MBA Students Unite with Warren Buffett to Empower Girls
Volunteering during trip to Omaha
For the fifth year in a row, 20 lucky UC Davis MBA students received an invitation to meet with and learn from the “Oracle of Omaha” himself, Warren Buffett.
Undeniably, many would argue that Buffet is the best investor of all time and one of the greatest philanthropists, pledging to give 99 percent of his wealth to charity. In line with his vision, we took this opportunity to also volunteer at one of his favorite charities, Girls Incorporated of Omaha.
During our time with Buffett, we learned that at a very young age he came to realize the importance of inspiring girls to be “strong, smart and bold” (as Girls Inc. does), while observing the opportunities—or lack thereof—that his sisters were given compared to him. He saw how their choices were shaped by the expectations set for them and he wanted to help girls feel empowered, which came to be realized through Girls Inc.
Girls Inc. accomplishes this through the combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming.
Saturday morning, after our visit with Warren Buffett, we made our way to the local Girls Inc. facility. We were all blown away by the size of the building—a converted school with an added wing and clinic.
“Right away you could tell it is a great place. Their programs cultivate and encourage learning from a young age, focus on building great habits to benefit girls for their lifetimes, and give them confidence to be taken into the workforce.” — Martin Kraynov MBA 19
As we entered, we were inspired by the optimism, encouragement and love throughout the environment. Every corner had an inspirational saying or pictured a smiling face.
After touring the building and learning about the programming they offer—everything from afterschool homework help to mindfulness and healthy cooking classes—we got to work organizing and cleaning up the learning spaces, which more than 200 girls visit each day.
“I was once told by a career counselor that girls don’t go into science. My mom told me girls can do anything. Today I am a biologist. Volunteering at a program like Girls Inc., whose mission is to create ‘strong, smart, and bold’ girls, helps to make sure that every time a little girl is told she can’t do or be something, there will be a support system there to tell her she can.” — Katie Gillis MBA 19
The balance that Warren Buffett prioritizes between his business success and his giving back to society is a model our School wholeheartedly embraces and encourages.
This is a balance we are looking to expand in our own community by working with the local chapter of Girls Inc. With the Bay Area MBA campus in San Ramon, the Graduate School of Management has the opportunity to become a strong ally for Girls Inc. in the Bay Area and is looking to partner on an event this year.
We’re all looking forward to what’s ahead.