University of Lincoln alumna crowned UK’s Best Freelancer

In 2010, University of Lincoln alumna Rebecca Shipham set up her own freelance exhibition design business from her desk in Hull, where she specialises in the design for exhibitions and events; working on global projects, and supplying visuals and drawings which respond to creative design

Four years on, and Rebecca has been crowned the UK’s Best Freelancer for 2015 at a glittering ceremony in Shoreditch on 19th November 2014, where she was awarded the title by TV presenter Sue Lawley.


Rebecca’s well deserved achievement is a result of hard work and willpower. However, after finishing University she came across a challenge many graduates face – securing her first job.

“It took me 2 years to get my first job in design. In the end I was so desperate I even contacted companies who weren’t advertising for jobs and asked them if they wouldn’t mind meeting to look through my portfolio and give me honest advice on what I needed to do to get my job applications up to standard,” says Rebecca.

Rebecca’s determination paid off, and she secured her first design job; going on to work for several design companies in London before moving back to her home city of Hull to start her own company.

 Since then, she has gone from strength to strength; designing exhibitions for companies such as Sony, BBC and Xerox. She is also an ambassador for the self-employed, and welcomes the challenge of promoting freelance work.

 “To me, happiness is sitting here churning my way through a creative problem and getting to grips with a design.” says Rebecca.

Despite her success, Rebecca still fondly looks back on her time at the University of Lincoln.

“My time at the University was great, and my lecturers are still in touch and interested to know how I’m getting on in life.

“It’s like one enormous extended family. I think I’ll always look at the University of Lincoln as being like a second home.”

For more info on Rebecca’s company, visit You can watch the video of Rebecca receiving her award here:


Back to Alumni News

Story credits: Isabel Laycock

January 2015


The Alumni Network

Alumni Office

University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool,
Lincoln, LN6 7TS
Phone: +44 (0) 1522 835858

Copyright 2010 University of Lincoln