Destination Career is a series profiling recent Purdue Agriculture graduates.
Alumnus right as rain with career choice
By Lauren Taylor
Photo provided by Cameron Hardin
Cameron Hardin, who earned a degree in agricultural
communication and applied meteorology and climatology in 2015, is now a
full-time meteorologist for WLFI-TV in West Lafayette—the same station where
he was a student intern. Full-size image (5.69 MB)
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Cameron Hardin will admit that he was uncertain what he wanted to study when he started at Purdue. But he loved the opportunities college offered.
“I love meeting new people and hearing their stories,” Hardin said.
It turns out that Hardin was able to combine his desire for meeting new people with an interesting career. Hardin is a reporter and meteorologist for WLFI-TV in West Lafayette. The 2015 agricultural communication and applied meteorology and climatology graduate actually joined the WLFI team while he was still taking classes at Purdue. Hardin loved the work immediately.
“I was able to connect with almost every person I met,” he said. “We connected on the weather, the local dog shelter, or Purdue football.”
Those connections motivate him today.
“That’s honestly one of my favorite parts about the job,” he said. “Each day I am able to talk to someone new and learn their story.”
But hearing other people’s stories and being able to tell them to a TV audience took some work.
“At first, I was scared of news reporting,” he said. “I didn’t know how I would handle it.”
With experience came confidence in his skills. Hardin points to one story he worked on about flooding. He spoke to a farmer whose crop had been devastated.
“He was the most optimistic and positive person I had ever met,” Hardin said.
Hardin said he was able to tell this man’s story in a way that connected with viewers. And the farmer’s spirit left an impression on Hardin, too.
“This is why I love what I do. They always make my day better or put a smile on my face no matter the situation.”
While the stories come more easily to him now, it’s hard to imagine that Hardin wasn’t sure what he wanted to study in college. Just a month before his first classes, he scanned the A-Z list of majors on the Purdue website with his sister. When they saw applied meteorology, Hardin’s sister thought that sounded fun. It was, but it was also a good fit for Hardin.
“I have always been fascinated by the weather,” Hardin said. “I have lived in Indiana my whole life and the weather, well, it’s always changing.”
But until that moment, he had never thought about meteorology as a career. So when he arrived on campus, he was interested in the weather, but didn’t know exactly what he would do. He got involved with campus television. Eventually, that led to a broadcast internship with an Indianapolis TV station, which changed his career forecast.
“After my internship is when I finally realized that I have a passion for broadcast,” he said.
Not long after, he got the chance to work for WLFI on a regular basis. He was well on his way to beginning his career while still in college. Working all those hours at the TV station sometimes meant late nights studying and juggling his class and work schedules.
Today, Hardin is fully committed to his career — so much so that he even started work on a master’s degree in mass communication at Purdue. Juggling work and school is still a struggle, but it’s worth it.
“It will all be worth it down the road, so I can be the best broadcaster I can be.”