We’re so proud of our Class of 2023. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done all of this during a pandemic when life – and student life – changed beyond recognition. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.
Wed 5 Jul 23
Gaming sparked Matt Fejt’s interest in the processes of virtual economies and how in-game inflation drives player engagement, and this is what he wanted to explore further at university.
Matt chose Essex due to its strong focus on research, and once here, not only did he extend his knowledge of the stock market and financial sector, he also helped ensure other students had opportunities to develop the skills they need to get noticed by employers.
Matt, who came from the Czech Republic to study, graduates this summer from Economics with a BA Management Economics. This has combined the study of economic principles with business application, allowing Matt to develop a holistic understanding of the modern world economy.
He says: “The University has an immense pool of talent in its international community of students, and The City is not leveraging this. We are not a Russell Group university, and many students do not have the personal relationships and contacts that are a traditional route into this industry, so I was excited to be involved in setting up a scheme that gives us a chance to level the playing field.”
“I was aware that the student body at Essex could do with the extra help to give them a chance to get real-life experience in managing external funds and promote collaboration and networking among same-minded individuals. So I participated in the setting up of the Student Investment and Trading Fund with support from lecturers in Economics and Essex Business School, together with some genuinely inspirational alumni of the University.
“The primary challenge has been developing the fund structure. Only a few universities in the UK have a student investment fund, and usually, the team size does not eclipse ten members. I want to help as many students as possible and allow beginners with a passion for finance to join. So I studied the structure of family offices and trust funds supported by alumni working in asset management. Now Essex has developed a multi-division fund that could accommodate up to 25 students in the coming academic year.
Describing the highlights of his studies, Matt goes on: “While my course has given me a solid theoretical foundation, the student investment fund helped bring those theories to life. Seeing market analysis, risk assessment, and portfolio diversification translated into real investment decisions was really exciting. Developing the practical application of economic theories helped solidify my understanding of the subject and reinforced the importance of academic knowledge in real-world scenarios.”
Alongside his studies, Matt also had an internship in the energy service department at the electric car manufacturer Tesla. This was extended, and after graduation, Matt has secured a permanent job and is moving to Amsterdam to take up a full-time role as program manager.
Matt says: “When I arrived at Essex, I dreamt of becoming an investment banker. Studying here has given me the skills to rethink my goals, and I am really looking forward to the next phase in my life. A new country and a new job.”