Meet Nicole Hunt, a Division Vice President for Extra Space Storage, who expertly oversees the company’s considerable footprint in Arizona and New Mexico. With a passion for problem-solving and a commitment to helping others succeed in their careers, Nicole is a key figure in promoting a positive company culture. In this article, we asked Nicole to share about her career journey and how she finds fulfillment in her job.
How long have you been with Extra Space?
I’ve been with Extra Space for almost four years. I started as a District Manager in the San Diego market.
How did your career path lead you to Extra Space?
Before Extra Space, I worked at Starbucks, another company known for its culture. Company culture is critical in choosing where I want to work because we spend so much time at our jobs. To be in a place where I feel valued, respected, and fulfilled is what drew me here and keeps me here.
What do you like most about your current position?
For me, it’s always the people and relationships we build. I meet hundreds of employees working hard to achieve their goals in my role. Along the way, I hear their stories of how they came to be who they are. And how incredible are all of our stories! They’re unique and challenging but also intriguing and inspiring. You can learn so much about yourself and the world by hearing other’s perspectives and stories. On the business side, I also appreciate finding a problem and the feeling of solving it. I get to look at over 150 stores and help remove obstacles. It’s so fulfilling to know you’ve made an impact.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
Stay curious about anything and everything. You learn incredible skills and knowledge by just asking questions. I was that kid who endlessly bugged their parents about why things happened or how things worked. Sorry, Mom! But seriously, you become a better problem solver and innovator if you learn to ask questions. More importantly, you become a better leader and supporter of those around you.
Which experience(s) in your career influenced who you are today?
There’s not one single experience, but it’s more about all the setbacks I’ve faced throughout my career. Career growth doesn’t happen in a straight line for most of us, and it definitely isn’t easy. The setbacks have taught me perseverance. Of course, take a moment to care for yourself during challenging times, but then bounce back—even if it means bouncing back in a different direction than what you originally envisioned for yourself.
What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your career?
The most fulfilling aspect is supporting the growth of others, both in and outside of work. Whether it’s helping someone achieve a promotion or helping them decide on a different career path they love, if you genuinely care about the success of others, it’s the most rewarding feeling to watch them achieve it. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy sometimes, but it’s always worth it!
This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) leaders. Interested in a career with Extra Space? Visit our careers page to learn more about our culture and current job openings.