How to Build Powerful Professional Relationships

How to Build Powerful Professional Relationships


WIA Members at the Creator level may apply to WIA Mentorship programs. Thank you for your support!

How to Build Powerful Professional Relationships



  • Creatives with 2+ years of experience
  • Professionals interested in leadership
  • Animators
  • Human Resources
  • Production


  • Understanding the importance of relationships at work
  • Exploring soft skills
  • Techniques for communicating effectively
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Your role in Team culture


  • Software demonstrations
  • Time management strategies
  • Craft expertise specifics


In this circle, we’ll help you improve your interpersonal and communication skills so that you can effectively work toward your goals for your career, whether you’re looking to get promoted, be considered for leadership opportunities, or simply want to get better at networking and connecting with the folks around you. This circle will help you learn new strategies for connection and conversation that will not only help you in your current position, but will also help you get ready to thrive in your next one.

This mentorship is for anyone who is looking to improve social skills and connections. Maybe you struggle when talking to others, want to be seen as a more appreciated team member, or know you’re ready for the next step, but you don’t know how to communicate that to your boss. If any of these apply to you, this circle might be a fit!

Throughout the circle, we’ll discuss:

  • How to build strong relationships and why they are essential to career development.
  • Discovering soft skills and how to implement them
  • Understanding your social strengths and weaknesses
    How to engage in meaningful conversations.
  • How to overcome remote work isolation and feel like you are a valued and connected team member
  • Discovering the power of vulnerability at work
  • Understanding team culture and your essential role in being an active participant in it.

This circle is open to any artist in the animation or VFX industry, as well as people who interact with others in their roles, such as Human Resources, Production, or Administration.

Qualification Criteria

Early Career (3-5 yrs of experience)
Mid Level (6-10 yrs of experience)
Entry Level (1-2 yrs of experience)

Day / Time

Times Per Month:  Twice 
Day / Time:  Mondays at 4 PM
Timezone: PST

ADDITIONAL Application requirementS

Please submit the following:

  • Personal statement
  • Animation reel
  • Resume

Circle Leader

Aaron gilman

Aaron graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia and went on to receive an Honors Certificate in Character Animation from the Vancouver Film School in 2000. With 24 years in the VFX industry, Aaron has worked at all levels of animation in film, games and TV.

Beginning with his early film work, Aaron was a senior animator on Matrix Revolutions, Hellboy and Constantine with the acclaimed Tippett Studio. Eventually making his way to Weta Digital as a Senior Animator on Avatar, Aaron would remain with the award-winning New Zealand-based company for eight years. During that time, he worked on 14 feature films, including as an Animation Supervisor on The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, and Godzilla. In 2016, Aaron made his way to Vancouver, Canada, as Animation Director at DNEG, overseeing numerous projects, including Pacific Rim Uprising, Disney’s Togo, and Ghostbusters Afterlife, before eventually taking on the Head of Animation role.

In 2021, Aaron assumed the Chief Creative Officer role at Steamroller Animation and most recently took on the Chief Executive Officer role, overseeing the studio’s vision and core operations. Aaron brings a wealth of animation and leadership experience to the Steamroller team. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been nominated for a VES and Annie award.


Current Title:  Chief Executive Officer

Studio / Employer:  Steamroller Animation


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