Graduate profile
Enrique Lacal

Enrique Lacal

“During my placement I picked up an enormous amount of technical knowledge, but I believe that the soft skills I acquired are even more important. By working in a team on a day-to-day basis, I increased my team-working, communication and presentation skills which were crucial during my final year.”

Placement company
IBM
What was your most useful experience at Surrey?

My most useful academic experience was working on my Final Year Project and the advice from my supervisor during that time. This project was the culmination of all my learning at university and on placement and – while there were lots of challenges – I enjoyed every minute of it. The project focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to autonomous vehicles – something I’m very interested in and continue to read about and research in my spare time. I also learned how to plan a project, meet a very important deadline, and manage my time.

Outside of my studies, belonging to Surrey’s Football and Futsal clubs was a great experience. I loved being able to play competitively when representing Surrey in BUCS leagues, made many lifelong friends and was president of the Futsal club in my final year.

How did your placement year influence your final year studies and graduate job search?

During my Professional Training placement I picked up an enormous amount of technical knowledge, but I believe that the soft skills I acquired are even more important. By working in a team on a day-to-day basis, I increased my team-working, communication and presentation skills which were crucial during my final year. In addition, the experience of working on a real product showed me the importance of good and maintainable code which informed my approach to projects in my final year.

"Having spent a year in industry really helped me when looking for graduate roles. I had better visibility to recruiters and could talk about my involvement in important projects during my interviews, which really helped."

What is your current role and how has your degree benefited you so far?

I currently work as a Cloud Software Engineer at IBM.  As part of my role, I have contributed to various open source tools which enable developers to deploy their applications to cloud environments, and I’ve also contributed to code which clients and companies run in production. It is always rewarding when something you have helped to create is used to solve real life problems.

 

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