I consider myself very fortunate. Every morning I go to work genuinely excited to do my job, despite the fact that the day usually begins with an alarm going off as early as 2 AM.
Since middle school I knew I wanted to be a broadcast meteorologist in Boston. And for nearly 5 years I’ve been doing just that.
I always liked weather—I have plenty of early weather memories, like the April Fools Day blizzard in 1997, or being on Martha’s Vineyard as Hurricane Bertha passed nearby in 1996— but in middle school, a local meteorologist on TV asked viewers to send in snow totals from their town. I obliged, and got a shoutout on air. Hearing “Michael from Hingham” during the weather report was pretty exciting. I continued calling in the reports all winter long, but when there was no snow, I found myself still genuinely interested in observing the weather.
My parents bought me a weather station, and I started keeping a detailed journal of weather conditions. Every day I would call in to the local stations to report the high temperature, any rain, or other interesting notes. Many of the meteorologists would spend a few minutes on the phone with me, which was so kind. It propelled me to take my interest in weather a step further. Why just observe the weather?
With the guidance of Todd Gross, then at 7News, I purchased a book about forecasting the weather using online computer models. I understood about 25% of it, with the complex calculus and physics going over my head. Still, I felt confident enough to launch my own website to forecast the weather for Hingham and the South Shore.
HinghamWeather.com was born in 2005, and I continued updating it daily through college. Thanks to some local newspaper stories, readership was high. Sponsors eventually came along, and I was off and running with my weather career.
All over town I was known as the “kid who wanted to be a meteorologist,” so naturally when it came time to apply to colleges, I only looked at programs with meteorology.
I ended up going to The Pennsylvania State University. I never would’ve guessed that I’d attend a University with 40,000 undergraduates, but there I was, a South Shore kid with no true appreciation for what college football really looked like until my first game in the student section at Beaver Stadium.
Even though I didn’t expect to be there, Penn State turned out to be incredible. Not only did I get to study what I love with world class professors, but I got to start working in the studio within two weeks of arriving on campus. Having years of television experience in college, working on shows that aired on PBS around the state, was invaluable.
It was also during college that I interned at WCVB NewsCenter 5. Harvey Leonard was one of the meteorologists who I regularly spoke to while calling in reports in high school. When I asked if he’d allow me to intern under him, he welcomed me with open arms. Working so closely with one of the most highly respected meteorologists in Boston for two years was fantastic.
After college it was time to apply to highly competitive television jobs. I wanted to be close to home, family, and the places I love in New England. Even though I interviewed with stations as far away as Oregon and Nebraska, I fortunately landed my first job at FOX44 and ABC22 in Burlington, Vermont.
I could not have asked for a better place to start my career. Vermont is gorgeous, I was covering New England weather and environmental stories, and I worked with young people like me. We had a lot of fun.
After two years in Vermont, I was ready to really come home. Getting a job in Boston is not easy, but the timing worked out just right. New England Cable News, the 24-hour cable network broadcasting to all six New England states, was in need of a meteorologist. From my time as a weather spotter in high school, many of the meteorologists and a few managers, knew who I was. It helped me get in the door, and prove to them that I was ready.
The first week I started, I literally thought to myself: “Okay, even if I work there for a week, and then I get fired, I can say I’ve accomplished my goal.”
Fast forward almost 5 years, and here I am. Still working at NECN, and now NBC10 Boston, which we launched in the same building in 2017.
Every day I go to work excited, even on the morning shift requiring those very early wake-ups. I’m so thankful that I get to do this job that I love in a place that I love, surrounded by friends and family.
There is no way I would be here, especially at this fairly early stage of my career, without the help of so many mentors along the way. It’s something I keep in mind, whenever a student sends me a note, expressing interest in becoming a meteorologist. I do everything I can to help them, because so many meteorologists helped me.
Television is a fast moving business, and there are few guarantees, so who knows what’s ahead. But either way, how lucky am I that my childhood goal came to fruition just as I hoped it would. – Michael Page, Meteorologist (NECN)