Mentor Circles are a collaborative learning relationship between one Mentor and Mentees.  The goal is to give mentees a deeper and broader understanding of the animation industry AND build a strong community of peers across multiple workplaces and locations.  In light of COVID-19, the program may also address coping skills and other
issues that have arisen.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of the business or a craft
  • Learn about roles and career options within animation
  • Develop coping skills amid changes to the industry and how we work
  • Build strong relationships among mentees to continue after the program is over
  • Create a confidential group for sharing challenges
  • Build strong connections between mentees and leaders in the industry
  • Grow each other’s network through your connections
Circles will meet virtually for 2-4 hours each month. The 2020 Summer Round meets from July – October, and the Fall Round meets from September – December. Every circle will be unique allowing the mentors flexibility in designing the topics each month. You may learn from your mentor and other guest speakers, share your own expertise and learn from your peers in the circle. Our hope is that you will build strong relationships with your peers in the circle that will continue long after the program is over.

Everywhere – it’s virtual!

Any Active WIA member who has not participated in Circles before. Students in their final year of school are eligible to apply as well.

Applications will be open for a week from August 19 – 26.

Each mentee may apply to one circle. Once we have reached the maximum applicants for that circle it will be closed and no more applications will be accepted. Mentees can apply for another circle at that point as long as there is an opening.  Each mentor will determine how many mentees they will select for their circle. Typically it’s 6-10

The mentors will select their mentees based on the mentee applications and who they think will be the best fit for their program. Be sure to consider the circle’s meeting time when you apply as it may not be based in your time zone.

We want to set reasonable expectations with the mentees about being selected (ie not making the pool of candidates too large for each circle) and not put too much burden on our mentors who are reading the applications and selecting mentees.

Our goal is to give each applicant an equal chance of being selected, to make sure each applicant has a good chance of being selected, to give the mentors a large enough pool so they have some choice and not to make the candidate pool so large so that it makes the selection process too time consuming. For all of these reasons we have decided to limit applicants to one circle and limit the number of applicants per circle.

Yes, anyone can apply, although with students we are asking that you are in your final year of school.


Our new automated application system consist of three easy steps.  First you’ll create a mentorship program account.  Second you’ll complete your mentorship account profile.  Third, you’ll choose the program you wish to apply for and submit your application with one-click.  You can learn more here.

If you’ve signed up for an account, and completed a profile, yet you still don’t have any choices available for you to apply to, it could be because of one of two reasons:

1.  Your WIA Membership status has not been verified by the system.  You must be an active member to apply, all existing members need to wait up to 15 minutes to have the system verify their status.  Any new or newly updated members may have to wait up to 24 hours in order for the system to recognize them.

2.  The programs you wish to apply to are all full.  Each Mentor Circle Program accepts a limited number of applications.  Once that limit has been reached, the choice is no longer available on our Circles Application Page.

If you believe you’re having other issues than the two described above, please email WIA at

All circles require a certain amount of information to be input into the Mentee’s profile.  To ensure you have all choices available for you, it is important to make sure that you’ve completed ALL fields in your mentorship profile so that you can esnure all possible programs are available for you to apply.

The program is only offered to active WIA members, so first make sure that your membership is active and current.  You can check your stats at

Also, you must make certain that the email address you’ve used for your mentorship profile, matches the email on membership account.  If it doesn’t you’ll need to update it at and wait for the system to sync.  This can take up to 24 hours.

Make sure the email address you entered when creating your account is active, and spelled correctly.  If it is, please check your spam and/or junk folder for any emails from our website.  If you still don’t see anything, please contact us at