Don’t miss out on Convention this year

Need a reason to attend the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo this year? Read what previous attendees have to say about their experiences, what they’ve learned, and why convention is the one event you don’t want to miss this year.

Members of NCRA’s Student/Teacher Committee, Callie Sajdera, a student at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn., Gayl Hardeman, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, instructor at Hardeman School, Kay Moody, MCRI, CPE, instructor at College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., Len Sperling, CRI, instructor at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta, Canada, Whitney Berndt, a student at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis., and Shaunise Day, a student at West Valley College in Oakland, Calif., offer their thoughts and advice for attending convention.

JCR | Did you attend an NCRA convention as a student? What was that experience like?

Callie | I did attend conventions as a student, and I am still a student. My experiences have been nothing short of amazing. It is a great way for students and professionals to start creating their “webs” and growing connections all across the Unites States.

Whitney | Yes. It was an experience unlike any other. I truly wish I would have gone sooner into my time as a student. Everyone was so encouraging, willing to answer any questions, and sincere. I was lucky that a reporter from my home state, Chris Willette, was becoming the President of NCRA. This made the experience even more memorable. Watching someone so near and dear to your state organization receive one of the greatest honors in a reporter’s career was something I will never forget.

Shaunise | Yes. I have attended several conventions as a student and each time has been amazing. The experience has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to networking. Prior to my first convention, when it came to meeting new people, I would be somewhat shy and nervous. The convention held in San Francisco, Calif. allowed me to make a change and take the limits off when it came to making new connections. This has been one of the best social decisions I could have made for myself.

JCR | If you are planning to go to convention this year, what do you hope to get out of it?

Callie | This year I hope I will be out of school and into my professional career. I hope I can attend more software seminars and workshops, along with meeting new people and continuing to grow my contacts for the future.

Kay | I love seeing our students. They’re all over the country and being an online program, we have the opportunity to meet present and past students face-to-face for the first time!

Whitney | Yes. I hope to be attending this year’s convention as my first as a working reporter. I hope to gain some confidence and insight into what my first year will be like.

Shaunise | After every convention I walk away feeling inspired and motivated. I’m sure this year’s convention will provide the same exact thing.

JCR | Is there anything else about convention you would like to share with the students?

Callie | Going to the convention as a student was something I looked forward to every year, and will continue to do so as a professional. The convention always gave me a rejuvenating feeling and motivated me to push myself through school. Whenever I am running low on motivation, it seems to be just around convention time!

Gayl | GO! Meet the stars. Be inspired. Network. Take cards, even if it’s only your name and email address and area of the country. Gosh, years ago we used to call them “calling cards.” Be creative! Attend every seminar you can and take notes. Be the knowledge sponge! Hope to meet you there next year!

Kay | When you go to convention, network. Of course, you’ll meet other students; be sure to keep in contact with them. Make a point to meet the officers, board members, agency owners, CART reporters, captioners, etc.—all the people you read about in the Journal of Court Reporting! Meet and talk to as many people as possible. Be sure to tell them you’re a student, when you anticipate you’ll be finished with school, and that you’d like to keep in contact with them and visit with the ones near you. You will meet reporters who want to be your mentor, receive job offers, and get lots of great advice. Be sure to get everyone’s business card, and make notes of your conversations with them. Talk to ALL of the vendors and have them demonstrate their products. Go to as many sessions as possible, even the ones that aren’t part of the student seminar, and definitely attend all the social events. New Orleans is a great city, but go sightseeing before and after the convention—don’t miss a single thing at the convention!

Len | If you have the opportunity to attend, please do so. Every time I attend an NCRA event I get inspired and it refreshes me. I am sure it will do the same for you as a student.

Whitney | Go! Register! Make the leap. It is one, I promise, you won’t regret. The connections you make and friendships you gain are unlike any others. It will give you a new sense of drive when it comes to finishing school.

Shaunise | Yes. Be sure to attend all of the student sessions, make business cards, network, and be ready to have a good time!