Spotlight: Gail Agronick
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
WorksWrite is excited to launch our blog! Writing is so much more than putting words to paper - or fingers to keyboard. We'll cover it all: when (and when not) to write, how to research most effectively, and how best to present your ideas. We'll also feature writers, editors, and other members of the WorksWrite community as part of our Spotlight series.
Our inaugural Spotlight is about our own Gail Agronick.
How do your friends describe you?
Loyal, funny, self-effacing.
How do you describe yourself?
An avid cyclist, voracious reader, and bemused violinist. I’m happiest on the beach with my family at sunset. A close second is napping with my cats. I make an awesome breakfast but cooking dinner overwhelms me.
How did you get started as a writing mentor?
Doreen Arcus, human extraordinaire, helped me write my statement of purpose for graduate school. I was working in Harvard’s psych department as a research assistant and she was furiously finishing her doctoral dissertation. Doreen was generous with her time and thoughtful with her feedback. She refused financial compensation, insisting that I just pay it forward. I have done so ever since. A portion of my mentoring remains pro bono.
Helping to write college, graduate, and medical school applications was initially a side project for family, friends, and my research team. My client base grew steadily over the years and primarily through word of mouth. Complementing this, my day job has always included mentoring others to prepare stellar oral presentations and written materials. I have a lot of fun doing this work, so I decided to pursue it more formally. That’s how WorksWrite was born.
Do you miss working full-time as a psychologist?
People ask me if I miss designing, implementing, and evaluating health programs. No, I don't. In part, because this is still a part of my work mix. I also use my skills as a psychologist every day. I find joy in listening to people’s stories (whatever the context) and figuring out how to help them come alive in their writing. It is gratifying to see individuals thrive after mastering effective study techniques we've developed together. I also love the variety of my work. At any given time, I may be helping clients with college applications, marketing copy, grant applications, or creative writing projects.
What's something most people don't know about you?
I was the first Chuck E. Cheese (costume character) in Rhode Island. It wasn't fun when people pulled Chuck E.'s tail.
If you have a topic you'd like covered on our blog, please let us know! Contact Gail at WorksWrite.com.