Preparing to Meet the Oracle of Omaha
This Thursday, January 30, 20 lucky students from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) will fly to Omaha, Neb., to meet one of the wealthiest and most influential men in business: Mr. Warren Buffett. As a first-year student in the Sacramento Part-Time MBA program, I am very fortunate to have this grand opportunity to meet one of the most successful businessmen in history.
Mr. Buffett has graciously invited the GSM, along with seven other business schools, to join him on Friday, January 31, for Q&A sessions and tours of his subsidiaries, including the Nebraska Furniture Mart, Borsheims and the Oriental Trading Company. We will also have lunch with Mr. Buffett at Piccolo Pete’s Restaurant, his local favorite. That evening, the UC Davis team will have dinner with our very own Chris Dito, senior director of career development—and we may have a chance to network with our peers from the other universities later that evening.
Despite our busy schedules, we have all made time to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’ve been reading up on the history of Mr. Buffett’s subsidiaries, studying their financial statements and trying to understand what makes Mr. Buffett the man he is today. We’ve also had meetings and several email discussions to determine questions and gifts that we will present to Mr. Buffett.
After much thought, we decided to bring a UC Davis-branded bridge set—one of Mr. Buffett’s favorite games—along with a UCD goodie basket and a sample box of Mars chocolates. We are looking forward to presenting these gifts as a small token of our appreciation. In addition, Bay Area Part-Time MBA student Demetra Jones has helped organize two groups of four students each to volunteer at Girls Inc., one of Mr. Buffett’s favorite Omaha charities.
As I researched and prepared, I found a tidbit that connects this amazing school trip to my work as a line manager at Mars: In 2008 Warren Buffett lent Mars, Inc. $4.4 billion to purchase William Wrigley Jr. Co. (better known as Wrigley). I was amazed to learn that Warren Buffett had a hand in making my firm the great company it is today.
Let the Fun Begin
As our flight to Omaha draws near, we are very excited to soon meet the Oracle of Omaha and are looking forward to the opportunities we will have to interact with him, whether it be to shake his hand, eat at his table, sit in the front row at a Q&A session or possibly even be chauffeured to lunch by Mr. Buffett himself.