Dr. Venna Bishop
Buffett gives students some priceless advice
A young woman stood before the third-richest man in the world – Warren Buffett – and asked him about something almost everybody in the world wants.
The student was Liwayway Taylor, who’s studying finance, banking and investing at UNO. She stood at the microphone during a live CNN interview and Q&A with Buffett at Mammel Hall on campus and told the “Oracle of Omaha” that for many students like her, success means graduating and building professional careers.
“Standing in your shoes today and looking back at the lessons you’ve learned,” she asked him, “how do you define success?”
Here’s what Buffett told her:
“I would say that when you get to be my age or a little younger – I’m 82 – if people that you want to have love you, love you, you’re a success. You can have all the money in the world. You can have buildings named after you, hospital wings, whatever, and unless you have people that really care about you, you’re not a success.
“Not everybody is going to make a fortune. Not everybody is going to, you know, be on football teams. But if your children and the people you work with – if those people love you after they’ve seen you in action for many, many years, you’re a success.”
The Q&A was part of the “Buffett Week” events at UNO leading up to the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha. Buffett, a University of Nebraska graduate who taught investment classes years ago at Omaha University (now UNO), is Berkshire’s chairman and CEO.
The main topic of the Q&A was women in the world of business and finance. Buffett had just written an essay for Fortune magazine in which he said that the reason that he’s bullish about the country’s future success is because of women.
He urged the young women in the audience to not see themselves reflected in “funhouse mirrors” the world has traditionally put in front of them, mirrors that distort their self-image and cause doubt.
He said he saw that doubt in his mother, who thought her only role in life was to live for his father. He said he saw it in the message his sisters were sent – that marrying well was the best thing they could do for their success – even though they were just as smart as he was.
“They had no thought of going into the same type of activities as I was. It was just a huge, huge waste of talent. …Half the talent in the country was basically put on the shelf.”
Also at the interview at UNO, Buffett made other news – he finally joined the world of Twitter. In front of the audience, he sent out his first tweet:
Warren is in the house.
By the end of the hourlong Q&A, he had more than 36,000 followers.
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