Media Releases

Rotman School MBA Graduates Named as “MBAs to Watch” by Poets&Quants

August 9, 2017

Toronto, ON – Two graduates of the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have been named to the Poets&Quants “MBAs to Watch” list, which highlights 100 successful MBA graduates from around the world.

Aqeela Nanji, MBA’17, and Phil Gazaleh, MGA/17, were the only two students from a Canadian business school named to the list, which originated from nominations submitted by over 60 MBA programs for Poets&Quants Best & Brightest” MBAs feature from earlier this year.

Nanji was the President of The Letters, the School’s LGBTQ and allies club, where she created a program specifically for closeted students who are mostly from other countries and also organized an inaugural student panel on diversity and inclusion initiatives for 350 first-year MBA students. She was the recipient of both a Forte Foundation fellowship and a Reaching Out MBA fellowship.

“I have been extraordinarily impressed with Aqeela’s accomplishments while at the Rotman School. They extend her already excellent history of community activism and engagement. What is remarkable about Aqeela is her sensitivity to important intersections in our community between gender, sexual orientation, race and class,” says Prof. Sarah Kaplan, who is also director of the School’s Institute for Gender + the Economy.

While at the Rotman School, Gazaleh was a founder of the first MGA/MBA Student Association and was the recipient of a Reaching Out MBA fellowship. He also participated in the Rotman OnBoard program where he supported the work of a board of a non-profit organization and continued to participate with Start Proud (formally Out on Bay Street) which facilitates the professional development of LGBTQ and allies students as they transition from school to career.

“An image of a directional sign to the restrooms from one of our conferences appears in my inbox. With it a list of simple suggestions on how to create “all gendered” bathrooms at Rotman appears in the text. Since the day Phil arrived at Rotman he’s always been a “roll up my sleeves and help build the solution” type of student leader. When referencing the type of culture and student community we want at Rotman, I often refer to examples that directly involve Phil,” says Neel Joshi, Director, Student Life & International Experience.

Profiles of Nanji and Gazeleh are online at Poets&Quants as well as the story for the entire list.

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business and societal challenges.  For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Tel: 416-946-3818