Warren Buffett Trip
by Andrew Desing, one of the lucky 20 students
Twenty MBA students given the opportunity to meet Warren Buffett were highly anticipating their trip to Omaha. Not the largest or most flashy city in the United States, but one that is the home to Mr. Warren Buffett. When we arrived Thursday night, we hit the town looking for a good dinner. The city had a lot to offer, and we ended up eating American Cuisine at a bar/restaurant. After a few hours of getting to know one another a little better we went back to the hotel. Everyone wanted to be fully rested and prepared to meet Mr. Buffett.
We began our morning with a nice breakfast, paid for by Mason, at our hotel. We were then on our way to the Nebraska Furniture Mart to meet a local business owner whose company was bought by Berkshire Hathaway. We spoke with the owner about competition, strategy, and how to run a business. He was very proud to be a part of Berkshire Hathaway, and upon our departure he stated that, “getting investment advice from Warren Buffett was like learning Physics from Albert Einstein.” The preview to Warren Buffet increased our anticipation and excitement.
We entered the Cloud Room on the top floor where several other MBA students were already waiting. Quiet murmurs flowed through the room as everyone was waiting to hear from Mr. Buffett. Mr. Buffett entered the room with great enthusiasm and instructed us not to throw him any softball questions. He stated that it was more fun to him if we challenged him. As students began to ask questions, Mr. Buffett kept our interest with great stories, jokes, and information. Listening to him speak about investing made a difficult topic sound easy. He didn’t struggle to answer a single question, and his answers were all very straight forward and interesting. Although I thought some of the questions were lacking in content, Mr. Buffett answered them in a way that made the question seem extremely intelligent. Mr. Buffett wrapped up our Q& A with a joke and offered to drive four lucky students to lunch.
We got to Piccolo Pete’s Restaurant, one of Mr. Buffett’s favorite restaurants, around 1 pm. Everyone had a choice of steak, chicken, or fish for lunch with a root beer float for dessert. We were comfortably seated in a large banquet room. After lunch, the students were able to take as many pictures with Mr. Buffett as they wanted. The pictures were a hit. Mr. Buffett had a great sense of humor about the pictures, many times posing in a humorous fashion. He even proposed to one lucky girl from the Mason MBA. Mr. Buffett never let the smile fade from his face, and seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the photo shoot.
After the photo shoot, we all shook his hand and then headed for our bus. The entire experience was overwhelming, and everyone discussed the best part of our day. Discussions ranged from Mr. Buffett’s investing tips to his sense of humor. Not a single person was quiet, and our excitement was visible. The trip was an amazing experience that the Mason MBA students will never forget.