Graduate profile

Nick Leeder, CEO of Google France

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VIDEO: Watch Nick Leeder, CEO of Google France and former Managing Director of Google Australia & NZ, talk about his studies in science and maths at Sydney Uni and what it did for his career

When Nick Leeder was completing his Bachelor of Science with Honours in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sydney, the company Google had not even been imagined yet. Now Nick Leeder is the CEO of Google France.

"A career is an interesting thing because you’re not entirely sure what is going to happen and where you’re going to wind up. Jobs like the one I do now didn’t even exist when I was studying at university," said Nick.

"As CEO of Google France, I spent most of my time on the commercial side of the business, helping French companies get the best out of digital. So it involved a lot of business development and sales," explained Nick.

"We also worked closely with government to help them figure out how to get the right policy settings to ensure France makes the most of the digital revolution."

Nick chose to study in the Bachelor of Science as it allowed him to try a range of different disciplines. He chose to major and do his Honours research in maths because he really enjoyed it.

"The Bachelor of Science teaches you a way of thinking and mathematics is really about logic – it's amazing how valuable that becomes in your career," said Nick.

"Particularly when you’re working in industries that haven’t been around for a long time and are not well understood, the ability to think critically, figure out what’s important and analyse things is absolutely vital. These skills are never going out of fashion! And that’s certainly what the Bachelor of Science did for me in spades."

"There’s no replacement for science and technology graduates – the opportunities are unlimited for these people to work on the most interesting problems and challenges facing our biggest organisations."

Nick's top study and career tip:

"Do things you love – you're much more likely to do well at them and, frankly, have a good time. I wouldn't be too worried about where your studies are going to take you, because the world is changing so quickly that it’s really hard to predict what sorts of careers are going to be available in five years time. Look for skills that prepare you for many opportunities and just do your absolute best."