Leadership Spotlight featuring Nicole Schuck
Thursday, March 28, 2024
by: Melanie Bamba Milinkevich, President of BOMA San Diego + Chief Operating Officer of RSI Roofing

Section: Leadership Spotlight

Nicole Schuck is a Senior Real Estate Manager at Intersection as well as the current Treasurer of BOMA San Diego. Nicole is also honored as our 2023 Board Member of the Year and the very first TOBY winner for a retail property in San Diego!

Nicole’s vast experience includes managing large and small commercial properties, and she’s touched everything from office, industrial and retail. Her current portfolio spans San Diego and several other cities across the nation. 

Nicole is a graduate of the Art Institute of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s of Science in Advertising.


BOMA San Diego: Nicole, what an incredible 2023 you had for BOMA! A TOBY, the October Emergency Preparedness Luncheon, and your Board Member of the Year award! It’s no wonder why you have joined the Executive Committee this year! One of the hardest things about BOMA leadership is getting property managers involved on a consistent basis. It’s our biggest challenge and our biggest criticism. What would you say to managers, assistant managers, and even admins about why they should get involved and how has it helped you in your professional career? 


Nicole: Working relationships. I’ve met some amazing people through the organization, who are now dear friends in my personal life as well. These are people that if you are trouble, they will drop everything, put up the war banners, and yell “We ride at Dawn!”. I’ve never seen such a supportive group of people that are part of this organization, that are willing to help, always. 


It also gives you a peak at how people and companies work and operate. The associate members that I use most on my property are active members in BOMA. I’ve sat next to them on committee meetings, collaborated with them on projects, and have relied on them to help solve problems. Those members that are reliable and dependable at a BOMA event makes me want to do business with them! 


BOMA San Diego: You have also advocated to see Associate Members rise through the ranks in Chair roles and on the Board of Directors – please share why it’s important to have both voices (Property Managers + Service Providers), serving in a leadership capacity. 


Nicole: Associate Members are the backbone of this organization. Without them and their support there would be no BOMA. It’s important to get feedback frequently on the challenges they are facing and help support their needs. I think one of the goals is to have Associate Members play key leadership roles within our organization to encourage more Principal members into leadership roles within our organization. Associate Members are our biggest recruitment tool, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today, without their help and support. 


BOMA San Diego: I personally witnessed you come in as a membership scholarship recipient, then as an education scholarship recipient, to joining the board, to submitting for your first TOBY, to joining the Executive Board. It’s the model success story for someone trying to build a career in this industry. What advice would you give to an Emerging Professional that wants to follow in your footsteps? 


Nicole: Shout, don’t speak your personal goals, so that everyone can hear. Once of the biggest regrets I have in my BOMA career was not speaking up enough on what I wanted to get out the organization and just going along for the ride. You need to be an advocate for yourself and tell anyone in a leadership role what you want to do in this organization. If you listen and collaborate with others and are willing to help, don’t be afraid of speaking up or giving your opinion. Just remember that you need to back up your opinion by acting on your beliefs, too.   


BOMA San Diego: I know that you’re looking to push our DEI efforts this year, and I applaud you wholeheartedly for that – why is that important for you?


Nicole: It’s a lot of reasons, most of them would require more time to go into detail and me needing at least one cocktail to go over everything and getting extremely salty about the current state of the world. But when it comes down to it, I grew up poor with many challenges and I know what it’s like to sit in a meeting with someone who clearly doesn’t come from the same background as you, I know what it feels like to have all the skills and experience in the world but you still feel like an imposter, I know what feels like when someone makes a inappropriate comment to you, and you’re just expected to smile and take it, the list goes on and on, and I’m only a straight white women! I can only imagine how much harder it is for people of color, someone from the LGBTQ community, or someone who has a disability that is trying to become a leader in our industry. 


My goal for establishing DEI is to build a foundation for the future of our industry and pass that baton to someone who had to overcome adversity too and is as passionate about the topic as I am. So many people don’t realize how DEI initiatives help us support emerging leaders and recruit more people to our industry. 


BOMA San Diego: You and I have talked about the importance of mental health – is there anything that you want to share to help destigmatize and promote mental health awareness?


Nicole: I’m popping my daily mid-day dose of Wellbutrin now, actually!  Mental Health is something I’ve struggled with since I was 15 years old, and I’ve been open with that battle for the past 2 years. After the birth of my son and coming right out of COVID, I really struggled with Postpartum Depression, and I had some extremely supportive people at my company who encouraged me to take care of myself, which I never knew how to do in my whole lifetime. Putting myself first is something that was completely foreign to me and had a tough time grasping. I was officially diagnosed with CPTSD about a year ago. It was an eye-opening experience on how I treated my relationships, my ongoing addiction to stress, and how my people pleasing nature was going to kill me physically one day. EMDR Therapy has been a game changer, and for anyone struggling I highly recommend researching it. There are a lot of other people in our industry who have had the same struggles as me, so my goal is just to be open about this struggle I deal with on a daily basis, so they know they are not alone. 


BOMA San Diego: This year marked your very first trip to Washington D.C., attending the BOMA International Winter Business Meeting with the Executive Committee. The majority of membership don’t know what we’re doing there – they might just see some pictures of us in heavy jackets. What did you learn while we were there and what do you look forward to on your return trip in 2026?


Nicole: First off, it’s like the next level of our Government Affairs committee, but at a national level. There is also a level of responsibility that we need to be more aware of as Californians. Any new laws or bills that are passed usually start in our state, and start moving to the East Coast in time. So, it’s extremely important for us to advocate for us to voice our concerns on making sure the right bills get passed, and stopping the ones that could become the next joke or punchline on a late-night talk show. I’m really looking forward to meeting our local Congress members again in 2026 and ensuring we have a good working relationship with our local and state governments.


BOMA San Diego: As a fellow mother who had children a little later in life (cheers to geriatric pregnancies!), your son Bruce is about to turn three!! We’re certainly in different life spaces than some of the younger people that are procreating. What would you say to the established career woman that is about to embark on that journey? 


Nicole: I remember when I hit 40. I was six months pregnant, big as a house, and in the middle of COVID lockdown. I couldn’t even have a celebratory drink! Thankfully, I had some amazing friends that door dashed me some goodies and left little presents at my door. But if I could go back in time to tell pre-baby Nicole anything, the amount of time I spent planning and organizing goes completely out of the window when the baby comes. Embrace the chaos and just go along with the ride. Be kind to yourself and go to your doctor to discuss your Postpartum depression and hormones. My biggest regret was not enjoying the moment and time I had with my little one. I was too worried and stuck in my anxiety bubble about work and being a horrible mother. 


BOMA San Diego: On a similar note, do you have any work life balance? What advice do you have for the career parents out there?


Nicole: You hear a lot about work-life balance, and I truly believe that if you are a working mother in a leadership role in this industry, it just doesn’t exist on a daily basis. Every day you are going to fail in one aspect, and that’s ok. You can’t succeed being a perfect mom AND a leader in your industry in the same day, it’s such a weird expectation that society places on us. There’s a week when you are going to be working late and seeing your kid for only a few hours in the week, and there are some weeks when you can get home on time and bake cookies with your kids. It’s a bit like a roller coaster, that goes up and goes down, you just need to be able to pivot quickly back and forth between the two worlds. 


BOMA San Diego: In terms of your leadership style, what advice do you have for managers that are responsible for overseeing a team? How do you motivate the people that work for you? 


Nicole: Admit when you’re wrong and failed at something in front of your people. I always hated it when you had a supervisor that would never own their mistakes, and you were left fixing an issue that they caused. It creates so much animosity and puts the rest of the group in this self-protection mode and where more mistakes get made and it can spread like a virus through a company. 


BOMA San Diego: A few rapid fire questions for you. Favorite cocktail? 


Nicole: Old Fashioned


BOMA San Diego: Favorite type of food? 


Nicole: Sushi


BOMA San Diego: Favorite band? 


Nicole: Not a band, but a musician… I’m a Sturgill Simpson fanatic. 


BOMA San Diego: Favorite leadership book?  


Nicole: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz


Thank you for being an amazing BOMA Leader, Nicole!