Can you believe we’re already this far into March and at the spring equinox? Additionally, we are again at the Third Thursday of the month, which means it is time for our next interview with a colleague to learn more about how she is using her experience and knowledge in the field of meteorology.
These interviews are so much fun for us, because even though we are professional colleagues of the individuals we will profile in the coming months, it is always fun to learn more about them as people as well! This month, our Third Thursday guest interview is with Kathryn Prociv, CCM. I had the privilege of getting to know Kathryn while she was taking her CCM exam last year. I immediately found her engaging, interesting, and very knowledgeable. I hope you find her story as interesting as I did!
Could you introduce yourself, and tell us a little bit about where you’re from and how you got into meteorology?
My name is Kathryn Prociv and I was born in Dayton, Ohio. That’s where my love for weather came from because as a young girl I became fascinated with the explosive summer thunderstorms that would routinely impact our area. By the time my family moved to the Washington DC area when I was 10, I was on the fast track to become a meteorologist. I attended Virginia Tech where I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees there while helping start the Meteorology Program. I taught Intro to Meteorology there, and in my spare time I founded the Meteorology Club and volunteered at the National Weather Service Blacksburg WFO there. My true passion is storm chasing, and this upcoming year will make a decade of chasing for me. I go out to the Great Plains every year for 1-2 weeks. True weather geek here!
What is/are your current positions?
I am currently a meteorologist and producer at NBC News in New York. My team is part of the NBC Weather/Climate Unit. I work directly with Al Roker, and oversee weather content for the Today Show, Nightly News with Lester Holt, MSNBC, and all of NBC’s digital properties. In addition to my job at NBC, I have my own weather consulting company called Monarch Weather Consulting along with my partner meteorologist Crystal Egger and meteorologist Ashley Ballard. My twin sister, Lauren Prociv, is our director of marketing.
What is your work day like?
My workday begins at 4am when my alarm goes off (often earlier than that!) I take the Subway to 30 Rock and my day in the office begins at 6am. I produce the Today Show from 7am-9am, then the rest of the day is spent prepping content for Nightly News and/or planning for the Today Show the next day. In addition to providing content for shows, I’m one of the principle producers in charge of research and development for all climate-related content.
How did you get to your current position?
I got my current position because a spot opened up for a meteorologist/producer at NBC, and I was already familiar with Al Roker and his team after working with them from a distance during my time at The Weather Channel. The Weather Channel used to be owned by NBC Universal, so we were partners for a long time which enabled me to help on shows like “Wake Up With Al.” How I got my job at The Weather Channel is a little more interesting – I saw a job posting for a weather producer position and applied even though I wasn’t qualified AT ALL! I had zero TV experience, and never had any ambition to be in media. A manager from The Weather Channel called me and said my resume was totally different from anything they had seen, so they were going to give me a shot. They gave me two weeks to move to Atlanta on a freelance salary. I threw everything in my car, jumped off that cliff, and gave it a try! I ended up being there over five years and helped launch the flagship morning show AMHQ, the highest-rated weekend morning show Weekend Recharge, and supported the prime time show Weather Underground.
What is the best thing about your job?
The excitement! Working in live television can be extremely demanding and very stressful (if you make a typo or say something wrong, there are no re-dos and that mistake just happened in front of MILLIONS…) but I love the frenetic energy associated with the job. Every day is different, and you never know what you’re going to walk in to – I love it!
What is one goal you are working towards right now?
How do we tell the climate change story in a compelling way that gets people to pay attention and take action. At NBC we have one of the largest audiences in the world, and we don’t want to waste it!
What are some things you do in your spare time?
Play guitar! I have eight guitars in my tiny New York City apartment and getting my cello here will be next! I play everything from Metallica to the Beatles.
If a kid walked up and asked for advice and you only had a few minutes to give ’em your best tip, what would it be?
Shoot for the stars, you never know where you’ll land! Follow your passion, do what you love, take leaps of faith and above all be enthusiastic in everything you do. Attitude, not aptitude, is what gets noticed!
What is the coolest experience you have had thus far in your career?
Twice when I was at The Weather Channel, young children came to the studio from the Make A Wish Foundation. They could have gone anywhere, and they chose The Weather Channel. Seeing young children so excited about the weather made my heart so happy. I was just like them as a young girl, watching The Weather Channel all day instead of cartoons. My childhood hero wasn’t Britney Spears (or any pop culture idol for that matter), it was Dr. Greg Forbes. The see young children in love with the weather, and to be a small part of fulfilling such a big wish of theirs – I don’t think any experience will ever compare!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
Can I have two? 1) Work hard, and be kind. Nothing else matters.2) When I was in kindergarten I was struggling with math and asked my Dad for help. He proceeded to teach me algebra. Through tears I asked him why he was putting letters in my numbers. He answered “Kathryn, you’re going to learn this. You’re going to go to graduate school and you’re going to be an independent and successful woman.” I was five years old! But clearly, the rest is history….