When did you graduate?
I passed my last test in March but my diploma wasn’t signed until May 27, 2016.
What lead you to pursue court reporting as a career?
I previously worked in the Clerk of Courts here in Sioux Falls, SD. I worked closely with lawyers, judges, and court reporters. I went and sat down with one of the reporter’s here and said “I want to try this. What do you think?” She told me to go for it. I really didn’t need any other urging. I signed up later that day.
What made you choose CCR?
The reporter I mentioned above, who later turned into my mentor, went to CCR. It was the only school I had been looking at and I knew it was the school for me once she said she went there and voiced how much she loved the school, the instructors, and the program.
Do you have any certifications? If not, do you plan on getting any?
I do not currently have any certifications. I do plan on getting certified at some point. I would like to start with my RPR and work my way up from there.
Are you currently working? If not, what are your future plans?
I am working!! I’m working right now! I’m waiting for the judge to walk in as I type this. I am freelancing right now for the State of South Dakota and I love it! I have also applied for a full-time position that my fingers are crossed for.
What were your strengths in school?
My fingers are fast and I’m a very self-motivated person for the most part. I picked up on theory quite quickly and started tweaking and perfecting my writing from the very beginning. I also am excellent at reading my sloppy notes ; ) But in all seriousness, I think my biggest strength is that I believe in myself. I know what I am capable of and I know that I can and will do anything I set my mind on. There will be days that you lose all faith in yourself and your ability to do well in this program but you can NEVER stop believing in yourself. Be willing to step away from your machine and give yourself a chance to regroup before you sit back down and start writing again.
What were your weaknesses in school?
Time management! I am a single mother of two little girls who are used to having my undivided attention when we’re at home. I also worked full-time and went to school full-time almost the entire time. There were many days that the sun outside stole every ounce of motivation I had to sit inside and study and it’s very hard to say no when you have two beautiful little faces looking up at you begging you to take them somewhere or play a game with them. If you have kids, make up a reward system. If they let you study for 30 minutes, you’ll give them 30 minutes of your time or something along those lines.
If you could give any advice to a struggling student, what would that be?
Get a mentor!! Find one from the VERY beginning. Don’t wait until you are ready to take you mentor tests. Try and find another person who attended your same school if you can because they have insight and information and resources that you may not know about and they will understand your struggles and frustrations on a more personal level since they’ve more than likely experienced it as well. Join the many groups on Facebook that are meant to support your journey and be there for you during the hard times. I can’t tell you how many complete strangers that I’ve never met and will probably never meet have taken the time to send me a message when I’ve posted about being frustrated about failing a test for the 15th time by one error or who have celebrated my test passes and my graduation with me like they were my best friends. The people in these groups genuinely want you to succeed and they will be there for you on the bad days and the good days. Your friends and family will never be able to understand this journey unless they’re court reporters themselves. You want to find, have, and keep a very strong support system. Lean on your instructors, your classmates, other court reporters. And don’t ever be afraid to ask for help from your instructors. The people at CCR are AMAZING! I have nothing but good words for each and every one of them. They were a God send when I was struggling. They will take time out of their day anytime they need to in order to make sure you are as successful as you can be. They want you to pass your tests and graduate almost more than you do! Lastly, DO NOT GIVE UP! You can do this! Don’t compare yourself to any other student…EVER. We all progress at different speeds. If you compare yourself to others you will only be hurting yourself. Court reporting school was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life but I can already tell you that being a working court reporter is the GREATEST THING EVER!