I wasn’t surprised when Chelsea Ingram won the Miss Vermont 2012 pageant over the weekend. I first got to know Chelsea through an email she sent me back in October 2011. She was graduating from North Carolina State University at the end of the year with a degree in Atmospheric Science and was looking for broadcast opportunities in Vermont. I told her about Lyndon State College and our broadcast meteorology program, and she decided to come up for a visit. She had a great tour and applied for the spring semester. She spent the spring in my broadcast meteorology performance class and doing weekly shows on News 7. In May, a weekend opening become available at the Fox affiliate in Vermont and it was a perfect fit for her. She’s actually my competition now (along with three other of my students in this market) but I continue to root for her and wish her success. You can check out a nice interview she gave on the WCAX morning news here.
Here are two big things that all broadcast-mets-to-be can learn from Chelsea.
Things don’t happen overnight. Chelsea didn’t wake up on Friday and decide to become Miss Vermont over the weekend. She’s been doing pageants for years. She’s great on camera and in front of audiences because she’s spent lots of time on camera and in front of audiences. If you are planning for a career in broadcast meteorology, don’t wait until your junior or senior year in college to start public speaking. You need to get started now. You learn as you go, and it takes time to be great.
You need to have drive. Chelsea is easily one of the most driven students I’ve ever had. She knew what she wanted to do since that first email she sent me, and hasn’t let up yet. It’s also one thing to say you want something, but it’s another to do the work every day to get there. Chelsea did that at Lyndon. She came to class ready to go every week, she took on extra shows when she could, and she always looked for ways to get better. I feel like she saw the opportunity she had at Lyndon State and then did everything she could to make the most of it. I appreciate that level of commitment. Just being in the right school or right class won’t guarantee you anything. There is usually a lot of work that goes into anything worth getting.
Chelsea may have only spent a short time at Lyndon, but I feel like she’s left her mark. I hope that it paves the way for other college-level meteorologists who are looking for the extra training in broadcasting to make the jump into local TV news. It will be a busy year for Chelsea, but I think it’s just the start of her journey to where ever she decides to go. I know she’ll get there.
- Chelsea Ingram crowned Miss Vermont 2012 (examiner.com)