For new graduates of a court reporting program, it can be difficult to make the transition from education to career. Upon entering the workforce, many are left wondering how they can continue to develop their skills. In this article, we’ll share and discuss one of the most effective strategies court reporters can use for professional growth. 

Let’s get started! 

How can we bridge the gap?

Each year, an increasing number of students complete their court reporting education online. Virtual learning is equally effective in terms of building technical skills, but without the campus atmosphere and in-person meetings, it’s very challenging for students to form a connection with potential mentors. Furthermore, most schools do not provide opportunities for mentoring, coaching and professional guidance after graduation. As a result, new reporters feel like they aren’t ready to ‘fly solo’ when the time comes.  

What are the benefits of professional mentorship? 

Assimilating into a new profession is always a challenge, and there is simply no substitute for individual mentorship. Students who learn from a mentor are less likely to leave the industry and more likely to develop a successful and fulfilling career. Shadowing a mentor also exposes the student to various workstyles, giving them the chance to see how the mentor manages daily readback, exhibit handling, and interruptions to testimony. 

Mentors serve as a motivating force and a professional advisor – sharing their research skills, word knowledge, and experience in transcript formatting. They can also help graduates understand their ethical obligations and realize the importance of their role.

How can you find a mentor?

Finding your own mentor can be tricky, but there are a few things you can try. First, reach out to local court reporter associations and your state court reporting board to see what kind of programs they offer. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to find a mentor who is already familiar with your local courts. The NCRA maintains a list of various local and state court reporting associations that offer mentorship. If you’re unable to find a mentor through state and local programs, take a look at the NCRA virtual program for mentors and mentees who might not otherwise be able to meet in person. 

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading! We hope we’ve been able to share the value of mentorship for court reporters seeking professional development. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it on social media! 

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