Top journalist and Google executive gives MK College students tips for success

Mon 10 Feb 2014

One of the internet’s top executives and a high flyer of British journalism has been sharing some to the secrets of his success with students from Milton Keynes College.

Peter Barron, Head of External Relations for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Google, the world’s most successful search engine gave a talk to journalism, media and computing students at the College’s Chaffron Way campus.  Highlights in Mr Barron’s distinguished career in the media include being Producer of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme, Newsnight and Deputy Editor of both Channel 4 News and Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

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 brought with him his company’s newest innovation for students to see, the Google Glass.  He then gave them six tips for success.

“Firstly, think about where the world is heading in the next few years because I didn’t have a clue when I was growing up. 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’s also incredibly important to get a career in the thing that you love,” he said.
“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’s odd that Britain hasn’t really embraced computing in perhaps the way it should have done.”
Mr Barron warned the students not to throw away their opportunities. “Life’s 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 twenty and then when I went to get a job at Google at forty-five, the performance I put in back then was still being analysed.”
“Finally,” he said, “just do it.  Don’t wait for somebody to offer you an opportunity. 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.”
Mr Barron was then given a tour of the campus before sitting down for tea and cakes with some of the College students, as well as Principal and CEO Julie Mills, Deputy Principal Nick Isles, Director of Business and Engagement Jane Horridge and Head of Marketing & Communications Kate Raclawski.

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