By Angelina Mangiamelli
Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, told a group of university students to recognize the importance of doing work that makes them happy.
This was just one piece of advice Buffett gave during a meeting Oct. 14 at the Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in the Blackstone District of Omaha. In addition to business and communication students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, other students came from the University of South Dakota, Harvard University, Stanford University, Rutgers University, Sanford University and Boston College.
The event began with a one-hour tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart, followed by a bus ride to the Kiewit building where students rode an elevator to the top floor known as the “Cloud Room,” where Buffett spent two hours talking to students in a Q&A session.
Many of the student were business majors with knowledge in stocks, bonds, e-commerce trading and investments. For communication students some of the dialogue was difficult to understand.
Buffett discussed such topics as stakeholder v. shareholder capitalism, key variables in exit investments and investing in the United States and Middle East.
Buffett stressed the importance of doing what is right for the public and thinking of the big picture over time.
“Be emotionally prepared to act when other people are terrified, be the person you admire,” Buffett says. “You have to be able to look at numbers and investigate a little bit and do it when the opportunity arises, it is 10 percent brains and 90 percent temperament.”
Buffett wrapped up the discussion with advice on the future to be successful.
“Do what you love with the people you love,” Buffett says. “Pick the ones who are the most effective leaders, list the qualities you like and don’t like.”
I found these simple words of wisdom to be the most important. Look for the qualities in people you admire, and make sure those qualities reflect in yourself as well.
Buffett then treated us to a lunch at Anthony’s Steakhouse where we sat with other UNO students. This was an opportunity for the communication and business students to network, ask questions and talk to each other about our roles and responsibilities as students. The day ended with a group photo of all the UNO students together with Buffett holding our school flag.
The day with Buffett opened my mind up to the importance of understanding money and investments and educating myself to be prepared for my financial future.
However, I suggest, mixing up the questions from both business and communication students to better get Buffett’s viewpoints on current events, global media and other issues outside the world of investments. I’d like more women at the event as well as an opportunity to network with other schools. Being completely separated projected an uncomfortable feeling of superiority that a few schools projected.
Overall, the experience was extremely memorable and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that most students won’t get from any classroom experience.