Internships at the Observatory: An Inside Look

2015-02-13 23:15:37.000 – Kaitlyn O’Brien, Weather Observer/Education Specialist


Every summer, fall, and winter, the Observatory searches for qualified interns who are interested in learning about extreme weather while assisting with the daily tasks required to run a mountaintop weather station. An internship with the Observatory is a great opportunity to find your passion. I know this because I served as an intern two years ago, and it was the best summer of my life. I had discovered something I loved to do. Whether you are currently in school, or you’re a recent college graduate, it’s possible you may have some idea of what you’d like to do with your career but perhaps the majority of you were like me after graduation, and were unsure about what was next. Perhaps you are willing to take a chance at any opportunity that arises.
I’m happy to share my story with the hopes of encouraging those of you out there who may be thinking an internship with the Observatory is the next step in shaping your future. One thing is for sure: you won’t regret it!
Growing up I had always been interested in the weather, however studying meteorology in college was not as obvious to me when it came time to declare a major. Instead, I had the intentions to pursue a Nursing career. After a year of school in Connecticut, I realized I did not want to continue with the Nursing program, and instead made arrangements to transfer to the University of Oklahoma. I took a chance and reverted to what I had loved all along: the weather.
As an East Coast native, I knew nothing about the Sooner state. My first steps on red dirt were intimidating to say the least – I didn’t know a soul. Little did I know, the next four years would be the experience of a lifetime and I would learn as much about life as I did about meteorology.
Fast forward to my last semester in the meteorology program. Everyone is excited about acquiring the diploma that they worked so hard for, and some are focused the prospects of another adventure at graduate school. The possibilities on the horizon are endless! After deciding I was not interested in graduate studies, I started looking for internships and jobs. I applied to anything and everything I could find across several different sectors – government, private, and non-profit. Some were specifically meteorology based and other positions required any physical science background. I came across the Mount Washington Observatory website and saw the opportunity for an internship. After reading more about the Observatory’s mission and the descriptions of life on the summit, I knew this had to be my next adventure! I had no idea that my internship would help pave the road to acquiring a permanent position with the Observatory the following year.
It’s always easy to look back and connect the dots and see how you arrived. The hard part is looking ahead and deciding on the next move to make. If you are considering an internship atop the highest peak in the Northeast, I encourage you to apply! You may not know where it will lead you, but I can promise you will gain great memories and meet some wonderful people along the way.
We are currently accepting summer internship applications. Please see our website for more information on how to apply. The deadline for summer internship applications is March 5, 2015.


Kaitlyn O’Brien, Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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