Court Reporting '17
A little over two years ago, I was pursuing a degree in elementary education with a minor in English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. One week before I was supposed to move back to Oshkosh after summer break, I made a last-minute decision to change the path I was on and start a new journey in court reporting. It was a “spur of the moment” decision and a lot of research in a small amount of time. I applied to Generations College only a few weeks before classes would begin for the Fall 2015 semester. I am so grateful for the administration for the easy and quick transition when it came to applying, being accepted, transferring credits, and getting my class schedule. Within only a couple of days of applying, I was enrolled and all set to begin my studies in court reporting, which I only had a brief understanding about. I knew it would be difficult, but no one can prepare you for how demanding the skill required for court reporting is.
The skill on the machine and learning steno came relatively easy for me, but it did not come without hard work and dedication. I live in a suburb of Chicago in Lake County, so the commute four days a week was long. I took the train, and the total commute was almost four hours, Monday through Thursday. This meant I had a lot of time to practice every day. Whenever I had spare time, I was practicing on my machine. I would practice religiously on the train in the morning, in the afternoon, and at home after I would get home from work.
Throughout my time at Generations, I was on both the President’s and Dean’s list and was a part of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa. During my fourth semester in Fall 2016, I advanced to the next speed class after completing one class early. That led me to walk in graduation earlier than planned. After graduation in May 2017, I continued to work very hard because there was nothing I wanted more than to start my career.
After I completed my internship over the Summer in 2017, I knew it was time to start working on my certifications. I took the written part of the Registered Professional Reporter examination in the summer and passed, so I still had to complete either the Certified Shorthand Reporter exam or the skills portions of the Registered Professional Reporter exam in order to become a working reporter. Because of my grades and accomplishments at Generations, I was one of four students that had been given the opportunity to go to the National Court Reporters Association convention in Las Vegas, paid for by Generations College. I ultimately decided not to go to the convention. Instead, I chose to take the CSR exam, which fell on the same weekend as the convention.
A couple of months into Fall 2017, I had passed my certification and became a Registered Professional Reporter. Once I passed the certification, it was time to find a job, which anyone who knows about the field of court reporting knows there are endless jobs available to new reporters right out of school. I had many options of where to work. I had the option to work as an official reporter at the Lake County Courthouse, work as a freelance court reporter at L & L Reporting in Lake County, or work as a freelance court reporter with Jensen Litigation Solutions in Chicago. In the fall of 2017, and a little over two years after starting my journey at Generations College, I was officially a Registered Professional Reporter and starting my career as a freelance court reporter at Jensen Litigation Solutions in Chicago.