Bernard Baidoo will shortly be relocating to Lagos, Nigeria (pictured above) to start a new role with McKinsey & Company – a new adventure that he believes was made possible thanks to the skills and experiences he gained during his MBA at Imperial College Business School
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career to date
I am a financial services professional with over a decade of experience in the banking sector, having graduated with a BSc in Pharmacology from University College London (UCL). Throughout my career at Lloyds Banking Group, I have taken on various roles, starting with the Graduate Leadership Programme, which exposed me to different aspects of the business. I have since progressed through roles in Capital Stress Testing and Investment Management.
Please explain your current role
As the head of technology for strategy execution at Lloyds Banking Group, my primary responsibility is to spearhead the development and implementation of the group’s technology strategy. This entails defining clear target outcomes aimed at simplifying and modernising our technology estate, enhancing its resilience and introducing a new operating model through the oversight of a federated platform delivery approach. These enhancements will allow the group to achieve substantial gross cost savings of around £1 billion underpinned by a transformed technology estate.
Where and when did you achieve your MBA?
Given family and work commitments, I chose the Weekend MBA programme at Imperial, beginning my studies in 2021 and graduating earlier this year. The part-time nature allowed me to continue working and earning whilst gaining new skills which I could apply directly to my professional life.
Why did you want to study for an MBA in the first instance? And why did you choose to do an MBA at this particular school?
I pursued an MBA to broaden my knowledge and skills, not only in areas such as strategy, finance, and technology where I had some experience, but to get a broader understanding of industries outside financial services, to complement my background and career in banking.
I chose Imperial College Business School for its outstanding reputation in delivering a rigorous and globally recognised MBA programme, which would equip me with the tools necessary to excel in my career and achieve my long-term goals.
What is the most interesting thing you learnt from your MBA?
The most rewarding aspect of my MBA journey was the opportunity to explore business dynamics in emerging markets during a trip to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. This experience allowed me to witness first-hand the innovation and entrepreneurship driving growth in these markets, providing valuable insights into different business models and approaches to problem-solving.
What were some of the challenges you faced when studying for an MBA?
Balancing the demands of the programme with my professional responsibilities was undoubtedly challenging. However, it taught me effective time management and prioritisation skills, enabling me to excel in both areas.
How has the MBA made a difference to your career path?
The MBA has significantly enhanced my strategic thinking, leadership and problem-solving capabilities, allowing me to take on more prominent roles within my organisation, including my current position. It has also opened doors to explore consulting opportunities, particularly in the African continent, where I am eager to contribute my skills and expertise.
In what ways have you taken what you have learned in your MBA into the organisation for which you work?
The MBA has allowed me to bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to my roles within Lloyds Banking Group. It has enabled me to develop and implement more effective strategies, optimise investment decisions and drive greater value for the organisation.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about studying for an MBA?
I would advise them to carefully consider their career goals and choose a programme that aligns with their aspirations. Additionally, be prepared for a rigorous academic journey and embrace the opportunity to network with diverse individuals who can enrich your learning experience and expand your professional network.
What are the next steps for you on your career journey?
I am eager to transition into consulting, particularly in Africa, where I can leverage my skills in strategy development, finance, technology and business transformation to drive positive impact and sustainable growth. To this end I will be starting a new role early in 2024, working for McKinsey & Company in Africa, which will provide me with this opportunity. I’ll be relocating to Lagos and serving clients across Africa – a new adventure made possible by the skills and experiences gained during my MBA at Imperial, particularly the business problem solving module presented by Dr Ian Mackenzie.