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PROFILE: Charisse Kitt, RMR, CRI

Charisse Kitt, RMR, CRI
Charisse Kitt, RMR, CRI

Official court reporter
Currently resides in: Somerset, N.J.
Member since: 1993
Graduated from: Stenotype Academy

JCR | Why did you decide to earn an NCRA certification?
KITT | I decided to earn an NCRA certification for advancement in my career. School gave me the skill set to perform the job; having certifications prepared me to do the job effectively.

JCR | You have volunteered on some of NCRA’s committees. Can you tell us a little about what you’ve done, and how it affects your perspective about the profession?
KITT | I have been a member of the Student Committee and the Student/Teacher Committee with NCRA. The Student/Teacher Committee decides what seminars to have for students at the annual convention. We decide what reporters we would like to participate in the seminars. We come up with ideas for articles in the JCR and what we are going to promote during Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Being involved has kept me abreast of what’s going on with the new generation of court reporters and the changing dynamics of the profession, even how it’s being taught.

JCR | Do you have any advice for students in school and people who are just getting out of school and into the profession?
KITT | My advice would be to have a mentor while in school and out — something I didn’t have in the beginning of my career. It’s important to have someone you can call upon for advice and to tell you the dos and don’ts. This field can be a lonely one, depending on your choice of employment. And if you don’t surround yourself with experienced court reporters, the journey could be a hard one.
For the students: Don’t give up; victory is right around the corner. Keep pushing yourself. Set goals for yourself. Give yourself a deadline to pass tests; and when you do, reward yourself. If you don’t, don’t beat yourself up. Go over your mistakes and practice them until you know that you will never make that same mistake again.
Remember, practice makes perfect. What you put into it is what you will get out of it.

JCR | Why was it important for you to earn certifications?
KITT | The RPR was my first certification. I wanted the opportunity to work anywhere I chose. At some point I knew I wanted to teach court reporting, so receiving the CRI was important to me. I have the confidence that I can teach effectively, as well as the student knowing that I received the training to do so.

JCR | Have you gotten a job specifically as a result of your certification?
KITT | Yes, being certified allowed me to work in the Eastern District of New York Federal Court. Without being certified, I couldn’t fill out an application, let alone be considered for employment.

JCR | Why do you think professional certification is important?
KITT | You owe it to yourself as a professional to be certified. It sets you apart from the rest. You wouldn’t go to a doctor or a lawyer who, after medical school or law school, didn’t continue to be educated in their profession. The court reporting profession is no different.

JCR | What would you say to encourage others considering earning professional certification?
KITT | You would be doing yourself and the profession a disservice by not being certified. Being certified means: I take pride in being a professional. Go the extra mile, because you deserve it.

JCR | What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
KITT | My greatest professional accomplishment was working in Federal Court. When I was in school, it was my dream to be a Federal Reporter. Obtaining a position with the Eastern District of New York was and still is the highlight of my career.