When I walked into the ballroom, I could feel the excitement. This was the moment we had all been waiting for, the moment we would finally get to meet Warren Buffett.
As everyone made their way to the designated tables, the anticipation was in the air. There was chatter about what questions were going to be asked and what he was going to be like. It was a room full of people that idolized the “Oracle of Omaha.” When he finally entered, the room burst into applause.
As Mr. Buffett answered each question, you could look around the room and see every person hanging onto every word. Not only did he answer the questions that were asked, but he also related his answers to examples from throughout his years as a successful business man. It felt like a grandpa sharing his war stories with his grandchildren. Every single person in the room was focused on soaking up every bit of knowledge that Mr. Buffett passed on to us. From giving us advice such as “to attract money you must have results” to melting everyone’s hearts with “I love what I do and I get to do it with people I love,” Mr. Buffett filled our minds and our notepads with invaluable information.
A key concept I took away from this experience was that of the economic castle, and how being happy in your personal life will help you in your business life. Buffett’s charm and humor made him larger than life and filled the room. As he sat on the couch on stage, he answered each question with colorful language and metaphors. He talked about his ability to paint his own painting in his own way with no borders on the canvas through running his own business. No board of directors was going to tell him to use more red or stay inside the lines. These metaphors really sold what he was talking about, and allowed us to connect our own lives with his experiences.
He reminded us that we should “choose to be good people” and that money won’t help you or make you happy, but people will.
His optimism and candor about our potential and the opportunities that exist for us made each one of us feel like we could do anything, even though we hadn’t started purchasing stocks at the young age of 11 as he had. At our table, we joked about how we were “just a little” behind and how we hoped to be only half as great as he is one day. Yet, his perceived confidence of the people in the room before him helped invigorate our journeys as MBA students, and forge our own paths to success armed with some of the pieces of knowledge imparted on us that day.
This experience was a once in a lifetime, and I am so grateful to have had this phenomenal opportunity because of the Crosby MBA program. I hope Warren Buffett realizes how much his time means to students, especially those like me that idolize him. I left wanting more time with him and a million questions to ask.
In the fictional scenario where you get to pick ten people to have dinner with, Warren Buffett would definitely be at my table.
Megan Murphy is currently pursuing a dual Master’s of Business Administration and Health Administration at the University of Missouri with a graduation date of December 2018. She has a passion for people and the health care they receive. She plans to use the knowledge from her extensive work experience within the hospital setting and education to work in operations, management, and quality improvement in addition to many other aspects of healthcare.