Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Phil Gazaleh

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs.  Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Over 25 MBA programs will be party of the Fellowship for the 2015-2016 application cycle.  To learn how you can express interest in the Fellowship, click here

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the first class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 25 fellows come from 18 top business schools and over the next few weeks we’ll introduce each of them to you.


Phil Gazaleh is in the second year of a three year combined Master of Global Affairs and MBA program at the University of Toronto. Born in Ottawa, Canada, he spent a year working as a mountain guide in the Swiss Alps before majoring in Economics and Political Science at the University of Ottawa and on exchange at VU Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Phil worked in marketing and business development prior to his graduate studies where he rebranded an executive search firm and expanded it into the Toronto market. He spent the first summer of graduate studies interning with the World Bank Group’s External and Corporate Relations vice-presidency. Phil volunteers his time on several boards and organizing committees, most recently organizing an all-candidates’ federal election debate for local candidates in Toronto, a career week for students in his graduate program, and a national LGBTQA professional leadership awards program and related scholarship program with Out On Bay Street. He also contributes as a Compliance Director to the G20 Research Group, auditing members’ compliance with their macroeconomic and fiscal commitments.

What made you consider business school?
The most interesting and challenging projects I have worked on in my professional and volunteer experiences involved sophisticated management and governance. I chose to study global affairs and management together in order to equip myself with both a deep knowledge of the actors and drivers at the core of the world’s most complex issues and with skills that enable me to use data, models, and innovative thinking to address those issues.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
Two aspects of the Rotman school of Management that I am more excited about are the diversity of its cohort and the models-based decision making at the core of its curriculum.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
My parents met in theatre school and they both work in performing arts, so I have a soft spot for theatre, dance, and live music.

What are you doing during the summer before you start business school?
I spent the summer before business school completing an internship as part of my global affairs degree at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

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