Maria Molina always dreamed of becoming a meteorologist on national television channel and at 23, she made that dream come true. However she had to fight to be there and kept sending demos hoping that one day they would land on the right desk and pave the way for her. She credits Bill Shine for holding her hand as she made her way to the top. He had faith in Maria’s abilities and always gave her feedback about her on-screen performances so she could improve. She is now an Advanced Study Program (ASP) postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Here is more about Maria:
1. She was a science teacher for one year
We always have our dreams penned down and as we work towards achieving them, we realize that the road is not as smooth as we thought. After graduating from Florida State University in 2008, Maria was determined to become a meteorologist and make use of her undergraduate degree in meteorology. Unfortunately, she could not have been seeking a job at a worse time; recession had hit the economy. Maria therefore was forced to move back home and work as a science teacher.
2. Her first entry-level job
After working as a science teacher for a year, Maria decided to try and get relevant experience in the field she had studied. Therefore she applied to be a meteorologist at State College’s AccuWeather. Her demo tapes that she used for her application landed her an interview at AccuWeather and they were impressed because she was offered the job of a bilingual meteorologist. However, it did not come without challenges; having gotten used to the weather at home, Maria had to adjust to the winter and being away from family and friends.
3. She thought that she had to follow the path like everyone else
People have different formulae for success and one person’s technique does not necessarily have to be the right one. Still, we are tempted to believe whatever advice is dished out to us like Maria did. People kept telling her that getting to be on national television demanded that she started with smaller markets. For a long time, Maria believed her advisors until when at the age of 23 she became the youngest weatherwoman on Fox News. At that point, Maria’s mindset also changed and she now believes we must make our own path as she told Inside Cable News.
4. She viewed her job as a hobby
Somebody once said that if you choose a job that you love, they you will never work a day in your life. Maria’s mother also encouraged her daughter to pick a career that she is passionate about and Maria followed that piece of advice. The weatherwoman loves meteorology and since she got a position in the department, she does not feel like she is going to work; instead she is excited to go to work every day and practice her hobby.
5. What she hated about her job
The weather can be very erratic and it is the job of a weatherman to keep us posted on any changes, be they good or bad. For Maria, the worst part of the job is informing her viewers that they should brace themselves for very bad weather. Although it is not something she likes to do, Maria reasons that she has to since warning people can potentially save lives. One of her proudest moments is when she warned viewers about Superstorm Sunday.
6. She was a bright student
In the past girls were left to contend in languages whereas boys were assumed they were the only ones good at math and sciences. However things have changed and even Maria excelled in math and sciences. She revealed that while in college, she was in the Science and Engineering Program as well as a member of the Women in Math program.
7. Her advice for those in school and want to become meteorologists
Practice may not make you perfect but they say that if you can chase perfection then you can catch excellence. Maria opines that it all starts with one’s education and therefore for those in high school interested in pursuing a career that demands speaking in public, then getting involved in debate clubs will be of great help. As they send out their college applications, Maria advises high school graduates to concentrate on the program they want to study and compare it across various schools. It also helps if they can get experience while in college and adds how a student-run television station can be useful for journalists and meteorologists to train.
8. What might have sparked her interest in meteorology?
Maria was born in Nicaragua in 1987 but when she was one they moved to Hialeah. Bad luck came their way in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana. To date, the hurricane remains as the most destructive with regard to structures destroyed and damaged in Florida. Maria and her family bore the pain of starting over again and seeing firsthand the destruction that the catastrophe brought in Florida must have impacted her career choices. She says that from the time she was five years old she knew she wanted to be a meteorologist.
9. She fell in love with Reed Timmer the moment she met him
Maria declared that it was love at first sight with Reed Timmer so it is no surprise that they ended up getting engaged in 2014. By the end of 2015 the couple had exchanged vows in Nicaragua’s Masaya Volcano National Park. She posted on Facebook that she was blessed with a supportive husband who dared to listen to her crazy wedding venue idea. Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted three months.
10. She always wanted to get a PhD in meteorology
In August 2016, Maria had an emotional moment on television as she announced that she would be leaving Fox News channel to pursue a lifelong dream. She confessed that as a Nicaraguan refugee, she had not only wanted to become an American citizen, but had also hoped to get a PhD in the field of study that she loved. Therefore as reported on Media Moves, Maria went to Central Michigan University and began her studies on August 29, 2016.