Cathy Carpenter, originally from Buffalo, N.Y., currently lives and works as a freelance court reporter in St. Petersburg, Fla. She graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and from the court reporting program at Sheridan Technical College in 2015. She’s a member of NCRA and FCRA and has served on the board of directors of FCRA as the southern director and is currently serving as secretary. When she’s not reporting and fulfilling her association duties, she enjoys concerts, boating, and going to the beach.
JCR | What was life like as a student?
CC | Life was busy. I worked full time while in school and attended class online in the evening. I would practice before and after work and on weekends.
JCR | What is your next big career goal?
CC | My next big career goal is obtaining my RPR. I have one leg to go!
JCR | What career would you have chosen had you not gotten into reporting?
CC | I previously worked in the construction industry and really enjoyed it. I would probably still be in the same field had I not learned about court reporting.
JCR | What are your “can’t live without” items in your steno bag?
CC | The obvious things, such as my machine (love my Luminex), laptop, microphones, and backup recorder, but aside from those basics, I would have to say my tilting tripod. I’ve been using one for about three years, and I can’t imagine writing on my machine without it.
JCR | If you could sum up your first year in one word, what would it be and why?
CC | Exciting. Even though we are continuously learning as court reporters, every day really was a new experience that first year. I was terrified and intrigued and looked forward to a new challenge every day.