Communications Coordinator/Global Gaming Capital Coordinator for the International Gaming Institute
Years at UNLV: 5 years, first as a student and now as a full-time employee
Nicole Schultz is known for her enthusiasm about all things UNLV and about life in general. She is a first-generation graduate of UNLV and a born-and-raised Las Vegan. She works to elevate the reputation and brand of the International Gaming Institute through her regular features in the UNLV News Center and as a freelance writer for local publications, including M Life Magazine, Las Vegas Weekly and Global Gaming Business Magazine.
Her experience with IGI began as student employee on a three-person team. That was five years ago. Since then, she graduated from the Honors College with a major in communications ('17 BA Communication Studies) and launched her career as the unit’s first communications coordinator and Global Gaming Capital coordinator. In this role, she spearheads communications, marketing, and social media for her unit. Schultz also is an avid environmentalist who drives a Prius, grows vegetables in the UNLV Campus Community Garden, and goes to great lengths to recycle.
What trait do you like most about yourself?
I have a lot of enthusiasm for life. Life is so much fun for me because I get excited about all the little things. I get excited when a barista remembers my name and order. I get excited when I go to the community garden and see a sunflower has bloomed, or when it’s time to harvest the beets, cabbage, and carrots I grow there. I get excited when I write a feature story and see my name in print. Every day, I find something new to be grateful for.
What trait would you most like to change?
Well, there is a trait I’d like to change, but it’s not a character trait. I’m really allergic to animals, but it is a dream of mine to someday adopt a special-needs dog. Like this one; I’ll show you (pulls out her cell phone and quickly produces a video of a little dog wheeling itself around in a DIY doggie wheelchair). I think most people would prefer a cute, healthy, perfect puppy, but I just love special-needs animals. They deserve a happy life as much as the healthy ones. And I think they’re cute! I just wish I wasn’t allergic to animals.
Tell us about a woman who has been a mentor to you.
Katherine Jackson, associate director of the International Gaming Institute, is definitely my mentor. She has really helped me grow and develop. She is the one who hired me as a student worker and then encouraged me to apply for the job I have now. She is supportive, and even if you do something wrong, she’ll let you know and give you a chance to fix it. I feel very lucky that I can have bi-weekly meetings with my direct supervisor. I love getting her feedback. She has taught me a lot about photography and best practices in graphic design. She also encouraged me to attend my first professional development conference at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Washington. That was an incredible experience.
If you could learn to master one thing, what would it be?
Becoming a morning person. I’ve always been a night owl. I’m getting better, but I’m not a fully functioning human being until I’ve had my Starbucks grande hot coconut milk latte. Preferably in a personal cup, to reduce single-use plastic waste.
What did you do the last time you took time off?
Time off is so necessary to refocus, reset, and recharge! For Thanksgiving, I spent time with family and friends, watched a ton of movies, and finished reading a book. But I also took a little time off around Halloween, which is my favorite holiday, and went to Disneyland. Halloween is arguably the best time to be in Disneyland. I don’t even mind the lines. In fact, I make friends with people in line!
What chore do you hate doing?
I live in a condo and we don’t have recycling. I still recycle at home and every two weeks I cart all my recyclables to Rebel Recycling, which fortunately is right by my office. Why is there not universal recycling in Vegas?
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I had big dreams of becoming an actress or a singer. I did not play with toys and instead preferred the arts and crafts table that my mom stocked with everything from glitter and paper and glue to bits of cloth and buttons, etc. I preferred to decorate and play with the boxes my toys came in, and not the toys themselves. I definitely wanted to be a creative of some sort.
Do you have any advice for young women starting careers on campus?
Going from a full-time student to a full-time employee can be tricky. I’d say, take advantage of opportunities, and definitely find a good mentor or mentors. Use Google Calendar for everything. Life can get really busy and there are so many things to juggle. Use that calendar for your personal and professional life. Doing so helps me feel like I’m on top of all the components of my life.