Student profile

Finn Sheather

"Doing a Professional Training placement is the best decision I have made since coming to university; the value of the knowledge it gives you is unprecedented. I could not recommend it more."

Entry year


What’s something you couldn’t live without at university?

I personally couldn’t live without Red Bull or Carabao if I’m being on brand 😉 – whilst it may not be the healthiest option, it has got me through those 9ams on a Thursday.

What’s one food dish or snack you couldn’t live without at university?

It would have to be the famous Gigi Hadid’s pasta: cheap, simple but absolutely delicious.

What attracted you to the University of Surrey?

The first things I noticed when I came to campus were the beautiful lake, the modern buildings and – for me being sporty – Surrey Sports Park.

"More academically speaking, I was really impressed by the student employment-rate after graduating. I believe it is an area which is equally as important as traditional academic performance."

What are the best things about your course? 

I believe that studying law can be an intellectually challenging and a stimulating pursuit, allowing me to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I am exposed to complex legal issues and am challenged to analyse and understand them. This can be an exciting and fulfilling experience for me as I enjoy the stimulating problem-solving aspect of the degree.

What has the careers support been like?

The Careers and Employability team have been fantastic. I decided quite late that I wanted to do a Professional Training placement (PTY) but the Careers team immediately made the transition super-easy. Before my placement, the resources they provided were extremely useful and made me feel confident and prepared. During the placement, they have consistently reached out to [all of us students on PTY to] let us know they are there if we need their support.

Tell us more about your Professional Training placement and what it involved

I completed my placement year at IBM; IBM is the global leader in technology transformation and is the 47th largest corporation globally. Whilst at IBM, my role was titled Corporate Social Responsibility Professional. This involved devising and implementing IBM’s global CSR strategy in the UK.

What were the highlights of the Professional Training placement?

  • Mentoring a group of young minority ethnic girls from an extremely underprivileged school through a leadership development six-week programme
  • Solely organising an IBM Showcase event with clients attracting over 100 attendees
  • Managing a partnership with the World Olympians Association
  • Working directly with a number of CEOs from companies including Santander, HSBC and the AELTC
  • Running 40 workshops for school students around agile methodology and growth mindset.

Would you recommend a Professional Training placement to others?  

Doing a Professional Training placement is the best decision I have made since coming to university; the value of the knowledge it gives you is unprecedented. I could not recommend it more.

What are the best things about life at Surrey?

Surrey Sports Park football pitches on a Wednesday afternoon – “up the STAGS!” I have been part of University of Surrey FC since joining Surrey. It has been great to make so many friends through the football.

What do you plan to do after graduating?

I am looking to do the barrister training course at the University of Law after I have graduated, and then, I hope, go on to pass the Bar and become a qualified barrister specialising in medical and other forms of tort law.


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