We are sharing the experiences of the people in The Mill’s very own Women’s Mentorship Program across March. In the third interview of this mentor-mentee series, we invite you to meet Tracey Khan – Managing Director, The Mill Chicago, and Rima Mondal- Senior Central Production Manager! They share their thoughts on mentorship, their experience in this group, and their careers.
Talk to us about your role within The Mill.
Tracey: I am the Managing Director of The Mill Chicago. I oversee the running of The Mill Chicago Studio. From operations to sales, to talent, I oversee all aspects of the studio while contributing to and developing the global Mill strategies.
Rima: I am a Senior Central Production Manager at The Mill Bangalore. My role is centred around overseeing production, operations, strengthening site relationships and smoothening functions within homesites and India. A large part of the job entails dealing with people, projects, finding solutions, as well as nurturing and supporting the team amidst everyday creative production and challenges.
What skills did you find helped you take your first step into the VFX industry?
Tracey: I left university wanting to be in the “media”, ideally something creative. My first job was a runner at a small post-production house. I was soon able to see that I was better at being organized than I was a skillful artist, so I pivoted to a career in production. Being detail-oriented and organized soon helped catapult me into various departments and eventually into producing.
Rima: My first step into the VFX industry was not intentional. I must say that the job was enticing as it involved a different kind of storytelling and bringing extremely imaginative concepts to life. This was different from the kind of work that I had been close to and was working for the last 11 to 12 years across different media houses. My background in filmmaking, where I always handled films and shows from start to finish to on-air, helped me once I made the shift into VFX. I realized that the creative and production nuances are quite similar, and it was all about learning and evolving from project to project. One needs to be on top of things and work cohesively with the team and these skills have always helped me.
How has the mentorship group impacted you?
Tracey: It has been a very rewarding experience. To be able to connect with someone from the other side of the world and understand how it is we can work together has been great. It has also been great to be able to help someone along in their career and to listen and help problem solve from my own experiences. Mentorship has taught me a lot about the leader I want to be and the relationships I can continue to develop.
Rima: First, I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Amanda Libotte and Tracey Khan who are such dynamic leaders. Each of their conversations brings with it such insightful perspectives and there is so much to learn from them.
I am proud to be a part of this special women’s mentorship program for over a year. I feel privileged and grateful to Amanda for choosing me to represent the program from India and letting me support this initiative to bring amazing women together as a part of this experience. It is wonderful to see people with different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives come together, talk and be one. The mentor and mentee pairings that have been made are unique and powerful. Personally, the mentorship has given me encouragement, support and an avenue for greater learning and growth.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of mentorship?
Tracey: Support. A listening ear. A valid voice. Giving people someone to be able to talk to, with relevant experiences and perhaps a different perspective. I would have loved a mentor in my early career days – someone who could help me in my career. A supportive voice goes a long way!
Rima: Mentorship is a fantastic opportunity where any topic can be openly discussed. Mentors can give both personal and professional advice and constructive feedback based on their work and life experiences. There is a constant exchange of knowledge and sharing of different approaches that is valuable to both.
How do you think the inclusive culture at The Mill and Technicolor shapes our workplace?
Tracey: Working in a global network of super talented individuals is brilliant. Being able to talk to people from all around the world not only shapes you as an individual but in the way you do business.
Rima: The Mill values and appreciates the diversity we bring along with our varied backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. It is all about continuing to recognize and respect the differences we have and keep building a workplace culture that maintains it. The Mill is spread across countries and working together across sites is inherent to our work ethic. It is this beauty and multiplicity that we should keep aligning ourselves to.
Learn more about The Mill’s people and culture here.