VERMILLION, S.D. -- On Friday, Oct. 17, nearly two dozen students from the Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota met with billionaire investor Warren Buffett at the Berkshire Hathaway Offices in Omaha, Neb. They also dined with Buffett at his favorite lunch site, Piccolo Pete’s, before touring Borsheim’s Jewelry and the Oriental Trading Company.
While it’s difficult for some of the world’s shrewdest investors to meet with Buffett regularly, USD students have been meeting with Buffett almost annually as an opportunity for business majors to ask questions and learn from one of the world’s richest people. The trip was organized by the USD Student Chapter of the Financial Management Association.
“USD business students have enjoyed the opportunity to travel to Omaha, meet with Mr. Buffett, and tour Berkshire-owned companies several times during the past decade,” stated Angeline Lavin, Ph.D., C.F.A., professor of finance and director of USD’s M.B.A. and M.P.A. programs. “I am confident that the nearly 200 USD business students who have benefited from this opportunity would identify the two hour Q&A with Mr. Buffett as one of the highlights of their college career.”
In addition to students from USD meeting with Buffett, schools attending a 90-minute question and answer session with Buffett included Cornell University, University of Missouri, Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.), St. Louis University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
“Meeting Warren Buffett was great,” said Nick Willan of Vermillion. “He is very down to earth, has realistic expectations, and is very insightful. Many students asked about financial success and to this he responded, ‘Diversification is a safety net for what you don’t know.’ It was apparent that he never started off with money but was destined to be great from the start because of his passion for knowledge and a drive to be successful.”
“The trip was a success,” added Tyce Daggitt, an M.B.A. student from Sioux Falls, S.D. “Listening to the wise words Buffett spoke was eye opening. He said a lot of motivational things that I will put into my toolbox of life. I think the thing that stuck with me the most was his view on the tax code in America. I can honestly say my entire view on taxes was changed within 10 minutes of him explaining his thoughts.”
For more information about FMA at USD, please visit their Web site at www.usd.edu/business/fma/.