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Insights from a Broadcast and Operational Meteorology Graduate of MS State Online

STARKVILLE, Miss – MS State Online, which has been serving students since 1986, offers a comprehensive broadcast and operational meteorology program. This program has successfully prepared numerous students for their radio and television weathercasting careers. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Mississippi State University alumna Samantha Roberts, a broadcast meteorologist at WOIO-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, about her experience with MS State Online. Samantha shared her valuable insights about her education journey and offered advice for individuals interested in furthering their education

Q: What was your favorite thing about earning your certificate from MS State Online?

A: My favorite thing about earning my certificate from MS State Online was that it provided the flexibility to work and complete my education at the same time. I enrolled in the program in 2010 upon completion of my undergraduate degree, and by the time I finished the program in 2013, I’d already been working as a weather forecaster for three years, the entirety of the program. I didn’t have to delay starting my career. I could get hands-on experience and classroom experience at the same time.

Samantha Roberts Headshot

Q: What was your experience with the program?

A: I absolutely loved my time as a MS State Online student. Until MS State Online, I’d never done any remote learning, and I was concerned, initially, that it wouldn’t be a good fit for me. However, the lecture videos, the textbooks and all the online content made me feel as if I was right there in a physical classroom. The professors may have been a few states away from me, but they were always available via message or email to answer any questions or concerns. My radar meteorology class with Greg Nordstrom was invaluable! My favorite part of this three-year journey was traveling to Starkville for the end-of-the-program review sessions. I’d seen familiar names over the course of the three-year program, but I’d never met my classmates or teachers in person. The review sessions allowed us to connect, and, for many of us, it was the first time we’d ever been to Starkville. Meeting all the professors we learned from was wonderful.

Q: What interested you in earning your meteorology certification?

A: The MS State Online meteorology certification was recommended to me by my mentor, Mike Witcher, at WBIR-TV, where I was an intern. When I was about to graduate from the University of Tennessee, I was thinking of enrolling in an in-person meteorology program. Once I found out about MS State Online and began to do my research, I knew that it was the right fit for me!

Q: What is one thing you would like the audience of MS State Online to know about why they should choose to continue their education?

A: I cannot recommend MS State Online enough. While it’s been just over a decade since I completed the program, everything I learned has stood the test of time. Mississippi State has a huge presence in meteorology. News directors, general managers, hiring managers and chief meteorologists all know that if they hire a former MS State Online student, they’re going to be hiring a great meteorologist!

Samantha Roberts’ success story exemplifies the program’s effectiveness in preparing meteorologists for real-world careers.

For more information about the Broadcast and Operational Meteorology program, visit MS State Online.