Hannah Mason, Editor-in-Chief

UCLan student and former Students’ Union President comes out top as a ‘rising star’ at the Women in Business Awards and is heading to the national finals.

Back in July, Forward Ladies announced the shortlist for the 2016 Women in Business Awards Regional Heats, sponsored by HSBC, which this year had attracted the highest number of nominations ever received. The awards programme which in its 7th year has grown from being purely regional into one of the most prestigious events in the calendar for professional women, nationally. The organisation ‘Forward Ladies’ was founded in 1999 and supports women in their professional lives and celebrates and champions the role of women in the workplace.

“I never thought I would even be considered, it’s fantastic to have been shortlisted in one category, let alone two, but I highly that doubt I’ll win. – Josie Linsel”

For the past two years, Josie Linsel, had been an elected member of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) in the roles of Activities and Participation Officer (APO) and Students’ Union President. For her efforts, Josie was nominated for the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards 2016, resulting in her being shortlisted in two categories; the Not-for-Profit and Rising Star categories for the North West, Wales and Isle of Man regional final.
During her time as an elected representative of the 26,000 students at UCLan, Josie was a Company Director, a Trustee and Chair of the Trustee Board of the Union, and a Non-Executive Director of the University. After a wide range of successes and several big changes to help improve the university experience of UCLan students, Josie has now returned to life as a student, completing her degree in Marketing Management before her time at UCLan comes to an end.

The Pulse has been following Josie’s progress throughout the process and managed to grab her for a chat in the summer after it was revealed she had been shortlisted.

         Josie Linsel with her award

Josie went on to say “It’s fantastic for the Union to gain recognition for the brilliant things it’s achieved recently, but in reality, we’re just one of many Students’ Unions across the country doing brilliant things.”

The doubts were replaced with joy on Friday 21st October at the regional final, held in Manchester’s Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, as she was announced the winner of the Rising Star award. As a winner of one of the regional finals, Josie has been invited to appear before a live judging interview panel in November, followed by the national final in Leeds on the 1st December.

We spoke to Josie after the awards for her thoughts on her win.

“It was a huge shock to win. I was up against some women who had achieved massive amounts with their businesses so I was over the moon to be presented with the Rising Star award! It’s due to the opportunities I had been given by UCLan Students’ Union and the University in partnership that I was able to take advantage of my time as a Company Director. I’m proud of myself and of the Union, and really grateful to everyone who’s helped me grow over the past two years.”


Upon the announcement of Josie’s success, people were quick to congratulate her on her win. Messages such as “so proud of Josie! Congratulations on your award, you’re an inspiration” and “so delighted and so worthy, well done for winning your Rising Star award” quickly filled social media.

As well as being shortlisted for the national final in Leeds, regional winners all receive tailored business support from HSBC, as well as ICT support from Microsoft including a review of how their organisation can utilise technology across a range of business functions to drive business results. The Students’ Union will be the receiver of these valuable business development opportunities.

The Pulse would like to formally congratulate Josie and we wish her luck in the national final.

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