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Robyn Agnew’s higher education career path helps her help others

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Index Journal, St. Claire Donaghy

Robyn Agnew aspires to help others create lives and careers that they love.


Life Coach Robyn Agnew, foreground, sits with client Carly McCalla in her office at The Greenwood Building.

Agnew recently opened her own business in Room 338 of The Greenwood Building, — ithrive — life and career coaching. She is a certified life coach through Life Purpose Institute in San Diego, California. Agnew went through training in March.

Before life-coaching, Agnew had a successful 25-year career in higher education, serving in recruitment, faculty, athletic and student affairs positions. Most recently, she was vice president of student services at Erskine College, a position she served in for five years. For 13 years before that, Agnew was dean of students. Several years ago, while still at Erskine, Agnew took a sabbatical and focused on professional development.

“In 2012, I attended a conference on vocational reflection,” Agnew said. “It impacted me more than any other professional meeting I’ve ever attended. When I got back from there, I asked the then college president if we could start a program at Erskine for students. We got a grant and started a program. It was exciting to roll that out before I left Erskine.”

That experience influenced her decision to pursue life-coaching.

Carly McCalla of Greenwood, 23, got to know Agnew while she was still at Erskine.

“When I graduated from Erskine, with a double major in biology and political science, I had no clue what I wanted to do,” McCalla said. “I was really having trouble and Robyn helped me through it, to focus on what I truly want.”

A big part of coaching, Agnew said, is helping clients determine their needs.

“I want to go to graduate school and get a master’s in public health,” McCalla said, noting she’s working at a local coffee shop where she was also employed while in college. “The emphasis I’d like to pursue is global health.”

Agnew said she also helped clients explore different career options.

“I really enjoy witnessing people’s realizations during the self-discovery process,” Agnew said. “Clients tell me it helps them to have someone in the process with them, to motivate them and hold them accountable.”

McCalla said you have to write goals down and set and meet dates by which to accomplish them.

John Showalter, retired Erskine College professor emeritus of psychology, said he got to know Agnew as a campus colleague during her 18 years working with the student population.

“It makes all the sense in the world to me that she would be pursuing life-coaching, because, in effect, that’s been a big part of what she did with students her whole career,” Showalter said. “She helped them get to what they wanted to do, and she’s been very mindful in developing her own career.”

Showalter said Agnew displayed “amazing” interpersonal skill and sensitivity in working with both students and parents in sometimes “difficult circumstances.”

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Posted by: greenwoodcommunities on October 4, 2015
Posted in: Greenwood, SC