It was the end of my sophomore year at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIU), and I was going home for the summer. I was still struggling with what I really wanted to do in life, but since I had to select classes for the next semester, I chose accounting.
During that summer in Peoria, Illinois, there was a trial over the death of my best friend’s brother, who had been shot in a fight and killed. I attended most of the trial and was intrigued by the whole process, never having been in a courtroom before. I was Business Student of the Year in high school, and my best friend’s mother knew that. One day, she pointed to the lady working at the funny-looking court reporting machine and said, “You ought to do that.”
I thought, wow, yeah, I ought to try that out. It just so happened that SIU had a two-year court reporting program, which is very unusual. I completed court reporting school in two years and then stayed on at SIU for another year to obtain my bachelor’s degree.
After that, I decided I really needed to go with a friend to New York City for the summer while she did a paralegal internship. I worked in a clothing store. It was a big, big mistake to take a year and a half off after finishing the court reporting program and not beginning work immediately. Believe me, my parents were not thrilled.
After NYC, I came back home and enrolled in the court reporting program at Illinois Central College so I could sharpen my skills. Once I had completed the program, I decided to go to Indianapolis. Almost every single firm was hiring at that point. I started at Indianapolis Reporting. Susan Wollenweber was the owner, and she trained me like no other. She is a perfectionist, but I am so thankful for her. She invested a lot of time and effort to get me to be the best reporter I could be. To this day, I still take pride in the transcripts I put out during that period. In 1992, I got married, moved to Ohio for three years, and then came back to Indy. Indianapolis Reporting had merged with Connor by the time I got back.
What I love about court reporting is that it has afforded me the freedom and flexibility to make my own schedule, especially when it comes to spending time with my children and being able to attend all of their activities. Court reporting is such a unique profession. I have learned so much about a wide variety of topics and have met so many different types of people. I take great pride in my work always feel quite accomplished when completing a long transcript with a tough technical or medical expert.
Our firm is one of the best firms to work for; our national reputation proves that. I would be lost without my hard-working coworkers, who go out of their way to help anyone who has a question. I feel blessed to have that camaraderie and have developed some pretty strong relationships with other reporters. We often go out to lunch or dinner and make efforts to travel somewhere together every year. Last year was Amelia Island, Florida!
When I am not working, I am at the soccer field, track field, or practicing karate. I enjoy being outdoors doing any activity, especially walking, biking, or snow skiing. I look forward to vacations, often going to the casinos and play craps. I also love spending time with my family and hanging out with my long-time friends. I have been truly blessed.