Lucy is an alumnus of our MBA programme and is now the strategic relations lead for place with Liverpool City Council. Alongside her studies, Lucy was part of the team that supported the mayoral campaign for Joanne Anderson, who became the first directly elected Black woman to take on the position, while overcoming personal challenges to still gain a first-class degree.
Lucy features in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
In her interview she reflects on the the female role models in her life who have inspired her to continue in her education and to believe in herself and everything that she can achieve.
“My graduation was, without a doubt, one of the happiest days of my life. Looking back at my academic journey, I was never a top-of-the-class girl. Academia wasn't forced on me when I was younger. My mum couldn't care less if I went to university. It just didn't matter as long as I was happy and healthy. But I've never felt relief or pride like that. Just knowing that you're actually good at something.”
– Lucy Cashman
Lucy’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“My dad emigrated to Ireland when I was 11, so my mum raised the four of us on her own - my brother, who was physically and mentally disabled and me and my two elder sisters. My mum is a five-foot Glaswegian woman. She makes friends with absolutely everyone - the chattiest person in the world.
“I get so many traits from my mum, the ones that really matter. She's a grafter. She's such a caring person, and she's bent over backwards to give us all the best life she can, carrying a lot on her own. I get really proud when I see elements of her in myself.
“My career started at The Women's Organisation. The CEO, Maggie O'Carroll, has had a huge impact on the woman I am today and has opened up so many doors for me. She helped me to get on to an MBA at LJMU. I was the youngest on my course, and there was definitely a feeling of imposter syndrome.
“Joanne Anderson was one of my peers on the MBA course, and I later went on to do the marketing for her campaign to become Mayor of Liverpool. So I did that alongside my MBA. That felt easy because I really believed that she should be the mayor. I agreed with her beliefs around equality, fairness, social justice and women's rights. She won the election, becoming the first directly elected Black woman, and I went on to join her mayoral team at the council.
“During my second year of uni, my brother passed away. He was 35 years old at the time, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever went through. So I had a massive dip in the middle of the course, and I definitely struggled to communicate that. I don't think I gave myself time to grieve, I chose to work through it to distract myself.
“I worked out that I had to get a first in my dissertation to achieve a first overall. I became so consumed by that final project I don't think I left the house that summer. I exceeded all my hopes by getting 86 out of 100 on my final project. It was a complete relief.
“My graduation was, without a doubt, one of the happiest days of my life. Looking back at my academic journey, I was never a top-of-the-class girl. Academia wasn't forced on me when I was younger. My mum couldn't care less if I went to university. It just didn't matter as long as I was happy and healthy. But I've never felt relief or pride like that. Just knowing that you're actually good at something.
“If you ever feel unfulfilled by something, don't be scared of just moving on. I've learnt to become comfortable with uncertainty. I find it exciting. I used to feel dread about not having that stability. But you spend so much time in work, you may as well enjoy what you're doing."