(Steno)Interpreting the Signs for Career Change

Community Colleges provide an opportunity for students to explore a wide range of careers that will have a significant impact on their future happiness and well-being. However, the choices that individuals face to pursue their own dreams for a meaningful career are often not so straightforward and may even take some additional change of direction. Chicago resident Grace Roh was one such student who navigated through personal obstacles and educational learning curves to discover her professional passion for a highly specialized career in court reporting.

But before reaching her ultimate career destination, Grace took the uncertain road well-traveled by college degree seekers. She completed undergraduate school to become an artist. She moved to Colorado and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Metalsmithing and Jewelry with a minor in Women’s Studies.

“After college, I wasn’t able to find a clear cut path to a career and I was feeling lost,” said Grace. She began researching careers online when a sign stood out that she had not considered before. “I saw court reporting offered at South Suburban College and I just felt a connection to it and thought I could use my skills, creativity and love for learning to pick up this skill set.”

Grace said getting through the initial challenge of learning the steno language and how to write on a machine was extremely difficult. Steno is a shorthand language that uses the alphabet of the English language, but it is a completely separate language on its own. While English is alpha-numeric, steno is written phonetically and syllabically.

“I have come to grow to love the language, the movements, and the constant endurance that is required in order to excel in this field,” said Grace. “I have finally found something that I am passionate about that combines my need to be creative while also providing a stable well-paying career.”

For Grace, SSC’s Court Reporting Program helped her find her calling for a career that provides a sense of accomplishment and pride. She said her career change choice completely improved her outlook on life and she hopes to be an inspiration for others who are still searching for their passion.