SHE LEADS – With Nicki Mitchell

Job Title

Director of Talent Acquisition, Cox Enterprises

What would you tell your younger self?

Use your time wisely and always exercise.  Don’t procrastinate and make sure you are staying on top of projects, personal commitments, and work-life balance by planning ahead.  Ensure that you really do balance work and life – and know that exercise is an important way to transition from work to personal time.  It helps you clear your mind.

What was your major in college and how did you get to the position you are in today?

My major was Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management.  I thought I wanted to go into convention planning.  I was given a shot in a consulting firm specializing in executive recruiting by a family friend.  From there I joined a larger, international firm, and then transitioned to a couple of internal roles.  I had a friend that I spoke with about my current role at Cox.  She thought I would be a great fit and I have really enjoyed my time here!

What was your inspiration and what helped you become successful? How do you define success?

My mom is my inspiration.  She graduated college in 1969 and then went on to get her Master’s degree.  Not many women her age have a Master’s degree compared to today.  She was driven and a hard worker – always.  What helped me become successful at first was just getting things done.  Asking for the next thing to do and doing it.  Then I started showing other people how to do the things I had learned.  Success is finding work-life balance and enjoying what you do – regardless of your title or how much you are paid.

How do you balance your work and personal life? Often times one has more importance, and we’re curious to know how you’ve handled the balance.

For me, it’s about having a schedule.  Knowing that I have volunteer time scheduled, time scheduled to spend seeing my kids play sports, time to cook dinner, etc.  Having a fairly standard work day, helps me know what I have time for after hours, and where I can flex my time to do things during the day.  Also a strong faith base helps a lot, taking time to spend at church and meditating is important to me personally.

What is your favorite quote?

My work is something that I do, not what I am.  What I am is far greater than anything I can do.

What’s your favorite part of your job and why?

I love the Cox Talent Acquisition team and the businesses we help support.  There are some very talented people on these teams and it’s a pleasure to learn from them.

What is your favorite hobby?

I’m a crafter at heart.  I only wish I could paint better….

What advice do you want to give the next generation of women leaders?

Learn from as many different people as you can – surround yourself with people of diverse thoughts.  And remember, feedback is an opportunity to change, grow, improve, and learn.

What does leadership mean to you?

Being a leader means teaching others what you have learned along the way.  I also try to look for ways I can make things easier for those that report to me.  What can I do to help them be faster and better?  And it’s always remembering to never ask someone to do something you are not willing to do.

What’s your advice on mentoring?

Make time for mentoring relationships that happen naturally, but also look for more formal opportunities to receive mentoring.  It’s always a good idea to ask.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

I like ice cream, but love jelly beans!  Gimbal’s and Jelly Belly brands are my favorite!

Is there any other information that you think Girl Talk members would benefit from?

If you don’t feel like you can be you in the work place, you are in the wrong place.