Sophia Morris, a court reporting student from Austin, Texas, recently attended her first NCRA Conference & Expo in July. She was kind enough to grant The JCR an interview about her experience in Orlando, Fla., and how she came into the world of court reporting.
JCR | How did you hear about court reporting? What was your first impression?
SM | I’ve known about court reporting for as long as I can remember. My mom is a court reporter, and my first impression that I can remember is playing on her steno machine when I was little – not that I knew what any of the keys meant, but it was fun to pretend!
JCR | How did you decide to go to the school you enrolled at? What were some factors?
SM | I started theory at a different school than the one I’m attending now. I decided to switch programs about two years in because I needed more structure. I researched a couple of different programs before switching and reached out to people via social media asking for insight on programs and landed on the program I’m at now because of the positive feedback I heard and also because of the affordability.
JCR | What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
SM | I think for me every speed test I pass is an accomplishment. Every test I pass is because of the work I’m putting in, and it’s hard work, but being able to see that pass is a reassurance that the work is paying off.
JCR | What did you learn at your first Conference?
SM | My first NCRA Conference experience was amazing! I got to connect with so many people in real life as opposed to just talking via Zoom. The NCRA Conference really solidified the support that students have. I made so many great connections and learned so much more about the steps you need to take once you finish school; for example, getting a mentor, interning at a reliable firm, and using that firm as a resource to start building the knowledge you need to start working on your own and being confident in your work.
JCR | How has NCRA helped you as a student?
SM | First off, I think if you’re able to go to the Conference as a student, you should absolutely go. The student FastTrack at the Conference really showed students that we’re supported by the profession and everyone is rooting for us. The student seminars gave me loads of information that I don’t think I would have gotten otherwise. On top of all the student seminars that were put together, a student breakfast and student lunch were also put on for the students to get to know each other and the NCRA Board of Directors.
Cynthia R. Bruce [NCRA’s Senior Director, Education and Certification] and Cynthia Ducar [NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager] have also been wonderful. I met them through a volunteer opportunity with NCRA, and they gifted me with the Career Launcher Program, which I’m excited to start soon. They also introduced me to many contacts at the NCRA Conference and were so welcoming.
JCR | What certifications have you earned or are you pursuing?
SM | Right now I’m currently working on my 180s or 190s in school. I’m proud to say I passed my RPR Written Knowledge Test last month, and I’m working on studying for my Texas CSR Written Knowledge Test currently.
JCR | What advice would you give to somebody considering court reporting?
SM | I would encourage anyone considering court reporting to reach out to NCRA and their state association. Join a social media group and reach out to students or working reporters. Take the NCRA A to Z® program and see how you like it. I actually did the NCRA A to Z® program with my mom as my teacher, and that was when I knew court reporting was something I really wanted to pursue!