When I first started considering switching from reporting to captioning, I scoured the internet for advice on how to make the transition. I found next to nothing. Luckily, I knew reporters who knew reporters who knew a captioner and exchanged our phone numbers.
Basically, it’s not rocket science.
- Practice news/weather/sports daily, adding words to your dictionary. Practice each segment over and over again until you have less than three errors a page.
- Shorten your writing.
- Realtime every job to learn your weaknesses.
But after about six months, I felt like I had stalled. I felt like I had done all I could do on my own and I needed some guidance. Then one day I got an email out of the blue about an amazing opportunity.
Prince Institute had put together a captioning boot camp. Unbelievably, it was practically free. The Institute had obtained a grant from the Department of Education for retraining court reporters for the captioning field. Basically, I had to pay the $650 up front. But I was reimbursed half after the three day boot camp itself, and then I got a check in the mail for the other half when I’d finished the nine-week follow up training.
This was the best thing that ever could have happened to my burgeoning captioning career. I truly believe it’s what led me to eventually being hired as a captioner.
Prince Institute offers these boot camps several times a year. Be warned, though, they fill up quickly, often within the span of a few hours. It’s imperative that if you’re even remotely thinking of becoming a captioner, you sign up as soon as possible.
Are you interested yet?
Good, because the next boot camp starts April 23rd, 2015, in Springfield, Ohio. If you’re thinking about transitioning to captioning, or you just want to be a better realtime writer, then sign up at their registration page.
The only requirement is you must be an RPR or a CSR to attend. And, even better, you’ll earn 2.4 CEU’s to go towards your certification.
I cannot say how much I recommend this course. The instructor is amazing, and she’ll go out of your way to help you reach your goal, even after you’ve finished boot camp. We still regularly exchange emails and I finished my boot camp in August 2014.
There’s several more scheduled in the next year, so when I learn the dates, I’ll post it on the Stenofabulous blog and include a link to the registration page.
Happy Boot Camp!