On Friday, October 17, students from the Daniels College of Business spent the day with legendary investor and business magnate, Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Senior Associate Dean Daniel Connolly, 20 undergraduate and graduate students travelled to Omaha, Nebraska, to tour three Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway companies—Borsheims, a fine jeweler, the Nebraska Furniture Mart and the Oriental Trading Company, a party supply company. They also had lunch with Buffett at one of his favorite local eateries, Piccolo Pete’s Restaurant. The Daniels students joined students from a half dozen other business schools and attended a two hour question-and-answer session with Buffett at the Berkshire Hathaway offices.
For students, the experience will have a lasting impact. “I love how Mr. Buffet emphasized the importance of developing good habits at a young age, so that when you get older, it’s only magnified,” says Cara Sylvers, senior BSBA finance student.
MBA student Jason Hensel found Buffett to be entertaining and optimistic. “He is a very funny guy, and I learned that society will get better during our lifetime, which is good to hear coming from him.” Another MBA student, Alvaro Day, had the opportunity ride with Buffett to lunch in his new Cadillac along with three other students.
“Meeting Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most impressive financial minds, was an honor and a truly unique experience,” says Dr. Connolly. “Mr. Buffett inspired his audience through his recounts of many years of deal making, with his simple philosophies that have proven effective over time and most of all, through his humility. The bigger thrill for me came from observing our students in action—how they prepared for their visit as a team, their genuine enthusiasm, and the lasting impression the experience will have. They rose to the occasion and represented Daniels well, making me extremely proud.” To sum up the impact, Dr. Connolly added, “One student remarked how meeting Warren Buffett was the equivalent of going to Disney World for someone studying finance, while another called it ‘the pinnacle of her Daniels educational experience.’”
DU joined the University of South Dakota, the University of Missouri, Saint Louis University, Washington University of St. Louis, Cornell University and the University of Nebraska Omaha. Daniels students attended a networking event at the University of Omaha while on the trip as well. The 20 Daniels students—selected from more than 50 applicants—will share more about their experience with the Daniels community at a Lunch and Learn session at the College in the coming month.
Berkshire Hathaway invites groups of six to seven colleges several times a year to meet Warren Buffett and learn more about his business endeavors. Daniels students also visited Warren Buffett in 2012 and 2010.