Know Your Why & Tap Dance to Work Like Warren Buffett

Hello! My name is Zane Adoum and I am a first year MBA-MSFinance student at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. After two months of completing daily checklists, I feel like I am just waking up to the reality of time speeding by: our class is already 10% into our program and there are only 20 months left until graduation. I swear I was just studying for the GMAT, visiting UMD to meet Deans, staff and students and anxiously anticipating the decision on my admission to Smith.

Smith School of Business

I’m sure for every MBA student, answering “why B-School, why Smith” and then articulating it in a compelling way took a lot of life energy. Now that we are in school, we are confronted with new “why’s” like program concentration or future companies we would like to work for.


I think the message I am hearing so far is in order to live a meaningful life, re-examining your “why” is critical to taking the next right step and maximizing that experience. Aligning with your “why” and being in flow in every situation will help you be invested in finding solutions to hard problems and be a source of positive energy on the planet. 

Effectively examining your why is important because in future interviews or when connecting with people, they may ask youwhy you worked where you did or why you do what you do. People can tell if you are happy or dissatisfied. If you don’t know your “why,” you run the risk of becoming disenchanted with the day-to-day and not nailing your pitch to convince alumni, recruiters, or interviewers help you get the job.

Warren Buffett said, “There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning.” Buffett is 86 years old, planning to live past 100, and worth over 60 billion dollars. I think he is someone who is pretty close to knowing his “why”. His business partner, Charlie Munger, is 92 and feels the same way. 

At Smith, I am having the learning and connecting experience of a lifetime but that is because I discovered my “why”. In order to trend upwards in life, I now realize I must develop my new “why” for finance and the dream companies I want to work for. I encourage all of my classmates and future B-School applicants to do the same. We can lessen the likelihood of a mid-life crisis and set our selves up for long-term professional success. To the C-Suite and beyond!

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