Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Rory Fitzpatrick

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.


Rory is an MBA candidate at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Originally from Seattle, Rory graduated with honors from New York University with a double-major in Dramatic Writing and Film & Television and a minor in history. He moved back to the West Coast to work in the digital entertainment industry in Los Angeles. He has served in a variety of roles at Silicon Beach startups such as ZEFR, Jukin Media, and At ZEFR, Rory was at the forefront of digital entertainment by managing YouTube content for 10 major film and television studios. While at Jukin Media, Rory developed programming for online video platforms with over 1 billion monthly views, and helped produce the first network television show based off of a YouTube channel. Rory is also committed to helping his community through his involvement with the Trevor Project, a crisis and suicide intervention organization serving LGBTQ youth. Outside of his professional life, Rory is an avid traveler and enjoys following U.S. politics.

What made you consider business school?
My academic background is in the arts and as I grew professionally I learned about positions within my industry I had no idea even existed when I started out. I found that I was much more passionate about the business decisions I saw my colleagues in the entertainment industry making over the artistic challenges. I knew to switch gears and pivot to a different career path I would need to expand my skill set. I am hoping to wed my creative background with a strong business education in my time at Marshall to launch the next stage of my career.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am very eager to learn about industries, career paths, and roles that I may have not been very aware of before coming to business school. I hope to broaden my horizons by engaging with my diverse classmates as well as my professors. I am also looking forward to traveling and studying abroad with my classmates through USC’s PRIME program.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I am inspired by Abbe Land, CEO of the Trevor Project, for her outstanding career as an advocate for underrepresented communities. I recently read a biography of David Geffen and I was struck by his perseverance and vision as he navigated his professional career. Most of all, I am inspired by my father who has mentored me and made me the person I am today.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I have lost count of how many times I have reread “Game of Thrones”.

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