Student profile: Soukayna Hachimi, International Student of the Year

BSc Banking and Finance student Soukayna Hachimi is the International Student of the Year

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When you’re an international student at Essex Business School, the world is literally your oyster as BSc Banking and Finance student, Soukayna Hachimi proves!

The International Student of the Year award winner is awarded a £2000 scholarship by the Student’s Union in recognition of their valuable contribution to Essex.

Soukayna has taken every opportunity that Essex has had to offer her, making her one of the most successful current students at Essex.

So, what does it take to become International Student of the Year?

Placement Year

Currently undertaking her placement year with Bosch in Milton Keynes, Soukayna is putting in to practical use the theory she has learnt throughout the first two years of studying Banking and Finance.



Soukayna volunteered to visit the Calais refugee camp, dubbed “The Jungle” in February 2016 with a group of Essex students and the Colchester Refugee Action Group to deliver lifesaving aid, including: food, water and clothing to the displaced people living in the camp.

She then took her involvement in the Calais project further and on her return to Essex, began teaching weekly English classes to Syrian refugees who had been settled in Colchester.

Later, Soukayna then applied the skills learnt through teaching Colchester refugees to mentoring Essex students as a supervisor for the Golden age project which helps to connect elderly local residents with Essex students to build a thriving local community.



Soukayna’s global approach to empowering international students and people in need overseas lead to her leading the Enactus fundraising team to develop projects to improve the quality of life of children, teachers, sex workers and the homeless in Ghana, Mali and Colchester.

Course Rep

As Soukayna herself puts it: “Working as a course rep,  a peer engagement ambassador, and as a University ambassador has helped me make small changes in the lives of many students. From providing staff-students relationship improvements, to designing and delivering engaging workshops and to guiding potential high school graduates to pursue their studies, I have ultimately been a reference of support for many students.”

Community advocate

Soukayna Coffee

Soukayna has overcome adversity and cultural stigma to stake her claim on her own future and from this she has become a true community advocate and ambassador: “I realised that I am not only an Essex ambassador but also a Muslim, Moroccan, African and Arab ambassador in Essex.”

“Coming from a conservative background and being the only female who has left its parent’s home and country to pursue my studies abroad, has been a challenging but also a successful journey.”

“My first year experience as a foreign student inspired me to establish the Moroccan society at the University of Essex to enhance the social experience of North African students and make the most out of their time in Essex. The society brought a group of students together and provided them with an opportunity to establish their own network with people who share the same interests.”

Prize winner


As winner of the International Student’s Association arm of the Student’s Union’ International Student of the Year award, Soukayna is the proud recipient of a £2000 scholarship in recognition of her work and determination to improve the lives of Essex International students as well as the lives of complete strangers all over the world.

Soukayna also achieved Bronze, Silver and Gold of the Big Essex Award, the University of Essex’s Employability award which recognises commitment to extracurricular involvement.

She achieved a first classification in both first and second year and was a recipient of the Essex Business School Pearson Finance Prize, recognising her academic brilliance.

Find out more about:

BSc Banking and Finance

The Big Essex Award

The International Student’s Association