Warren Buffett frequently offers students a bit of investment advice that he says supersedes all others: Invest in yourself.
Buffett’s childhood business ventures – including pinball machines, newspaper delivery, gum and soda sales, car washing, and a 40-acre farm – set him up with a tidy nest egg by the time he graduated high school at age 16. After two years at the Wharton School, Buffett paid his own way to the University of Nebraska, graduating in 1950.
Since then, he has built Berkshire Hathaway into one of the most valuable and talked-about holding companies in the world. In a 2016 CNBC interview, Buffett pointed to a stack of books and outlined the secret to his success: “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.” He has also been quoted by Time as saying, “I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business.”
Today, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business offers opportunities for students to invest in themselves through programs like the Clifton Strengths Institute, a legacy of UNL professor and world-renowned researcher Donald O. Clifton.
First-year business students identify their strengths through the CliftonStrengths assessment – the same tool used by most Fortune 1000 companies, the World Bank and United Nations. Then, students utilize strengths-based development, targeting specific outcomes in academics, career awareness and well-being in college. First-year students are coached through the process by peers selected by the college to serve for one academic year.
Eighty-seven percent of students say the coaching helped them understand how their strengths would help them choose the right careers.