We created the Career Journey Program to offer support to help you succeed professionally or get through a particular situation so you can be better equipped and more confident on your journey. Looking for insights, advice, or just a sounding board? We talked to three of the mentors who will give speed-mentoring sessions for everyone who needs it, so whether you are just starting your professional path or are already an accomplished professional, this is for you. 

But first, let us introduce our incredible mentors to you:

  • Ann Le Cam: Global Talent and Studio Leader (former Wētā and  Walt Disney Animation Studios )
  • Dawn Yamazi: Talent Development Executive (former Illumination, Netflix, Walt Disney Animation Studios)
  • Tanja Knoblich: Sr. Director Workplace, Outreach and Events at Netflix Animation
  • Tracy Campbell: Director Production Training and Development at Walt Disney Animation Studios


We're really excited about Career Journey! Could you share why you think this program is still so important in today's ever-changing world?

Tracy Campbell: The dynamic changes in the creative industry mean many move more frequently from studio to studio or project to project. Making connections outside of your day-to-day is increasingly important in building perspective and networks that will exist beyond your next gig.

Dawn Yamazi: During times of change, communication and personal exchanges between people with similar interests, experience levels, motivations and passions need fuel to keep our brains curious, our emotions balanced, and our intentions clear.


For this reason, I believe my colleagues and I bring a point of view with the experience, exposure and curiosity that can help mentees ask the right questions of themselves.  We create a space where one can consider their options.


Ann Le Cam: As new technologies arise and shape the world around us, the landscape of work and how we can ultimately make a difference is constantly evolving. These changes are coming at high speed and there is no reason to belief this might slow down in the near term.
With hectic professional and personal schedules, we spend most of our time responding to the environment around us and only occasionally engage in creative and reflective thinking. Especially in these fast-changing moments though, it is important to pause, take a step back and thoughtfully examine where we are and how we want orient ourselves for the future. Articulating to ourselves and someone else our aspirations and getting an outside perspective on the decisions we are facing, can help us move more reflectively into the future.
My hope for Career Journey is that it might provide a platform for young professionals to create that space for reflection and trusted conversations that might help provide confidence and clarity in their professional journeys.


What can a mentee expect from a speed session experience, and what outcomes are you hoping for?

Tracy Campbell: A mentee can expect an experienced listener who can objectively offer advice and suggestions on a wide variety of topics. I am hoping to provide new points of view or the chance to see another side of an issue.

Dawn Yamazi: I hope to offer a mentee someone who will listen objectively and be a sounding board to their personal pursuits.

Ann Le Cam: In a speed mentoring session, the mentee will have an opportunity to formulate a specific challenge they are dealing with or would like some perspective on. Sometimes, this can be harder in a group session as these challenges are mostly personal and specific to the situation in which we find ourselves. My hope is that the session might provide a constructive forum in which the mentee will find an opportunity to freely discuss their challenges or dilemmas and find an objective and neutral sounding board.


What is it about this program that resonates with you? Why does it speak to your soul?

Tracy Campbell: The global audience that is the THU tribe provides me with opportunities to learn more of the world outside my own experiences. It speaks to me as a way to give back and share some of my own experiences in a practical way and make connections across typical boundaries of business, state or country in the magic of this virtual program.

Dawn Yamazi: André (THU Co-Founder) has created a tribe of creatives that strive to be the best, take personal responsibility and move art to new heights in a community atmosphere. He is about the we, not the I or the you. He has always endeavored to bring many forward not just the few.

Ann Le Cam: Throughout my personal career I have benefited greatly from the wise and meaningful advice and insights of mentors around me, providing me the confidence and perspective to take the next step and strengthen my convictions.


In hindsight, I learned a lot from these individual conversations as I felt heard, supported and validated. It boosted my confidence and allowed me to take more confidently the next steps. My hope is that, as I have gained maturity and experience, I can return that favor to other professionals around me.


Alright, what's your secret sauce? What's the special ingredient you're bringing to the mix?

Tracy Campbell: My secret sauce is building relationships on strong foundations that last and continue to be meaningful in my life. The special ingredient, for me, is candor with kindness in every way.

Dawn Yamazi: Hmmm....sometimes I don't know my secret sauce, but I hope it's Kewpie Deep Roasted Sesame Salad dressing.  I can tell you about my colleagues - they may disagree, so take this with a grain of sugar :)

Ann's secret sauce is her caring, discerning manner. She sees around the corners and supports new ideas, provides clear paths to experiment, and empowers people in a fun way. She sees people's strengths and knows how to unleash that power. Ann is elegant and strategic and has a subtle but precise power. Ann has insight into Animation, Theme Entertainment, and Creative Cultures.
- Tanja's secret sauce is similar to Ann's in her power to empower people in a super fun way.  Ann is fun, but Tanja is super fun. She brings humor in a cutting way to any situation and knows how to create a culture of togetherness, beauty and balance and warmth.  She has excellent taste, and that is brought into any moment, situation, or challenge. Tanja has insight into the making and production of animated films, creating the physical balance of artistic environments and creating creative space.
- Tracy's secret sauce is her support of any creative environment. She has immense power in getting things through any loophole, challenge or mountain pass.  She listens with intent, is trusting and reliable, and can plus any idea or direction.  She creates programs and opportunities that inspire and inform the highest of creatives in a way that brings solutions, insight and problem solving results with grace. Tracy has insight into Animation production learning and development, Consumer Products production, Themed Entertainment, and Women in Animation.

Ann Le Cam: I think my “superpower” is my ability to actively listen with curiosity and empathy and to ask questions that might spur further thinking and exploration.
Also, as Dawn so kindly showered us with superpowers in her blurb, I want to add a little blurb around Dawn’s superpowers: “Dawn is a greatly talented, smart, and kind creative. Her generosity knows no bounds, her empathy and curiosity about others creates waves of connection and support. She is loved and admired by many, and when she shows up at an event, it is like walking around with a rockstar. Dawn’s creative sensibilities always pick up on vibes that others cannot yet see, she knows how to create environments that inspire connection and meaning and makes it easy for anyone to be brilliant.”

Thank you Ann, Dawn, and Tracy!