Apprenticeship has been a means to groom neophyte workers since the existence of skilled labor. Professions are perfected by proficient training. The bequeathing of procedures and mores of a particular profession ensures its survival and high-quality existence. It is a privilege to be an apprentice. One who is the recipient of careful and caring instructions is indeed gifted with a treasure.
As a court-reporter-in-training, I have deeply engaged in the process of the mastery of my skill. This process includes, not only intense practice and study, but also hands on training via an internship.
It is an oft-repeated adage that, “there is good and bad in everything.” However, this adage was refuted during my court reporting internship. Varied and laborious, my internship was 100% positive and enjoyable.
I accumulated a bevy of internship hours in a variety of environments. I interned in federal court, state court, night court, and criminal court. I also interned for several court reporting agencies. I sat in on depositions for cases that involved: car accidents, negligence, dog attacks, slip-and-fall accidents, and construction injuries, to name a few.
Throughout it all, the professionals who mentored me were great models of how a reporter should conduct themself, on the job. I saw reporters deftly handle disgruntled judges, attorneys, and witnesses. I witnessed a reporter express to a judge with fortitude and poise, the negative effect that bad building acoustics, and faulty microphones, were having on her task of creating an accurate record. I observed reporters artfully mediate quarrels between opposing parties, in order to quash overlapping talk, so that a clear record could be obtained. I saw reporters finagle taking down thick accents, and close to incomprehensible interpreters. Being able to observe all of the aforementioned scenarios first hand, left a lasting impression on me as to how I should handle these types of situations when I encounter them as a working reporter.
My court reporting internship also served a great purpose for me in terms of setting goals for my future. The reporters that I interned with proved that earning a degree in court reporting is just the first step of building a successful and fruitful reporting career. Many professional reporters emphasized to me how, “worth it,” earning the credentials to move forward in this profession is. I was constantly encouraged to put “letters after my name.” I was also offered valuable advice on how to strategize my career.
The reporters I sat in with took time to counsel me on my progression. I was given practical tips on performing basic court reporter duties, such as marking exhibits. I was also given tips on writing, tips on transcribing, tips on time management, and tips on financial management that are specific to court reporters.
I made valuable connections with many professional reporters. Collectively, the reporters who served as my teachers, made the court reporting profession feel like my home. They welcomed me, advised me, and assessed my skills and my bearing. They also gave me the tough love push of, “Get out there and work! You’re ready!” All of this motivation, honesty, and positive energy made my court reporting internship one of the best parts of my preparation to enter the field.
I will be forever grateful to all of the reporters I interned with for the opportunities they gave me to see the unique and awesome skill of verbatim writing put into action. Each reporter was an artistic specialist who added another layer to my knowledge, my preparedness, and my confidence.
My level of pride regarding being on the verge of entering the court reporting profession was exponentially boosted by interning. I am excited, and energized, by the prospect of being a court reporter. Moreover, I am thankful to be entering a profession filled to the brim with wise, kind, and giving mentors.