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I Lead A CEO Coaching Program For Deloitte — And An Online MBA Is Improving My Work

It’s Nicola Baggott’s job to know what’s keeping bosses up at night

Thu May 26 2016

As a head of executive transition labs at the Big Four professional services firm Deloitte, it’s Nicola Baggott’s job to know what’s keeping chief executives up at night.

And by plugging into a triple-accredited online MBA at the UK’s Aston Business School, she’s able to apply directly what she learns into the workplace.

A digital degree gives Nicola the freedom to study on her own terms — something that is attracting a growing number of young business managers to cyber space. She continues to work full-time and has converted her spare room into a study.

Previously, Nicola worked as CFO program manager and before that as an assistant manager at Deloitte. The London-based transition master also holds a bachelor’s degree in business management.

When and why did you decide to get an MBA? 

To be honest, I hadn’t really given an MBA too much thought until I was presented with the opportunity to do one, last September. I had always thought they sounded like they would take over your life, cost the earth and cover topics that weren’t wholly relevant to my job. When the opportunity was presented to me, via Aston Business School, it didn’t take me long to realize that I was wrong and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

Why online?

Online, for me, is the best way to study — it means you can dictate your own hours, study in the comfort of your own home (the second bedroom is now my study!) and fit work and personal life around the MBA.

I couldn’t recommend it enough — it is a very empowering way to learn. Yes, you need to be more self-disciplined than if you were studying for a classroom-based MBA. But being able to do all of the work at home (including exams), gives you the freedom to learn in a way that suits you best. It certainly makes it more enjoyable, and (slightly) more relaxed.

Why Aston Business School? 

Aston Business School has an affiliation with Deloitte and has a triple-accredited MBA. The teaching is of a very high standard and many of the lecturers have worked in industry, so are able to integrate theory with practice in an engaging way.

What does your role at Deloitte involve? 

I lead a coaching program, where we help newly appointed C-suite executives achieve successful transitions into their new roles. The coaching is delivered by a number of people who I coordinate. I feel very privileged to be working with the leaders of PLC companies and getting to understand their key priorities, and what’s keeping them up at night.

What are your top tips for getting hired by Deloitte? 

Perseverance! And relationships, which for me meant I could ask the silly questions before the interview. I didn’t get the first job I applied for at Deloitte, but ensured I developed a good relationship with the HR lead for my area of the business. Relationships are the lifeline of our business. I am a strong believer that we are better connected than on our own.

Are you able to apply your learning immediately into the workplace? 

Most definitely. The fact that you are blending your academic learning with the challenges at work, helping to drive value, definitely helps justify the late nights sat in the spare room!