My Involvement in MAVRC

by admin on October 14, 2015

2015-2016 MAVRC Board

2015-2016 MAVRC Board

By: Rachel Erickson

I am an Anoka Technical College grad and have been CART captioning for three years now, and I would just like to share my experience in being involved with MAVRC (Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters and Captioners) and a handful of other opportunities in the three years that I have been reporting.

As a student, I was very involved from the get-go. I became a member of both MAVRC and NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) within the first month of court reporting school and have attended all of the MAVRC seminars except for one. I quickly realized that I enjoyed attending court reporter gatherings and seminars because of the friendships I formed and the knowledge I gained. And it always feels good to give back to your profession and, in turn, just know that other reporters want to see you succeed and will be there to support you.

I remember distinctly when I first joined the MAVRC board. It was about a month after I had begun doing CART, and MAVRC had sent out an invitation via email for students and reporters to attend the fall MAVRC get-together. It just so happened that the get-together would be held in St. Louis Park, and that’s exactly where I was living at the time. So even though I had no clue who was going to be at the get-together, I thought, how bad can this be? So I went, not exactly sure what to expect.

There were about six reporters, all of whom I did not know by name, maybe recognizing some faces at best. There were no students or recent grads. So I could have easily run out the door, and nobody would have ever known that I came and went.  But I’m much braver than that, and this was an informal meeting, so I relaxed a bit and went and sat down with the group.

I was immediately greeted with kindness, and everyone introduced themselves (thankfully not all at once) in a relaxed and easy-going manner. After about twenty minutes of conversation with a few of the reporters, Hart Erickson asked, “Would you like to be on the MAVRC board?”

I looked around to see who he was talking to, trying my best not to look like a fool in assuming that the question was directed at me. Well, the two reporters on either side of me were both having their own conversations, so I said, “Are you talking to me?”

Hart very kindly responded, “Yes.”

Slightly caught off guard, I laughed a little bit and went, “Oh!”

I thought briefly to myself, ‘Man, these people are crazier than I thought!  It’d be wise to make a run for it while I still can.’

So I turned to him and said, “Sure!” (So much for staying under the radar and not looking like a fool…)

Actually, this question of joining the board had piqued my interest, and then Hart discussed with me the rather relaxed-sounding role I would have as a Director-at-Large.  And since I already knew I liked going to seminars and I had the convenience of living in the Twin Cities, I happily agreed to join the board.

Surprisingly, this decision was the building block that gave me the courage and confidence to say “yes” when other opportunities arose.

These other opportunities include participating in Veterans’ Day History Projects, demonstrating realtime for students at their schools, demonstrating realtime at Anoka Technical College for Court Reporting and Captioning Week as well as the Courtroom Technologies Conference in Minneapolis, and speaking on a CART/Captioning panel at one of MAVRC’s spring seminars.

But what I enjoy doing the most is serving as a mentor for students and new grads and helping them get set up with realtime and troubleshooting so that they can feel confident in outputting realtime on the job. It’s one thing to graduate, but it’s another thing to be on the job while trying to output realtime successfully.  What if the dongle breaks? What if the WiFi or router connection fails/keeps disconnecting? And the list goes on and on.  I find it paramount to help new grads with bridging the gap between graduation and the reporting world.

In the three years I have been on the MAVRC board, I spent the first two years being Director-at-Large, which entailed helping out with seminars (setting up, taking down, checking off CEU points after each session, selling raffle tickets, running the registration table, et cetera.) Also, both Hart and I served as student liaisons, which gave us the opportunity to help set up mentorships (as well mentor students ourselves) and engage with the students a few times a year at Anoka Technical College.

And just this past weekend at the MAVRC conference, I was given the privilege of being installed as the Vice President-Freelance. This is a position that I take very seriously and will definitely be a step up from my previous role of Director-at-Large.  This position essentially prepares you for the presidency down the road. I plan to go to leadership training in Washington D.C. in April of next year to assist in that preparation.

This profession is perfect for me because I enjoy growing, challenging myself, helping others, and, above all, I like stepping in and saying “yes” when the need arises. I enjoy learning from others as well as setting an example for those around me. And something I am finding out about more and more about leadership is that it doesn’t take a person who has all the answers, but someone who is willing to jump in, communicate with others, and do a little (yes, sometimes a lot of) work in order to accomplish something important to help strengthen this great profession!

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