Breaking Into a Creative Career with Multiple Paths

Breaking Into a Creative Career with Multiple Paths


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Breaking Into a Creative Career with Multiple Paths



Those who are:

  • Following multiple career paths: education, indie filmmaking, animation, and more!
  • Passionate about many aspects of the animation industry and may want to explore many jobs in the pipeline as a career.
  • Jacks of all trades, and aren’t interested in being a master of one!
  • Recent grads
  • Those looking to change career paths or add another career to their path.


  • Tips and tricks on managing time, multiple clients/projects, and work/life balance!
  • Guidance on maintaining a robust portfolio that demonstrates many skill sets.
  • Resumes
  • Cover letters
  • Portfolio basics
  • Networking and maintaining relationships after networking events


  • Software specifics
  • Building a portfolio with one company in mind (only wanting to work for, say, Aardman or Disney)


Are you excited to start working in a creative career, but there are so many things you want to do, you don’t know how to pick? Maybe you’re interested in working for a large studio, but you also have independent projects you want to bring to life as well? Do you have a passion for both 2D and 3D animation? Perhaps you want the flexibility to experience what it’s like to work from home, in a studio, and on location sometimes. You might even think you’d like to move between the corporate, academic, and independent sectors.

Some folks might tell you that you need to pick one lane and stick with it. But not this circle. This circle will focus on how to set yourself up to follow multiple career paths.

By the end of this circle, you will:

  • Learn about various pathways and jobs that exist for people with creative skills.
  • Understand the Animation Pipeline and the various positions within it.
  • Know how to find and identify different professional opportunities.
  • Understand how to set yourself up to apply for and land jobs by creating strong resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, etc.
  • Discover how various recruiting structures work.
  • Learn how to show up professionally so that recruiters and bosses take notice of you.

Qualification Criteria

Aspiring Professional (0 yrs of experience) 
Entry Level (1-2 yrs of experience)

Day / Time

Times Per Month:  Twice 
Day / Time:  Monday evenings
Timezone: EST

ADDITIONAL Application requirementS

Please submit the following:

  • Resume
  • Animation Reel
  • Personal Statement

Circle Leader

Ashley gerst

I am a 2D, 3D, and motion graphics animator living in New York’s Hudson Valley.

I am a recently tenured Associate Professor of Animation and Game Design at William Paterson University and am now the Chair of WPU’s Art Department.

In addition to academics, I freelance with several studios in the Greater NYC Area and have worked for clients such as Nissan, American Express, JBL, Red Bull, Sesame Street, and more.

If that wasn’t enough, I am also an independent filmmaker. My most recent animated film is The Spirit Seam (2019). The Spirit Seam has screened in over 100 international films and won over 25 awards! I am currently working on two new films: Sundays (2024) and Being Pushed Down by Shadow (2026).

Lastly, I’m a Co-Lead for Women in Animation’s NYC Chapter!


Current Title: Chair of Art, Professor of Animation and Game Design

Studio / Employer:  William Paterson University


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