Thursday, April 2, 2015   |   Company News

A Forecast of Success: How Baron Scholarships Further the Next Generation of Meteorologists

A career in meteorology requires discipline in a multitude of subjects, including chemistry, math, computer science and physics. Professionals spend countless hours learning to use complex equipment, preparing for on-air appearances and staying up-to-date on all the latest technologies; the learning portion of the job never ends. Because of this, students hoping to pursue a future in weather are searching for college curriculums that can prepare them for what’s to come. The team at Baron understands how difficult the costs of college can be. That’s why, for years now, the company has invested in the futures of bright, young students working toward a career in meteorology by helping them reach their academic goals.

USA Today points out a startling statistic: “According to a government data analysis by financial aid experts at Edvisors, the class of 2014 graduated with an average student loan debt of $33,000. As the Wall Street Journal points out, ‘Even after adjusting for inflation, that’s nearly double the amount borrowers had to pay back 20 years ago.’” The article continues to point out that students who graduated in spring 2014 are part of the most indebted graduating class in history.

“I think the best way the company can help students succeed in their education is primarily with financial support,” said Heather Hope, University Relations Meteorologist at Baron. “Many students worry about paying for tuition, books and housing while working on their degree. These scholarships will help them reach their goals.” As Head of University Relations at Baron, Hope functions as the liaison between the company and universities, helping enhance schools’ teaching and research tools by providing them with state-of-the-art technology.

As college-bound seniors search for ways to mitigate the costs, more students apply for financial aid, take out loans, and many work to earn extra income. This year, at the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) annual meeting, Hope met with Andrea J. Balfour and David R. Harrison who were the recipients of $5,500 in scholarships sponsored by Baron in 2012. Since then, the company has helped other students on their way to careers in weather. In 2014, Travis Broadhurst earned the scholarship, and the 2015 recipient will be announced in late May.

AMS offers a multitude of resources for students in the form of travel grants, networking opportunities, internships and scholarships. Student members of the society are eligible to enroll in the AMS scholarship program; one of the available scholarships is sponsored by Baron. Now, Balfour, Harrison, Broadhurst and others on their way to a career in meteorology.

But the offerings go beyond financial assistance—they are meant to impart the values and professionalism that Baron has made part of its company culture. The hope is that the scholarships will help the undergrads build positive, lasting relationships with people working in the industry. Upon graduation, they will understand what the real world of meteorology looks like, are able to network within the business and are better prepared for the future. Vice President of Marketing, Kim Grantham explained that for Baron, “it’s all about being involved in furthering the next generation of meteorologists—a way of paying it forward.”