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Student story

Simon Shelton - recipient

07 December 2023

The trajectory of Simon Shelton's professional journey was forever altered by a pivotal moment in 2011. Entrusted with the role of Winter Base Leader at Antarctica New Zealand, he embarked on an extraordinary expedition of leadership in one of the most remote and extreme environments on earth. Read Simon's story.


This experience ignited a fervour for learning and leadership that led Simon to contemplate pursuing an MBA program. In a serendipitous turn, his path intersected with the Leadership in Practice course at the Leadership Development Centre (LDC) in Wellington. Here, he encountered Dr. Peter Cammock, whose teachings ignited a spark that set Simon on the path to the UC MBA program at Canterbury University. Overcoming initial doubts, Simon seized the opportunity to further hone his leadership skills and immerse himself in contemporary business knowledge.

Central to Simon's transformative journey was The Ben Gough Family Foundation (BGFF) Leaders Scholarship, which played an instrumental role in shaping his growth. More than a financial support system, the scholarship encapsulated a profound commitment from Ben and Penny, trustees of the Foundation, to his development. From the moment he received the call announcing his success, Simon felt the unwavering backing of the Foundation and the wider Gough Family office team. This support extended beyond the financial realm to genuine mentorship and networking opportunities that enriched his perspective.

The personalized leadership coaching and mentorship embedded in the scholarship program were a cornerstone of Simon's growth. Sessions with experts like Tom Coupe and the mentorship from Rob Waddell provided him with invaluable guidance and a safe space to explore ideas, challenges, and aspirations. These interactions not only honed Simon's leadership capabilities but also imparted wisdom that transcended the academic sphere, fostering a holistic approach to life and leadership.

As Simon navigated his UC MBA journey, he discovered a profound synergy between the program's modern approach and his evolving aspirations. The curriculum, with its emphasis on data-driven strategies, agile problem-solving, and technology, resonated deeply with his commitment to adapt and excel in the ever-changing business landscape. The flexibility of the program, enriched by online options and a roster of distinguished faculty, mirrored the dynamic and diverse nature of modern business.

Through The Ben Gough Family Foundation Leaders Scholarship, Simon gained more than an academic experience; he gained a network that became a springboard for personal and professional growth. The scholarship's partnership with UC Business School and the Gough Family Office provided opportunities for engagement, interaction, and collaboration that extended beyond the classroom. This interconnectedness amplified the impact of the scholarship, creating a symbiotic relationship between Simon's journey and the wider business community.

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