How She Got There: Maria Molina, Fox News Meteorologist

Name: Maria Molina
Age: 25
Job Title and Description: Fox News Meteorologist (National Weather Forecasts Mondays thru Fridays from 5am to Noon EST)
College/Major: Florida State University/Meteorology
Website: www.FoxNews.com
Twitter Handle: @FoxMariaMolina 

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day? 
Maria Molina:
My job entails giving weather forecasts across the country on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. I also contribute reports and articles to Fox News Radio, the Fox News website and the Fox News Latino website. 

My hours are quiet typical… I am up by 2:30am, complete live reports anytime from 5am to Noon, attend graduate school in the afternoon and finish my day with a workout in the evening. While my hours are typical, what I do on the air changes every day.

What is the best part of your job?
MM:
My mom always said, "Make sure you pursue a career that you love.” I pursued that and I have to say the best part of my job is that I am doing what I love. Because I have a passion for meteorology, my job does not feel like a job, but more like a hobby. I am excited to go to work every day. Having a passion for what I do makes my job interesting, exciting and fun.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
MM:
My first entry-level job in my field was a bilingual television meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania. I sent them a demo tape of some weathercasts I had previously recorded during college internships. They scheduled an interview and offered me the job shortly after. Working at AccuWeather was a great experience and made me very knowledgeable in different weather events and world geography, two skill sets that I need for my job at Fox News Channel.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
MM:
Many people told me that there was a typical path to follow when trying to become a meteorologist at a national television channel. I was told that I would need to start by working in smaller markets and eventually work my way up to top markets. I believed that for a while, until Fox News offered me my dream job without the conventional path. They believed in my ability, work ethic and weather knowledge, even though I was a young 23 year-old at the time. I learned that there is no exact journey to a dream job [and] that you must create your own path.

How does your job differ when a major storm is coming to town? 
MM:
I suddenly become very popular at work when a major storm is headed to New York City. It is very busy to say the least: hours are extended, adrenaline is flowing and it is the time when weather accuracy is critical to saving not only properties, but also lives. Severe storms can be very dangerous, but I have to say that it is my favorite time to work—it is the time that I feel I am helping communities and truly making a difference.

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
MM:
This is tough! There are many people who helped me along my professional path. There is one person though who has truly changed my professional life for the better: our Executive Vice President of Programming, Bill Shine. He is someone who has believed in me since the first day, has provided me with feedback regarding my on-air performances and made sure I was adjusting to New York City life. He has also provided me with opportunities to continue to grow as a professional within the company.  

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
MM:
The words of wisdom I find most valuable have come straight from our Fox employee handbook:

"Attitude is everything. You live in your own mind. If you believe you're a victim, you're a victim. If you believe you'll succeed - you will. Negative people make positive people sick. Management relies on positive people for all progress." – FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes

My version of it? Be positive, like a proton. 

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
MM:
In the first couple of days of me working at Fox, my microphone battery died before I went on the air. Show producers had to scramble and fill the lost time. I felt so terrible—I will never forget it. But sometimes more is learned with a mistake than not. With that one experience, I learned that there are many pieces that go into our show productions and that I need to double check all of the pieces that involve me even if it doesn't seem like it is my job – our shows are a team effort. I also learned about the hazards of live television. I was very lucky it didn't happen live on the air, anything could happen live! Part of life is learning from mistakes. I am proud to report that I have not had one microphone battery die on me in over two years.

Being on television can be intimidating! Have you ever had stage fright and, if so, how did you overcome it?
MM:
I still have stage fright! The only way I have really been able to overcome it is with much practice. I am gradually getting more comfortable on the air as time goes on. To try and subside my nerves, I used to take deep breaths right before my on-air segments, and during my reports I make sure to block everything out that is around me.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
MM:
While very cliché, I have to say my best piece of advice is to always believe in yourself. It is very easy to get discouraged if a job interview does not go well or if people around you are negative. But if you work hard, have persistence and patience, you may reach all your dreams and even more. 

 

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