Class of 2016 Success Stories: Forging new business leaders

Google’s Nicole Anguilm is ready to take career to next level with Master of Organization Development

By Bob Cunningham

Nicole Anguilm has always had a knack for organizational leadership, and now she has a master’s degree to back it up.

Anguilm lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., and works for Google, where she is the product training manager and global solutions lead for the company’s AdWords division. She graduated on Aug. 6 with a Master of Organization Development degree from Bowling Green State University’s College of Business Administration.

The Executive Master of Organization Development (EMOD) program helps develop change leadership skills necessary for success in today’s global landscape. The program emphasizes professional development to become a better leader.

Anguilm’s undergraduate degree is in economics and management from Albion College in Michigan. After she graduated she started at Google right away, and has worked there for more than eight years. 

“For the past five years I’ve been working in sales strategy and training within our AdWords organization,” Anguilm said. “And a lot of that was, for example, launching the new site in Denmark or launching new workflows that we were rolling out globally — different projects in which we just had to figure things out. Going through some of those processes I discovered organizational development was a field where there was theory and study behind how strategic change took place.

“I was learning it by doing, and I wanted the the opportunity to learn the theory and basics behind it.”

At that point Anguilm was working at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and she decided she didn’t want to get her master’s in San Francisco.

“I had worked in tech my whole life and everyone in a (San Francisco) cohort would also be in tech,” she said. “I wanted a cohort experience where I could get in-depth experience from my peers, and from talking to some of the professors and alumni from the Bowling Green program that seemed like it definitely would be what I’d be able to get.”

Google allowed her to transfer to Ann Arbor and a month later she started her master’s at BGSU. The EMOD program consisted of a 22-member cohort, which met one weekend a month — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — at BGSU’s Levis Commons executive center in Perrysburg. The rest of the course was done in group work online. 

Now that Anguilm has a master’s in organizational leadership, she looks forward to putting her training into practice.

“A lot of what we’ve learned centers around discovering your passion, understanding your purpose, looking at an organization as a whole, getting everyone involved. It has really helped me to foster the environment in the teams that I work with,” she said. “I can help leaders in teams understand who they are as a leader, what their unique leadership trait is, and how they can find a place where they can utilize that well and then how they can work as a team collectively to develop vision and strategic plans that they all buy into so that they can all move forward.”

Even though she feels like she developed some leadership skills organically before she enrolled at BGSU, now Anguilm feels like she’s “able to communicate it much clearer instead of this gut feeling that I had.”

“I’ve been given frameworks and research that help me explain it to others,” she said. “I’ve become much more confident in my ability to lead discussions and facilitate and introduce these concepts into the work that I’m doing.” 

Anguilm’s EMOD coursework also had another benefit she hadn’t planned to experience. Anguilm travels by herself a lot for work, visiting Google’s offices in Europe and Asia. She hadn’t expected to enjoy introducing some new experiences and cultures to her cohort when they all traveled to France for an international program during one of their classes.  

“I’m not sure how that insight is going to affect my career, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to somewhat change the direction of it,” Anguilm said. “I’ve learned through this program that creating a space for people to have a new perspective and seeing things in a different way enables innovation and creativity. It definitely will be a part of my career in the future.”