Students Staff

25 April 2013

Essex’s entrepreneurial students reach final of national competition

The University of Essex Team Phoenix

(left to right) Gregoris Loizou, Katerina Koliovska, Adelina Ponta and Raymond Tannor

Student entrepreneurs from the University of Essex have seen off competition from the universities of Cambridge, Warwick and Durham to reach the final of the 2013 National Student Apprentice (NSA) Challenge.

The Essex students, collectively known as Team Phoenix, competed against six other universities for the £5,000 top prize at the final held in London. They came extremely close to taking the top prize, but eventually had to settle for third place.

The four team members originally competed against each other as finalists in the University of Essex Students’ Union-run Essex Apprentice competition before joining forces to take on teams from across the UK.

Supported by the Essex Students’ Union, Team Phoenix secured its place in the final at the NSA Challenge in Birmingham last week. The team consists of Gregoris Loizou, final year BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Katerina Koliovska final year BA Italian Studies and Modern Languages, Adelina Ponta, second-year BSc Management and Marketing, and Ray Tannor, third-year BA Psychology.

Ray said: “It was an extremely challenging weekend which tested our abilities in several tasks. It was an amazing opportunity and we all excelled and surpassed our expectations.”

Zain Kukaswadia, Vice-President Education at the Students’ Union said: “This is an incredible achievement by the team and is further national recognition that the University of Essex is a leader in terms of talented entrepreneurial students.”

He added: “In an increasingly competitive employment market, the University and the Students’ Union work closely together to make sure that our students get the best quality support and resources available and are best placed to stand out from the crowd when they graduate.”


Notes to editors

For further information or a picture please contact the University of Essex Communications office, e-mail: or telephone: 01206 873529.

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