Manali Lukha: Keelite of the Month December 2016

1997 BSc Geology and Geography, MSc Information Technology

What am I doing now? 

I’m Head of ITV Weather. I manage ITV’s weather output (National and Regional) across broadcast and online. Another core part of my job is covering presenting shifts so I'll appear on both local and national news.

Manali on ITV weather Photo right from ITV Weather website. Manali presents the forecast.

How did you get to where you are now?  

I developed a passion for meteorology whilst at Keele and by combining my degree and masters, I applied for a graduate position at the Met Office. I started out as a software programmer but as is often the case with many organisations you end up moving into management in order to progress your career.

Manali's family What has been your biggest achievement so far?  

‌It was hard to think of just one, so here are three I can think of;

Being a working parent is an achievement for anybody. It’s tough I can’t deny and you feel guilt every day, especially when you are working away from home or working late. My son Ruban has just turned 4 and brings so much happiness into our home.

 Running the London marathon; and, work wise, presenting my first ever weather broadcast on air.

Left: Manali with her family.

And your biggest mistake? 

That’s a tough one. I guess I would say giving up playing music. I used to play the clarinet and saxophone. Whenever I go to see a live band or orchestra, I always have musician envy

Manali on TV What are your ambitions now? 

I am really enjoying the direction my career at ITV is taking me, we have just relaunched a new look across ITV weather and I am looking forward to progressing this project over the year ahead. I secretly would love to run another marathon again but I don't think I would have the energy or time to train.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?  

Always try and get some work experience. At the Met Office they offer summer placements. In broadcasting world consider applying to be a runner. It's hard work but will give you an insight into all facets of TV production.

‌What made you choose Keele University?  

It was less about me choosing Keele but Keele choosing me.

Manali with friends in Hawthorns What kind of a student were you?   

I would probably say I was quite diligent. I rarely missed a lecture, notwithstanding I still managed to enjoy an active social life and got up to the misadventures most students do!

How has Keele influenced your life? 

Keele has been a massive influence on my life. It is where I met my husband and where we both made lifelong friends; friends who will always be such a big part of our lives.

Left: Manali with friends in her flat at Keele.

What is your favourite memory of Keele?

Getting dressed up for the formal balls. There was always a buzz around campus during this time. 

What is your impression of Keele now? 

Keele has grown so much but it still has a sense of the warm campus community that I knew.