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Persistence on the Path to Success


Attorney greeting and shaking hands with a court reporter. Isolated on white.

I have always known I wanted to be a Court Reporter but my path to becoming one was long and a bit ugly.  I’d always loved shorthand and I could type almost 100 wpm.  Once I had children, my husband at the time discouraged me from entering a Court Reporting program because he said it would take too long. So I became a scopist so I could work from home. By chance, I ended up as a surgical transcriptionist which I wasn’t passionate about but offered excellent benefits and after my divorce it became very difficult to change professions.   I ended up spending 12 ½ years in the position.  I was able to provide a stable home for my children and assist them with entering college. It was a great job, but I thought I had lost my chance to pursue a career as a Court Reporter.

During the recent financial crisis, I was laid off. It was a stressful time because I had two kids in college, and one headed there, but there was a silver lining. Everyone who knows me understands I’ve always wanted to be a court reporter, life had just kept me from becoming one, until now.  So when I lost my job it presented the perfect opportunity to pursue my dream, though 20 years later than anticipated.

I signed up for the program with Bryan and was only in school for about a month when my middle daughter was struck by a car. I had no insurance and I wasn’t sure how many more challenges I could deal with.  She required a lot of physical therapy and in-home therapy, and I was the only one who could help her.  If I had been in a brick-and-mortar school, I would have had to drop out or take leave because I had to be home with my daughter.  I was vigilant about making all my classes, as I had to finish school and start working to pay off all the medical bills. So I made that my motivation and used the situation as a way to push myself toward success.

Court Reporting school can be very challenging, and everybody has something that they are going to have to deal with, even if it isn’t as dramatic as my story. To be successful, I think you have to mentor or buddy up, especially when learning in an online environment. After my daughter’s accident I made a conscious effort to notice who was discouraged or may be struggling in class and would reach out.  There was one fellow student in particular that I have become very close with. I’ve never met her, but she tells everyone I’m her sister, as that is the type of relationship and bond we have developed.  I feel that the Bryan community is strong and people help lift one another up and empower one another.

Something I love about Court Reporting is the opportunity to be immersed in something and forget about everything else in your life. One of my teachers said, “You get paid well to listen to other people’s problems.” When I did my internship hours I ended up taking part in a riveting murder trial, it was such great experience and really allowed me to see the exciting nature of the job itself, as well as how important it really is.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to study at Bryan University. The teachers I had through Bryan are now my life-long friends, they aren’t just instructors. I keep in touch with all of them, everyone still is willing to keep assisting me in my life journey. Bryan University doesn’t just offer education, it offers a chance to be part of a community, a family. It was just an absolutely positive experience which will benefit me for the rest of my life.  You are never too old to go back to school, to pursue success and your dreams.  Take it from me, I waited 20 years to achieve my goal and I am so happy I did.

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