Mom, how come you have so much fun at work?’
This was the question my six year old daughter asked me a week ago when she spent the day with me at The Animation School where I work. At the time I didn’t respond with anything more than: ‘because I love what I do sweety’, and for her that was enough… but, it got me thinking – what is it that fuels my love for what I do?
Looking back over the 14 years spent at Constantia Waldorf and the adventures I’ve had since finishing school in 1998, I have consistently been driven by my curiosity and desire for learning; to seek out situations where I feel that I can contribute, where I can grow, and where I can share experiences with people who are passionate about what they do. I feel fortunate that throughout my schooling, these innate needs were supported and nurtured. I was encouraged to explore and to question and I’m grateful that my curiosity for learning was cultivated by teachers who cared deeply. The class 12 project is an amazing example of this; where we were able to define exactly what we wanted to learn and to plan how we would achieve the intended result while being mentored and guided.
My curiosity together with my love for beauty, led me to sail across the South and North Atlantic via small remote islands, to scuba dive in the most spectacular oceans, to climb volcanoes, to venture into the Sahara Desert and to explore and work in many other amazing places. I was employed as a cook and dive-master on a boat in Key West, and I studied Spanish in Costa Rica. I later lived and worked in Italy and Croatia, before returning home to Cape Town in 2005 to teach interior design and head up the academic department at BHC School of Design, where I had previously complete my Diploma in Interior Design. During my time at the school I was instrumental in the development of their programmes as well as the restructuring of the institution in order to meet the criteria required successfully to register as a legal private higher education institution.
I soon discovered that there were several other colleges that were overwhelmed by this process and needed support and guidance to achieve the level of education that was required for them to legally operate. I was thus inspired to start a higher education consultancy and have subsequently supported the transformation of over 10 institutions and facilitated the development of numerous programmes. I have also created a network of institutions where we share our positive experiences as well as our challenges in a space that is inspiring and helps to continuously improve the quality of teaching and learning within our respective organizations. I now head up the academic department at The Animation School and am working towards achieving our vision of offering one of the best programmes in animation in the world.
Each of my career changes and life decisions have been motivated by my curiosity, my desire for learning, and my passion to make a positive difference in this world. However, without the support of my family, my friends, my peers, my teachers and my mentors I would not have had the courage to follow my heart and take the risks to seek out the work that I love and the life that I want to live and for this I am truly grateful.