I joined the Met Office in November 2017 as a Trainee Operational Meteorologist on the first incarnation of the Operational Meteorologist Foundation Course (OMFC). I had recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Meteorology & Climate Science and was initially unsure of which path I wanted my career to take. At the time I was considering a more academic route until my tutor suggested applying for to the Met Office. I vowed to keep my options open going into the recruitment process, but when I attended the assessment centre at the Exeter HQ I knew it was the job I wanted.
A few months later and I was lucky enough to start at the Met Office College alongside 15 other trainees. The course was the perfect way to take what I had learnt in my degree and put it into practise; I finally saw how 4 years of theory translated into being a hands-on forecaster. It also gave me the opportunity to revise many of the topics I had been taught throughout my degree, allowing me to gain a much better understanding of certain aspects that I found more difficult at the time. And of course, you don’t need a meteorology degree to join! My course was full of like-minded passionate people from all different academic backgrounds, each one bringing their own skills and experiences to the Met Office. The course ran over 9 months, a mixture of classroom based lessons, practical sessions, exams, and detachment to frontline stations for on-the-job training. It was challenging, yet greatly rewarding, and not without fun as you make some great friends along the way!
1 year and 3 months later, I have just completed my on-the-job training in the defence frontline at RAF Leeming and become a qualified Operational Meteorologist moving down the road to RAF Linton-On-Ouse. My favourite part of the job is forecasting alongside our customers and seeing first-hand how we make a difference. At both Leeming and Linton, the Met Office has a close relationship with its customers, creating a very approachable yet professional environment. Knowing our customer, and knowing them well, makes our job much easier! Plus working with the RAF brings rare and fantastic opportunities such as flights in military aircraft! Working within the defence network brings such variety, whether it be location, customer requirements, aircraft, or the work itself; that it’s hard to find yourself without the opportunity for new experiences (at home or abroad). I am looking forward to the rest of my career in the Met Office wherever it may take me!