Pictures from the OUCAS Commercial Awareness Workshop with Linklaters


The Open University Commercial Awareness Society is a relatively new society to the OU, and was founded with the aim of supporting students through the process of gaining more "commercial awareness" - a phrase used often in interview/application processes by a variety of firms.


The society also aims to support students through applications to these kind of  firms, particularly in the Law and Business sectors, and build links between OU students and key people in the industries that they are interesting in fulfilling careers in.

Throughout the academic year, OUCAS publishes regular newsletters, available to all students through our taster membership and hosts a variety of events, both online and face to face, for our full members. Full membership also includes access to a wide range of articles, blogs and a forum, contributed to by OUCAS leadership team members and key players from the Law/Business sectors.

Meet the team


Duncan Balcon


Duncan is the President of OUCAS, having taken over from our Founder, Violet, in March 2020. He is a Level 3 Law Student with the OU and is hoping to use this degree to access a career in Commercial Law. When not studying, Duncan is a Firefighter and outside of that enjoys sports, particularly tennis and NFL. Duncan currently edits our blog and has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the society. You can reach out to him via oucomaware@gmail.com.


Heather Phillips

Vice President

Heather is the Vice President, and a level 3 law student. She volunteers with OUSA via the student link experience and sits on the Wales Panel. When not studying or volunteering, she enjoys video games and spending time with family.

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Stephanie Foulger


Stephanie is the Treasurer of OUCAS having started the role in October 2019. She is a level 3 Law Student with the OU, hoping to complete in 2022 and is aspiring to be a Barrister. Stephanie works full time as an Administration Manager dealing with a wide range of tasks from accounting to HR. When not studying or working Stephanie enjoys working on her clothing designs for her potential future business, playing the piano, going to the beach and spending time with family and friends. Stephanie is currently responsible for the financial affairs of the society and monitoring memberships.


Gareth Jones


Gareth is currently studying level 3 law part time as well as a member of the Student Leadership Team for the OU Students Association as the elected representative covering Business and Law, in addition to a few other roles within the OU. Living in Barry, S.Wales, with his wife and two children, in his spare time, when he has some, Gareth enjoys watching Rugby, F1 and NFL


Andressa Pinheiro

Outreach Officer

Andressa is a Level 1 Law student with the OU. Despite holding an LLB in Brazil, her home country, Andressa has decided to return to university to become a qualified solicitor in England and Wales. Andressa currently lives in Dubai, where she works full-time as a Paralegal in the aviation industry. In her free time, Andressa enjoys reading, learning new languages, and travelling the world. 

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Ellie Emberson

Events Manager

Ellie is a Level 2 Law student with the OU. As well as studying for the Law LLB, Ellie works full time as a Paralegal/Secretary in the Construction/Commercial Property team. Ellie lives in Reading and is a Reading Borough Councillor with the Consumer and Corporate Portfolio and is also a Secondary School Governor at her pevious School. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with Treacle (also pictured!)

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Elizabeth Hill

Media Manager

Elizabeth is the Media Manager having recently been appointed in April 2021. She is a full-time Law student with the OU – hoping to graduate in July 2022 before going on to train as a Barrister, specialising in sports, media and technology law. Elizabeth volunteers for the Citizens Advice Bureau as a remote advisor as well as working part-time as a farm labourer and freelance fine artist/photographer. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside with her 10-year-old springer spaniel – Cocoa or playing squash, rugby union or PlayStation (if it’s raining!).

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