Taking the long view
Stuart Jagot, the School’s new Director of Careers Development, is helping students benefit from an Oxford Saïd education long after they graduate.
Words: Leah Milner
Portrait: Greg Funnell
Employers, whether they are multinationals, SMEs, governments or charities, need to attract and acquire high-potential, promotable talent, and that need has only increased in this volatile, complex world,’ says Stuart Jagot, who joined Saïd Business School as Director of Careers Development in June. ‘The Oxford Saïd MBA develops leaders for that world.’
Jagot's role is to prepare students for the challenges of professional life, help them to establish their own network and inspire them to realise their career potential. He says: ‘Our purpose is to inspire students and alumni to embrace lifelong career development and help them to become the best that they can be.
We work to prepare students and alumni for career transitions and to re-engage and connect alumni back to the school community. Finally, we partner with employers to recruit and develop our students.’
Prior to joining Oxford Saïd, Jagot’s own career took him from Coca-Cola Enterprises, where he was a European Human Resources Business Partner in charge of talent development, to the London Business School, where he was Head of Professional Development.
For Jagot, like many of the MBA students that he supports, Oxford’s rich history and thriving academic community were a huge draw. He says: ‘No other business school in Europe has the breadth of faculty research or can offer such a multidisciplinary approach. I believe it is perhaps the most global of learning experiences. There are more research disciplines in the social science division at Oxford than any other European university. The MBA here is a co-curricular experiential learning programme and academics across the University are tackling the big issues like climate change, water scarcity, the world’s ageing population and the future of work.’
The Careers Development Centre, which Jagot oversees, has five key programmes. Firstly, the employer campus programme, which forges links with large companies and other employers. Some organisations with large-scale recruitment needs, such as Amazon, McKinsey & Co and investment banks and financial services firms, hold interview days on campus to hire MBA students.
A second key programme is talent development, which includes skills and leadership workshops, and gives every student the chance to apply for an executive coach to help them for the duration of their studies.
Jagot explains: ‘It’s a really competitive offer that very few schools have. We’ve got a pool of about 24 executive coaches. The agenda and goals are set by the student, and range from leadership development to life coaching to career development. It’s designed to help them develop their strengths and close the gaps.’
Thirdly, the Careers Development Centre runs the Oxford Saïd Finance Lab, in conjunction with the Private Equity Institute, the finance faculty and the programme office. It prepares students for a career in investment banking or financial services.
Alongside this, there is a consulting development programme to help students with the strategy consulting selection process.
‘Experiential, out-of-classroom learning is very important at Oxford Saïd’
Finally, there is a mindfulness programme, which Jagot says is a key differentiator. ‘It is very unusual for an MBA because it takes students away from their studies and gives them a chance to reflect. It is a holistic approach to leadership and professional development,’ he says.
Experiential, out-of-classroom learning is very important at Oxford Saïd, says Jagot. For example, students can take strategic consulting projects over the summer, where they work in small teams to solve real problems for multinationals, SMEs or governments.
Networking skills are at the heart of the MBA programme – and the careers development element in particular – and Jagot believes that the international dimension of the School is especially valuable. ‘More than 90% of students come from outside of the UK, so you have an international, high-potential class of professionals learning from each other. It means that students are building an international network for themselves which is key to career success.’
‘We offer a one-to-one career coaching service to alumni’
Students continue to benefit from their ties to Oxford Saïd long after their graduation, and for those who are newly qualified, the highly developed alumni network is also a vital support. ‘We have quite a powerful proposition in that we offer a one-to-one career coaching service to alumni,’ says Jagot. ‘We also engage them through the Oxford Business Networks and the Oxford Business Alumni Network’
One of Jagot’s key aims in his new role is to help the links between current students and alumni grow stronger still.
‘In 2017, I want to work more closely with alumni to develop our students through that community learning model of alumni and students partnering together,’ he says.
To find out more about Saïd Business School’s Careers Development Centre, including its Talent Development Programme, visit here.