A UCC student’s sunny disposition has landed her the summer job of a lifetime... as a weather presenter.
At a time when most college students are dabbling in bar work or waiting tables, Neasa Bheáid applied for the role of weather presenter on Irish language channel TG4.
The O’Donovan Road resident, who originally hails from Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal, is preparing to enter her final year studying social science at UCC.
She has already made a name for herself on Cork’s fashion scene as a model with the Lockdown Agency.
The 21-year-old said that as a child she always had a passion for weather.
“When I was little we used to visit Inishbofin, off Galway. Dad used to always check the weather to ensure the seas weren’t too rough when we travelled by ferry. It’s something that affects all of us. We can’t escape the weather chat in Ireland,” she laughed.
An ad in the newspaper highlighting the position immediately sparked Neasa’s interest.
“When I saw that TG4 was looking for a panel of weather presenters I knew it was something I wanted to do.
“I went to do a screen test while still in the middle of my college exams. I then had an interview with the creative team.
“I had so much going on at that time that I just put it to the back of my mind. I couldn’t believe it when I got the call. Before that, I had spent my Summers waitressing so this was something really different. I was so delighted.”
She described her first time presenting.
“I was really nervous at the start but after getting advice from another experienced weather presenter named Kathleen I felt much more confident.
“She has been in the job for years and was really good to me. I got a call from my mum the minute I was off the air.
“She was really excited. Since I was young I’ve always watched TG4 and even went there for work experience during transition-year.”
Neasa has fond memories of her childhood in the Gaeltacht.
“From growing up in the Gaeltacht I developed a great respect for the arts. It’s a wonderful place where you’re constantly surrounded by traditional music.
“There are a lot of benefits to being bilingual. TG4’s slogan is Súil eile which translates as ‘another perspective’. Speaking more than one language has given me the ability to look at things from more than one perspective.”
She offered advice to aspiring young weather presenters.
“The most important thing is to take an opportunity and go for it.
“Self-doubt is the biggest barrier to success. I admit I did suffer self-doubt myself. I never thought I would be lucky enough to get the job as there was so much competition but I’m delighted now that I applied.”
The weather presenter and model has high hopes for the future.
“The main goal is to get my college degree, but after that who knows what’s possible.”
Neasa has ticked a number of other items off her bucket list too including walking in Cork Fashion.
“I’ve had the chance to model in Cork Fashion Week and RTÉ’s the Today Show which was a great experience. Modelling with Lockdown has given me a lot of confidence which probably helped in my role as a weather presenter.”