By Eve Lacroix (Communications Officer), Published

Cresida Rodrigues, Alexandra Iana and John Efstathiadis were announced as the winners of the Bayes Student Essay Competition 2023.

Winners and competition organisers Dr Thomas Robinson and Dr Sabrina Gottschalk at the Bayes Student Essay Competition award

This year’s theme was ‘What’s Next?’ and invited students across all levels and disciplines at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) to reflect on their time at Bayes, their futures and their student experiences in a shortform essay.

Over 40 essays were submitted and were judged by a panel of staff and faculty from Bayes and City.

The Bayes essay competition

The competition has run annually since 2017 and was launched by Dr Thomas Robinson, Associate Dean of Student Experience at Bayes, Dr Sabrina Gottschalk, Lecturer in Marketing and Professor Caroline Wiertz, Deputy Dean at Bayes.

Thomas and Sabrina teach classes of up to 60 nationalities and as teachers often think about how they can build community and a sense of belonging.

“Students are concerned about more than just rankings and metrics,” Thomas said. “They want to know if this is a place where they can grow as humans. As teachers, we want to support students in becoming who they want to be.”

For Sabrina, who co-launched the competition, the essays are a record of what it is like to study at Bayes.

“We wanted to know what is was like for students to study in such a multicultural place,” said Sabrina. “The essays give other potential students a window into what it would be like and feel like to study at Bayes. It’s wonderful to see how creative the students are.”

2023 winning essays

Cresida believes ‘que sera, sera’

Coming in first place was Cresida Rodrigues (MSc International Finance and Accounting), who hails from Goa and won £500.

Her essay reflected on the unpredictability of life and threaded the Doris Day song ‘Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)’ throughout.

She described the adaptability she needed to develop in planning for her future, which was marked by a transition into adulthood during the pandemic.

In London, she became more open-minded and believed studying at Bayes prepared her to succeed in an increasingly globalised world.

She said winning motivated her to revisit her old hobby of writing.

Alexandra sought inspiration in art

Placing second and winning £300 was second-year student Alexandra Iana (BSc Business Management), who comes from Romania.

Her essay drew parallels between art and advertising, the sector in which she hopes to pursue her career.

Thinking about her future at first was daunting. “My thought processes seemed constantly interrupted by a noisy and cloudy city,” she writes.

She describes being inspired by a musician on the Tube, playing a song on his guitar about finding your path.

“Ironically enough, my hope was restored right in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, famous for its chaotic energy.”

Success in the competition has inspired Alexandra to trust her voice more.

John goes to ‘the school of life’

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, a Greek poet, was student John Efstathiadis (MSc Marketing), who placed third and won £200.

His essay explored the anticipation, excitement, joy and pain of leaving his native Athens for London. In his essay, he described Bayes as the school of life.

John believed his essay resonated with the judges as people of all nationalities move to London seeking new opportunities.

Special mention

A special mention went to second-year student Imogen Hennell (BSc International Business, who submitted a moving first-person short story which described the passing of her best friend.

Fellow longlisted students were Merryl Assamoi (BSc Accounting & Finance), Joshua Baker (BSc Business & Finance), Mei Er-Hao (BSc Business Management, Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship), Andrea Rizzola (MSc Investment Management), Anshika Saddi (BSc Business Management), and Yau (Ivan) Wan (MSc Innovation, Creativity and Leadership).