Academic and research facilities are an important factor in making the decision on what university to attend. Just ask Taylor Stephenson who fell in love with OU’s meteorology program after her visit to the National Weather Center (NWC).
Now a senior in the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, Stephenson says strong connections with classmates were crucial to her success. “Studying with friends makes learning the material much easier…I’ve done much better on tests after a group study session, than when I studied alone.” She strongly advises incoming students to take hold of group connections and use them to their advantage. “Metsgiving”, an annual student gathering in the School, is one event Stephenson remembers fondly as providing a place to see classmates outside of the classroom while sharing amazing food!
Stephenson also credits her success to professional networking opportunities found in the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences. Stephenson landed a prestigious internship with The Weather Channel in the summer of 2019. She was hired as a Weather Producer after meeting the Vice President of On-Air Talent when he spoke to her meteorology class. Stephenson remarks that her internship provided a fun and amazing way to see her work being broadcast to the nation.
Academic struggles can happen to anyone and Stephenson was no different. She credits Shelby Hill, the School’s Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, with helping her through all of the “ups and downs” noting Hill was always open to help in any way she could. Scheduling classes can always be a mammoth to tackle but Stephenson said she was never worried when she had Hill’s help, “Without her, I really would have struggled…She also reassured me when I doubted my academic abilities.”
Stephenson’s experience is proof that the right connections can lead to success. Stephenson urges students to network and take advantage of the support offered by faculty and staff who are there to help students navigate the academic experience and find career building opportunities outside the classroom.