Sonya Likhtman

My Week with the Weather – Work Experience at the Royal MET Society- By Sonya Likhtman

Hello to all from the Wonderful World of weather!

Little old me

I was born in Russia and moved to Leeds when I was 5. Throughout my life I have also been lucky enough to live in Greece, Denmark and America, so have been exposed to a huge range of climates: from the -20ºC in Russia, to the wonderfully scorching Greek sun. So, without realising, I had already experienced the dramatic power of the weather countless times – undoubtedly, you have too!

There isn’t much focus on meteorology at school, so I decided to find out more, and I was extremely glad I did. During my fascinating week at the MET Society I learnt many essential skills, met a range of very interesting and helpful people and learnt a lot about the working environment of the office, as well as fascinating facts about weather and climate. It really does affect everyone – WEATHER you like it or not!

Here is my VERY shortened diary. If you want to read the full version, click on the PDF link at the bottom of the page. But before I go anywhere else, I’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone at the Royal Meteorological Society for a week which has been truly unforgettable!

Day 1

After a very warm welcome by Althea, membership secretary, I was given a tour of the office by Liz, who introduced us to the Society staff. Josh and I were very privileged to meet Paul Hardaker, the chief executive, who helpfully answered our many questions. Althea described the Society membership, which unites people from 13 to 98 and showed us beautiful application forms from 1850. I began to work on a web article about the recent heatwave and was then introduced to web design by Kathy, head of IT. My imagination thrived during the task of designing an insert for the RMetS leaflet, and I went home already looking forward to tomorrow.

Day 2

After working on my web article, we spoke to Sue about the conference which had taken place last week. We produced towering tallies of the feedback forms (some people wrote an extra few pages of A4) but I learned that feedback forms really do matter. I was then very lucky to be invited to Liz’s workshop and after a delicious lunch, we got to work. We discussed names, features, structure and benefits of a new organisation and I felt really honoured to contribute, as well as developing my confidence and gaining a great insight into journalistic planning. Another great day!

Day 3

We spoke to Alison, who is in charge of publications. She filled us in on the RMetS’s 5 journals, along with the world of journalism and publication. Continuing on our journey, we looked through 170 photos which were of clouds, clouds and more clouds, as well as learning some features of photography. I found the book reviews really interesting, learning that an egg can be fried on a rock in the Sahara desert! Kathy showed us a site to check name availability and it turns out we’ll have to make ours stand out like a cumulonimbus cloud: big, bold and powerful. Then, Paul, Josh and I began preparing for the radio broadcast of tomorrow… how scary!

Day 4

What a long and exciting day! I finished my heatwave web article, adding information about Wimbledon, safety advice, etc. We then did some fabulous folding of leaflets. After a stroll around Reading, we were back at the office with no time to waste because Phil Kennedy, BBC Berkshire now wanted us to discuss the G8 summit, so we leaped to the laptop for new research. We spoke to Sue about the accreditation process of the RMetS, which takes a lot of hard work and determination, and helped her out with some paper work. From then on, time flew like lightning and before I knew it, the red light was flashing and we were on air! It was such an amazing experience! What a shame it’s my last day at the Society tomorrow…

Day 5

A sunny day today! It took a long time to cut down my diary, while we listened back to the radio. I was then pleased to complete my book reviews and help Alison with some old journals. Liz spoke to us about the membership of the Society, focussing on junior membership development, which I think is very important. And then… Oh no! It was home time, but I went home full of inspiration, with a huuuge smile on my face!

I’ve had an extremely enriching week of work experience and I can’t thank the staff of the RMetS enough. It’s definitely a place I’d like to return to in the future and like I said on the radio, would recommend this experience to anyone and everyone!

Click on these links to see my work of the week.

Book review

Full diary extract