Students Staff

09 July 2015

Leading economist and ex-Borussia Dortmund player is Essex Alumnus of the Year

Heiko Hesse

Heiko Hesse

Being a former professional football player for Borussia Dortmund and a leading economist don’t often go hand in hand, except when it comes to Heiko Hesse.

Heiko is Essex Alumnus of the Year and will be attending Graduation 2015 at the University of Essex next Tuesday to receive his award.

Some of his most vivid memories of his time studying at the Department of Economics at Essex are from the football pitch, but since then he has gone on to become a leading economist focusing on financial sector issues with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) based in Washington DC.

His extraordinary CV also includes being an Advisory Board member at the Washington European Society and featuring in the German documentary Die Champions.

He has worked at the World Bank, been a Visiting Scholar at Yale University, has been published in a number of leading academic journals and is a frequent speaker at central banks and conferences.

Heiko graduated with a BSc Financial Economics after coming to Essex in 2001 and later achieved a PhD in Economics at Oxford University.

“Essex has been very influential in my further path as an economist,” Heiko said. “The undergraduate teaching was excellent. I developed a strong interest in econometrics and deepened my knowledge in financial markets with Roy Bailey’s wonderful courses. It is not surprising that Roy has been honoured by the Queen for his excellent teaching at Essex.”

Of course, Heiko’s Essex experience wasn’t all academic; he enjoyed a lot of extracurricular activities too: “Small things come to mind and I have vivid memories of dinners on campus with friends and runs along the river to Wivenhoe. I also recall my two years that I played semi-professional football in Essex and how passionate my team mates were.”

Heiko has some valuable advice for all new young graduates: “Explore the world when you are young and able to do so. Take risks in your early career. Spend time with your family and keep on learning.”

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