Flight Lessons lead to Aviation Weather Meteorologist job25 Oct , 2011 | 2
During the summer of 2001, I started taking private pilot flying lessons at Reid Hillview Airport in San Jose, CA. I wanted to knock taking flying lessons off my bucket list. It also incorporated a lot of aspects of aviation meteorology so I thought it was relevant to my career path.
My gosh, it was an amazing experience…I accumulated almost 20 hours of flight time. And during my flight ground school, I noticed there was this company that was supplying all the books and materials. The company name was Jeppesen, a Boeing company. So, I decided to research them on the Internet and realized they have an entire team of meteorologists.
I was curious. What did these meteorologists do at Jeppesen? It turns out they forecast weather for private pilots flying around the world. So when I returned to the Bay Area in 2004, I called the Jeppesen meteorology department and asked for the supervisor of the group. I introduced myself and asked him whether they were hiring and he said,
“We aren’t hiring yet, but we are expected to have an open position soon.” He was not sure when he would get approval, but I asked him if it would be ok if I kept in touch with him every few weeks.
Bottom line, I called this supervisor every 3 weeks for the next 3 months. I wanted him to remember my name and truly show my motivation for being able to join his group. In approximately 4 months, the Aviation Meteorologist position opened up and he asked that I apply online. I did.
What’s cool is the Supervisor basically skipped any phone interview (since we talked for the last 3-4 months on the phone) and went straight for the in-person. I did my best to show him and the rest of the team my motivation, persistence, and that I could be a great addition to the team. They hired me 3 weeks later after only 1 face-to-face interview.
It was awesome because I was told afterwards more than a hundred people applied for this position…and they chose me!
The moral of this story is: Find interests that relate to your career…in my case it was flight lessons that led to an aviation meteorologist job. Focus on companies that hire in your area. Be persistent, keep in touch with the hiring manager,and build a relationship with them. Stay tuned for my next series of posts on work/life balance and the exact role of an aviation meteorologist!