their on-air presence, and find success in their careers. We learned a lot about the role of social media, advice for looking our best on-air and tips for the job search. Special thanks to Jim for helping set that up. It was a great experience for the students and there was a ton of helpful information.
After our classroom session, it was time to head into the studio. Jim took each student one and a time, and worked with them to help improve their weather broadcasts. Jim would take some time to watch some earlier weathercasts and get to know each student. After a little discussion, they would then get a chance to work in front of the chroma-key wall. All the material is taped, which they can watch back and offer some more advice. It’s a pretty comprehensive session and Jim is able to make a tremendous amount of progress in the time he spends with each student. While Jim is in the studio, Kerrin is in a nearby classroom watching show tapes with the other students, offering her advice on where each student can get better.
At the end of the day we all get together for a wrap-up on what we all learned from the day. We take a few photos and thank Jim and Kerrin for sharing their Saturday with us. I think most students walk into the day feeling a little nervous about working so closely with one of the biggest names in broadcast meteorology. By the end of the day, you can see the confidence that Jim has instills in them, and we all get the feeling that we’re all just part of the same team.
A few days later, each student will get a written assessment from Jim, and one for our whole team. There are always great ideas on things we could be doing better. Kerrin writes up her own assessments as well. They will both watch more of the students’ shows in the spring and give a progress report on how each of them are coming along.
This is my fifth year working with Jim Cantore on these November weekends, and my third with Kerrin. I continue to be impressed by the impact that each of them has on the students. If Jim and Kerrin can’t you get excited about broadcast meteorology, then clearly no one can. Jim stresses the importance of being passionate and compassionate about what you do, and that translates into any line of work. Lyndon State College is lucky to have such great alumni that continue to support our broadcast meteorology program. It wouldn’t be what it is without them.
Special thanks to David Ballou for taking the photos, Dr. Jason Shafer for doing most of the coordination, Darlene Ballou for getting our studio set up, and Jace Kaszycki for keeping everything running smooth in the control room all day long. You can find a collection of photos from the day here.