Stephanie Barnes, from Falls Church, Va., won the drawing for a Kindle Fire 8 by joining NCRA in March. Barnes is currently an online student at Bryan University, Tempe, Ariz. The JCR reached out to Barnes to learn more about why she is pursuing a career in court reporting and what advice she has for other court reporting and captioning students.
JCR | Why did you choose court reporting as a career?
Barnes | I became a court reporter because I grew up watching my mom do it and it intrigued me. After working many 9-to-5 jobs, I knew that the flexibility in the hours of freelance would better suit me as a person. Also, I just enjoy writing.
JCR | What is your current speed?
Barnes | I am at 180 wpm, looking to pass into 200 wpm here shortly.
JCR | Freelance or Official? Or maybe Captioner?
Barnes | Initially, I wanted to be a freelance reporter, but if I end up following my mom’s footsteps, I will eventually make to the House of Representatives and then the Senate. That seems to be the natural progression as a reporter in Congress.
JCR | Advice for other students?
Barnes | The main piece of advice I have is: Do not give up! It’s hard, so hard. Sometimes it’s beyond frustrating, but we all eventually get there. Look up and use multiple sites and resources to practice — there are a so many out there if you look. Join all associations and participate in all things court reporting. It will help keep you motivated and on the right track.
Lastly, use your connections! I have been incredibly blessed to have the ones I do, but you can make more by getting out there and participating in your state and national associations, as well as reaching out to senior reporters for mentorship.