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Interviewing Peter Buffett This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

The day began as any other would. I woke up, went to breakfast with my suitemates and then settled into the day's activities. I was having a great time laughing and writing with my friends, but a feeling of anticipation was nagging at me all the while. Later, I would have the opportunity to interview Peter Buffett. This would be my first interview. So, needless to say, I was nervous. I wasn't hyperventilating or anything; I just had that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling.

The microphone and camera were properly positioned and the questions were arranged and rehearsed. My fellow Teen Ink interviewers and I were a bit jumpy. We talked quietly while we waited for our interviewee to arrive. I shuffled anxiously through my index cards and practiced every question in my head. I tended to stutter or scramble the words when I read out loud too fast. I was determined to read each question clearly this time. I wanted to be smart and professional.

A few minutes later, Peter Buffett entered the eleventh floor lounge of the Juilliard School. He arrived wearing a black tee-shirt and a casual pair of blue jeans. He wore a smile on his face and looked as excited as we were. My first impression was not that he was the son of a billionaire or the head of a record company; it was that he was just a regular person. He didn't radiate power or seem any different from any of the other people in the lounge. He seemed to take in the venue as he was seated opposite us. Our five chairs were arranged in a sort of semicircle around his. John Meyer turned on the mic he had affixed to the tabletop in front of Mr. Buffet, and we began the interview that would forever be ingrained in our minds.

After we introduced ourselves, we began to fire questions his way. I did not feel nervous anymore as I asked my first question. He seemed so at ease talking about his life. He answered each question with a grin and encouraged us to ask follow up questions as we came up with them. Mr. Buffet looked each of us in the eyes as we talked, nodding as he did, and answered any question we threw at him.

We talked a lot about his new book, Life is What You Make it, and what helped shape the ideas and words that fill the heavily inked pages. He was happy to share lessons he learned throughout his life, a few of his beliefs concerning money, and how his family helped to make him the person he is today. The conversations could have gone on forever; we were all having a blast! I thought that this was truly profound. The fact that such an amazing man like Peter Buffett could really enjoy being interviewed by a group of students amazed me!

One of the topics that I found to be most interesting was that of Mr. Buffett's efforts in philanthropy. Peter Buffett created the NoVo Foundation, which is an organization focused on women-empowerment. He told us a little about what he does through the foundation and about philanthropy in general. Philanthropy is the "belief in helping people." He said that in order to find a cause to support, one should think of something he or she is really interested in or feels very strongly about. This really made me think about what I could do. His words made caused me want to do something more for the world and get involved with a cause I care about. My family and I are now raising a puppy for Canine Companions for Independence. Because I love both dogs and helping people I decided that Canine Companions for Independence would be the perfect organization to get involved with. A puppy raiser will raise a dog and teach it basic commands. After about a year and a half, the dog is returned to the organization for further training and is matched with a disabled person that it will help. Peter Buffett helped me to realize that I can do something I love and help another at the same time.

Peter Buffett is truly a great man, and I am glad that my friends and I were able to speak with him. He was so willing to share what he has learned with us and smiled the whole time. I will carry many of the things that he has told us with me for the rest of my life.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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