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November CCR Alumni Spotlight - Justine Kiechel

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1. Where do you currently reside (city,state)?
I currently reside in West Chester, PA.It’s about 25 miles outside of Philadelphia.


2. Why did you decide to come to court reporting school?
I received my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and began working full-time at the courthouse. I was occasionally clerking hearings and loved being in the courtroom. I wanted to work in court on a regular basis, but I never wanted to be a lawyer. One day I was sitting next to the court reporter and thought, “Hey, I can do that.” The rest is history.


3. What did you do before court reporting school (other jobs, schools, etc.)?
I worked in the Prothontary’s office before and during court reporting school (it is the office where civil lawsuits are filed.) Before that, I attended West Chester University. I also worked at a doggie daycare on the weekends for a little while during court reporting school.


4. What date did you start court reporting school?
I started in the fall of 2010 and just finished in the summer of 2013.


5. What made you choose CCR?
The local school that offers a court reporting program is in Philadelphia, and there was no way I could work full-time and make the commute to the school. Kim Storr (a fellow CCR graduate) worked in the office next door to me, and she graciously sat down and showed me what CCR had to offer. I believe my application was in within the week after that.


6. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
I would say my strengths would be that I’m very organized and detail-oriented. My weakness may be that I am still new to the profession, so sometimes I don’t feel like I’m assertive enough. The other day I did a deposition with an attorney on the phone, and the phone was facing everyone -- but me. In situations like that, I need to speak up!


7. What was your biggest challenge?
Pushing myself through when I finally hit the speed plateau was tough. I was sailing along so smoothly prior to that, and I had trouble accepting the fact that I hit a rough patch. I also struggled with little words in the higher speeds quite a bit and finding creative ways to drill on them was a challenging thing.


8. What motivated you to complete the program?
My mom said I had to, haha. No, I really wanted to get out of my current position and this to be my new career. I don’t leave things unfinished, so there really was no question of if I was going to complete, only when.


10. Do you currently have a job? If yes, what do you do?
I am currently doing freelance work with a small agency in Wilmington, Delaware. It has definitely been keeping me busy.


11. How did you find your current job?
I honestly would just Google court reporting agencies, and I luckily stumbled onto the one I am at. I think it is a good fit.


12. What are your future plans? What certifications do you plan on earning?
I am really enjoying freelancing at the moment, but in the future I may look into official reporting. Who knows. I have one more leg to pass for the RPR, which I am taking this month!


13. Are you a member of any associations? If so, which associations? If not, do you plan on joining any associations? If so, which associations?
I currently am a member of the NCRA and the PCRA (Pennsylvania). Although, since I am currently working in Delaware, I will probably join their association as well.

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