A mentor is a guiding light in every person’s career and offers invaluable support. This month, we share the experiences of the people in The Mill’s very own women’s mentorship program. Meet Nicole Melius, Senior Producer, and Riya Chatterjee, Production Coordinator!
Talk to us about your role within The Mill.
Nicole: I’m a Senior VFX Producer at the New York studio, producing both commercial and longform VFX projects.
Riya: I am a VFX production coordinator, which means I spend most of my day with producers, checking on the needs of various departments including RPM, and reviewing the status of projects.
What skills did you find helped you take your first step into the VFX industry?
Nicole: I started out at a small boutique post house as a post assistant. This role required me to wear a lot of hats, so I was compositing, prepping edit and color projects and conforming for final delivery. Those hands-on technical skills have really helped as a producer and allow me to problem solve with the team and anticipate any issues that may come up.
Riya: My interest in advertisement arose because of the innovative creative style. When I joined the industry, it was as a 3D animator and then I wanted to make a shift to explore production. My knowledge of the creative side of our projects is certainly a benefit in my role.
How has the mentorship group impacted you?
Nicole: Participating in the mentorship program has been a really rewarding experience. Getting to know Riya and the differences between working in production in India compared to the US has allowed me to understand how to communicate more efficiently with our Bangalore colleagues and create both professional and personal bonds I might have missed out on if I hadn’t met Riya.
Riya: The mentorship group has entwined people from different parts of the world together. It’s helped me to frame more open thought processes from a variety of experiences.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of mentorship?
Nicole: The biggest benefit of the mentorship has been getting to create a lifelong friend in my mentee Riya. I think this applies to any mentorship. I was fortunate to visit India late last year and meet Riya in person – it felt like meeting an old friend and it was a really memorable visit. Having someone in such a different culture from my own to teach and learn from has been a truly great experience.
Riya: The biggest benefit has been the bond which came out of this. It has given me a friend whose knowledge is an asset to me. The mentorship is not just related to official work, and it has given me a true friend. In general, I think mentorship is definitely a big support, through guidance from someone who has moved ahead in their career. The way you start thinking when you have insights from a mentor is beyond anything you can imagine on your own. A mentor provides so much knowledge, they can be like a library book.
How do you think the inclusive culture at The Mill and Technicolor shapes our workplace?
Nicole: Getting to work with colleagues in other countries, whether that be India, London, Paris, etc. is such a great way to learn from different cultures and how to work with different people. We all come in to projects with different perspectives and ways to creatively tackle problems. That array of ideas really helps round out projects in a way that’s hard to do when you only have one office to work with.
Riya: Being a part of The Mill, I am fortunate to see the world from my desk in our Bangalore studio – there are no set boundaries. The supportive vibe has made the work culture very positive.
Discover more about how the global VFX studio, The Mill services the advertising and brand experience industry.