Posted by: Judy Barrett | October 23, 2010

“Scoping Intern Program”

“Scoping Made Affordable is the only scoping training program that is providing a Scoping Intern Program (SIP).”

 This is another inaccurate “SMA is the only scoping training program ….” claim.   

It is important to understand that no scoping training program, including mine, can turn out “reporter-ready, off-the-shelf, ready-to-work” scopists.  Every new association between reporter and scopist is, in essence, an “internship.”  Each party has to learn the preferences and capabilities of the other, and it is necessary to build a working relationship between the two.  With 30 years of experience in this field, if I started working with a new court reporter now, I would have to go through the above process, myself.

Too many times, I have gone through a first transcript with a client, only to learn that the court reporter did not entirely agree with my punctuation choices (passed on to the student), or with various and sundry issues.  Some reporters are very happy with a first transcript (therefore, the training program is excellent); some reporters are very unhappy with a first transcript (therefore, the training program is terrible).

A given student can do a first transcript for a reporter who is very pleased (therefore, the student is an excellent new scopist); the same student can do a first transcript for a reporter who complains of “glaring errors” (therefore, the student is incompetent and their training was inadequate).

A client who has not completed training and who has inadequate personal and language skills may well and truly fall into that last category.  A great challenge for every new person entering this field is to understand that it takes time to build working relationships, that no program can promise instant success, and that letting go of the “apron strings” and functioning independently is a primary requisite for success.  The SCI program offers ongoing support, but I make it clear to people before they enroll that they will have to take personal responsibility for  completing the training, a major part of which is learning the process of marketing.

Unfortunately, if the first attempt at working with a reporter ends with criticism of the scopist, there is never a more important time to get in touch with me, the trainer, and discuss whether it could just possibly be the case that the reporter is difficult to work for, has “run through” many scopists, and thought they might try one more time on a new and vulnerable scopist.  Likewise, it is important to discuss the reporter’s criticisms to assess whether they are justified.

The temptation of a claim to soothe the wounds of a new scopist, assure them that they will be led by the hand to better training (which they did not receive from the trainer with 30 years’ experience), and to strongly suggest the likelihood of jobs without personal marketing effort is simply too tempting to some students – who too often see, in time, that they are still faced with the need to take personal responsibility for their careers, and to function independently, after the “internship.”

I offer one year of personal mentoring and support to each client, and I very often extend that support when needed.  I regularly talk with students I’ve trained five years ago, or more.  My most successful students, however, are the ones who knew they had to strike out on their own to find the best clients, rather than hoping for success through a leads program or online ads, and who have profited greatly by doing so.  They do, however, wisely stay in touch to take advantage of the ongoing mentoring and support offered by the SCI program.  “After the bookwork is finished” (which in the case of the SCI program is complemented greatly through 24/7, on-demand classes and periodic individual and group phone calls, enhanced by the use of screen-sharing software for the last five years), there is ongoing support “for the duration.”

Copyright 2010, Judy Barrett, All Rights Reserved