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Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Simon Ellis

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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.



Simon is an MBA candidate in the class of 2019 at London Business School. Prior to joining LBS, he spent three and a half years working for Finsbury, a WPP-owned financial public relations company. During this time, he principally advised clients from Russia and the CIS region, focusing on reputation and crisis management issues, as well as M&A and IPO work. Simon studied Modern and Medieval Languages (German and Russian) at the University of Cambridge, spending his third year abroad in Moscow working for a French law firm. Outside of work and studies, Simon is a keen runner, swimmer, reader and Netflix-watcher.

What made you consider business school?
I felt that it was the right time to make a change in my career and develop new skills for the next chapter of my working life. In the last few years, I have become very aware that I don’t have a business education, so the MBA will allow me to gain a more rounded skill set and improve my leadership abilities to set me up well for my career going forward. Ultimately, I want to push myself to be the best I can be.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’ve been so impressed by the people I have met at the admit events, so I really can’t wait to meet the rest of the 2019 cohort. I think the admissions committees at many schools do a brilliant job of compiling a diverse, talented and interesting class. I consider myself fortunate to be able to learn from them over the next two years.     I am also looking forward to having a second chance at being a student. In hindsight, I wish I had been more involved with various clubs and the LGBT community at undergrad, so this is a great opportunity for me to do it right.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Billie Jean King for being a trailblazer, both for the LGBT community and for women. She has been a role model for decades, even during times when attitudes were less tolerant than they are today.  Richard Branson for being a strong advocate for greater diversity and equality. He understands that we need to continually reinforce positive messaging to foster inclusive workplaces.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I am obsessed with tennis. I play all year round, I travel to watch tournaments, I even watch it on my phone on the commute. I practise my swing (without a racket) walking around my apartment and have damaged several walls and light fittings in the process.

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