By Ashley Stahl
Sara Galante attended the Long Island Business Institute. She reports freelance and per diem court proceedings in New York and has been working for a little under two years. She talks to us about what life was like in school and her transition to professional reporting.
JCR | Tell me a little bit about yourself and what brought you to the field of court reporting.
SG | I’ve been officially working for a little under two years. I’m a fur-mama to four pups and live in New York, specifically Long Island. My father is actually a court reporter, and he’s the one I have to thank for introducing me to this wonderful career! He began school when I was a kid, and I remember playing with his old machine and paper and was always intrigued. I’ve always liked English, and I’ve always been a fly-on-the-wall kind of girl, so this career is perfect for me.
JCR | What was your practice routine like as a student?
SG | When I was still working 40-hour weeks, I would practice before work about an hour and then another one to two hours when I got home. I used my time wisely at work by bringing my notes in and transcribing whenever I had the opportunity. Lots of long nights and not many social events, but it was all worth it!
JCR | What was the hardest part of transitioning from school to the real world?
SG | This is a tough question! I guess for me the hardest part was making myself seem like a seasoned professional in the very beginning. I never wanted anyone to think I was new or lacked experience. I’ve always had a “fake it till you make it” motto, and this was no different.
JCR | How did you feel before and after your first assignment as a court reporter?
SG | Before, I was VERY nervous. I wrote down the oath and other notes on sticky notes and made sure I had easy access to them throughout the first deposition. When the attorneys asked me to read back, I thought I was going to be sick. After I nailed the first three requests for read back, my confidence soared, and I left that job on cloud nine! It’s been (mostly) smooth sailing since then!
JCR | What do you love about your career?
SG | The flexibility and the opportunity to learn something new every day! I get bored easily, but there’s no time for that with this line of work.
JCR | Do you have any advice for students?
SG | Work hard. Practice! Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Know that you can do this, and that it will be 100 percent worth it. I promise.
JCR | Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
SG | Aside from hanging out with my four pups, I love to travel, hike, read, and watch movies.