Google executive reveals secrets of successFeb 09, 2014
Peter Barron, head of external relations for Europe, Middle East and Africa for search engine Google, gave a talk to journalism, media and computing students at the college’s Chaffron Way campus.
“Firstly, think about where the world is heading in the next few years because I did not have a clue when I was growing up,” he urged the students.
“And another little bit of advice would to be slightly sceptical of what careers advisors have to say because in my opinion they have a narrow view of the world.
"It is also incredibly important to get a career in the thing that you love.”
“My next tip is that maths is really important. If you think about the way the world is going, everything is going to be governed by maths and coding.
"You could say all of the computing as we know it today was born just five miles away from here, at Bletchley Park. But it is odd that Britain has not really embraced computing in perhaps the way it should have done.”
The talk was arranged through the college’s partnership with Speakers for Schools, an independent charity which provides state secondary schools and colleges with free guest speakers from a range of industry-leading professionals and academics.
Mr Barron warned the students not to throw away their opportunities. “Life is a lot shorter than you think because I have a shudder slightly when I think about how I wasted time at school and should have studied more.
“What you do in the next couple of years stays with you for the rest of your life because I was studying at university when I was 20 and then when I went to get a job at Google at 45, the performance I put in back then was still being analysed.”
In his media career, Mr Barron worked as producer of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight and as deputy editor of both Channel 4 News and Tonight with Trevor McDonald.
Mr Barron brought with him Google’s newest innovation for students to see, the Google Glass.
He concluded by telling the students: “Do not wait for somebody to offer you an opportunity. Just do it.
“You can start to write your own articles, make your own films and set up your own business without having to get permission for somebody to do it. I would urge you very strongly to take an opportunity and not wait for one.”
After his talk, Mr Barron was given a tour of the campus before chatting to students and senior college staff.