By Emily Bergren
Meghan Minnick grew up in Ottawa, Kan., and is now a freelance reporter living in Kansas City, Mo. She honed her determination and self-discipline to the fullest while attending an online program called Court Reporting and Captioning at Home (CRAH). She has been an NCRA member from the time she was a student. She is newly certified, having received her RPR this past fall, and has a real passion for the profession.
JCR | Do you have any advice for reporting students?
MM| Don’t play the comparison game! No one’s court reporting journey looks the same. Also, practice every day. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up, just don’t miss two.
JCR | What’s your “can’t live without” item in your steno bag?
MM| My depobook! Yes, I’m still using paper. I love having names, case information, spellings, dates, orders, and business cards all in one spot. I have enough to worry about without having to track down all that information.
JCR | What is your biggest challenge as a new reporter?
MM| Learning how to be bold and to stand up for myself and the record in depositions. I am a very shy and soft-spoken person, and it is against my nature to interrupt. But I learned very quickly that it is absolutely necessary in order to create an accurate record.
JCR | How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
MM| I give myself an allotted amount of time to work, and I try to eliminate all distractions (mainly scrolling on my cell phone) during that allotted time in order to get as much work done as possible. I then put a hard stop at 5 o’clock so I can enjoy the rest of my evening with family. Of course, there are always unavoidable circumstances that prevent this from being feasible every time, but it helps on most days. It is so easy to continue to work all through the evening just to “get it done,” but then you miss valuable “life” time.
JCR | What do you like to do when you’re not reporting?
MM| I love spending quality time with my husband and my dog. I also paint landscapes, make earrings, and play the ukulele.
JCR | What do you love about your career?
MM| Every day is different; different testimony, buildings, cities, and people. I am never bored!
Emily Bergren, RPR, CRR, is a freelancer in Kansas City, Mo.