Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Burch

//Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Burch

I am a 22 year old Weekday Evening Broadcast Meteorologist at KRCR News Channel 7. I forecast for all of Northern California! I graduated in May 2019 with a B.S. in Meteorology and simultaneously commissioned into the US Army as an Aviation Officer. On the military side I will be flying helicopters for the California National Guard. I absolutely love aviation and weather equally, so I guess I could say I’m living my dream!

How did you land your current position?

LOTS AND LOTS of late nights doing research. I landed a flight slot out in California for the Army National Guard (I did ROTC by the way) and so I needed to find a civilian job out here too. So I got to work. I contacted virtually every news director/ chief meteorologist in the state of California, sent them my reel, resume etc. And I FOLLOWED UP. Constantly. If it wasn’t for me getting out of my comfort zone and constantly calling news directors, I don’t think I would’ve landed a Weekday Evening Meteorologist position. Hard work pays off so nicely.

What impact did your internship with WKMG News 6 have on your full-time job search?

I had the best mentors during my internship, the meteorologists at WKMG are some of my closest contacts to this day. They were always there to help me create my reel, practice the whole “TV talk” and just give me insight to the wild world that the news industry is (because it isn’t as pretty as it looks on TV).

What do you love most about reporting the weather?

I love when I hear from viewers that my forecasts impacted their day or made them think twice about commuting during certain weather events. I also love that I am the ONLY one in the newsroom that doesn’t read from the prompter! Haha

What advice do you have for students and recent grads who are seeking a similar career path?

Take the time to find an amazing internship. The right internship will really help you while creating a reel and give you some important lessons. Also, post your reel everywhere, you want critiques as much as possible. Lastly, you will need tough skin in this industry. If you don’t take criticism or constructive criticism well, you wont succeed. You have to look past everything going on in your little world, smile, and put on a great show.

 What is the best career advice you have ever received?

When people cut you down, or talk behind your back, remember they took time out of their pathetic lives, to think about you. My boss put this quote up on my wall the first week I got this job, and MAN does it help make your skin thicker!

What are some challenges you have encountered so far in your career and how have you overcome them?

Balancing my military life and my civilian life. As cool as it is to say that I’m an Officer in the Army who will fly helicopters while also being on TV during the week, it’s a challenge to balance those two. Thank goodness college made me great at managing my time.

What are your plans for the future?

Who knows. My goals are to make it to a top 10 market one day, but I also wouldn’t mind pursuing aviation full time. Maybe fly news choppers, maybe fly for hospitals. I’m only 22. I have time to figure it out!

What is the craziest or most interesting thing that has happened to you on the job?

I have almost been working in the news industry for a year now, and honestly during the summer when it’s fire season, I didn’t realize how closely Californians listen to what you say. We had some scary situations last fire season, and I never felt so important.


2020-01-21T13:53:24-05:00February 3rd, 2020|Alumni Spotlight Series|

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