Gina H.


A lifelong writer, I spent my childhood in Wisconsin writing harebrained plays and persuading my friends to help me bring them to life. Now, as a full-grown screenwriter and director, I’ve made these harebrained schemes my life’s work. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2022, I graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where I studied English, and went on to earn my MFA in Film from Columbia. There, I wrote and directed short films that have screened at festivals across the world, from Palm Springs to Paris. When I’m not writing or tutoring, I prefer to be reading, swimming in the ocean, or petting as many dogs as possible.


While personal essays account for nearly a third (sometimes more) of applications, it’s not always easy for a student to see what makes them special, or to identify a moment of growth. As an Essay Consultant for Gradesaver and other companies, I have gotten inside of what separates a good essay from a great one, insights that inform the way I teach reading and writing to K-12 and college-level students now. This process involves getting to know the student on a holistic basis, as well as tackling the formal elements. Prior to tutoring, I taught Screenwriting to undergraduates at Columbia, where I tailored the curriculum to my students’ needs and interests—a strategy I still employ today.


I balance joy and encouragement with rigor during my sessions, relying on a blend of in-class exercises, assignments, and discussion. I enjoy building confidence in my students by encouraging them to inhabit their own points of view before moving into the writing phase. This strategy depends on creating a rapport with my students, so I enjoy drawing on real-life examples during class.

Gina H.