Buffett 2.0: A Second Trip to See ‘Oracle of Omaha’
120 UC Davis MBA Students Meet Billionaire Businessman
For the second straight year, a group of UC Davis MBA students were invited to meet and learn from businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Buffett hosted 120 students from the Graduate School of Management—triple the number who visited him last year—in Omaha on President’s Day in February.
Leading up to the trip, students met several times to prepare and finalize team projects, including ways they will thank Buffett for the opportunity to meet him and tour his businesses in Omaha.
“Berkshire Hathaway’s incredible performance is among financial history’s most celebrated and talked about successes, so visiting Warren Buffett is a rare chance to meet the man behind the legend,” said first-year Full-Time MBA student Joe Escalada.
President’s Day at Berkshire Hathaway
With interest running high, a lottery was held to decide the 120 lucky Buffett visitors. About 40 students each from the Full-Time MBA, Sacramento and Bay Area Working Professional MBA programs met in Omaha. Dean Nicole Woolsey Biggart and finance Professor Brad Barber accompanied the students.
Buffett so enjoyed meeting with 40 UC Davis MBA students last year that he followed up by inviting a group three times the size for this February’s visit.
This year’s UC Davis group, joined by students from New York University’s Stern School of Business, toured the Nebraska Furniture Mart—part of Berkshire Hathaway—followed by a two-hour question-and-answer session with Buffett at the Field Club of Omaha. After dining with the billionaire, the students visited Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry, also owned by Berkshire.
Following Buffett’s Lead: Giving Back
As they did last year, many UC Davis MBA students arrived early, fanning out across Omaha to volunteer at Girls Inc., a program that helps girls succeed in school and life, at the United Way and at the Boys and Girls Club in north Omaha.
Two students, Regis Geisler and Kevin Cordes, contacted the local Girl Scouts and went to an artist’s studio where they held a welding lesson to help the girls start designing their own art pieces. The girls will finish their metal sculptures and sell them in a fundraiser for charity. The collaboration with the Girl Scouts and the artists was so successful that they plan to do it again.
“Helping out organizations that are near and dear to Mr. Buffett’s heart is probably the best way we can say thanks,” said student J.E. Paino. “As successful as he has been, he preaches that the dollar sign isn’t the only important thing in business. Finding a way to make a difference is.”
Their collective efforts landed them on the front page of the Omaha World-Herald in a story about giving their time as a way to express their thanks to Buffett.
This year’s group also involved the entire Graduate School of Management community to develop a high-school curriculum to teach financial literacy to teenagers in Northern California. While they set out to teach the curriculum in their local communities, they also plan to share the program with Buffett and organizations in Omaha with hopes it also will be taught there.
About the Graduate School of Management
The UC Davis Graduate School of Management is consistently ranked among the premier business schools in the nation. World-class faculty members renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, innovative and entrepreneurial students, successful alumni and a location at the heart of Northern California’s economic engine combine to provide an extraordinary, collaborative learning environment. Established in 1981, the school provides management education to more than 400 students enrolled in Full-Time MBA and Working Professional MBA programs.