Dalia Ibrahim: Weather never sleeps

Growing up Dalia Ibrahim ‘07 looked up to television icons like Oprah Winfrey and Canada’s own Jeanne Beker. She studied their careers and created a plan for her own career path from what she learned.

“I love learning about people and people’s experiences. Through journalism you can really tap into people’s lives who you wouldn’t connect with in another field,” says Dalia “I also love to learn about current events and what is happening in the world, as well as my own city.”

Born and raised in Hamilton, Dalia looked at other colleges in the province when choosing to go to school but kept coming back to Mohawk’s reputation and what the Journalism - Print & Broadcast program had to offer her. “It was a more robust learning experience. There were a lot of hands-on opportunities in the second year that appealed to my style of learning,” says Dalia. “Also, my sister went to Mohawk [before me] and I had heard nothing but great things about her experience.”

With her dream in mind, Dalia was focused on getting into the television industry as soon as possible. Instead of waiting until the final semester to complete her required internship, she sought out a placement in the summer between her first and second year. “I got an internship at Fashion Television – which was amazing. It was the first experience I had in the field,” says Dalia. “The following year I reached out to them again and returned for a second internship. Then I moved to CityNews, where I received more hard news journalism experience.”

From there, she joined the team at a small medical journal where she focused mostly on administrative tasks.

Not feeling fulfilled in the role, Dalia sought out other opportunities.  She learned through a friend about a job at The Weather Network, and leapt to the open position.

Although a self-proclaimed ‘weather nerd’ today, Dalia didn't always have an interest in weather.

She recalls one semester at Mohawk, where she and her classmates recorded news segments once or twice a week. Throughout the semester whenever she was assigned the weather forecaster role, she would trade with someone in her class. It wasn’t until the last week of class, when her professor told her she had to deliver the weather newscast once before the end of the term, that she finally did it.

For the past ten years, Dalia has moved up within The Weather Network. Starting as an on-call news writer for television and digital, she worked up to being a fulltime digital writer, before taking on a unique opportunity: helping to build The Weather Network US. Dalia and her team worked to replicate the well-established Canadian model in a new market.

Finding she had an interest and aptitude for analytics and data, Dalia became the go-to person to recommend the types of stories they should pursue to reach a wider audience. “I was writing stories, as well as working with freelancers across the US, pitching them stories and editing their stories.”

After a few years, Dalia was promoted to her current role as associate editor for The Weather Network, Canada. Over her time at the network, she has come to appreciate how complex predicting weather can be. “There is a lot that goes into a forecast. There is a lot of collaboration. There are a lot of models telling you different things about the same storm.”

Dalia and the team at The Weather Network take on the challenging task each day to try to make complicated scientific, atmospheric phenomenon as digestible to an audience as possible.

“I’m a completely transformed, weather nerd. I love talking about the weather and tracking extreme weather,” she says. Dalia and her team hear from their audience that information about things like whiteouts or incoming tornados have saved their lives. “Knowing that we’re providing that type of information makes me feel really fulfilled.”

By Meaghan Drury ‘12

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