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Face-to-face with the master

The Warren Buffett trip on March 11, 2011, was truly a once in a lifetime experience! Nineteen MBA students from Purdue’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) and Finance Club, along with two faculty members, trekked to Omaha, Nebraska, to meet the world’s greatest investor.

To start our trip, we visited one of Mr. Buffett’s subsidiaries, Nebraska Furniture Mart. It is the largest home furnishing store in North America, selling furniture, flooring, appliances, and electronics, and sits on over 77 acres with over 420,000 square feet of retail space!

Next, we went to the Kiewit Building in downtown Omaha for a two-hour Q&A session with Mr. Buffett. As soon as he walked into the room, the audience immediately quieted into an awed hush. We couldn’t believe we were seeing "the Oracle of Omaha" in the flesh! Mr. Buffett fielded approximately 25 questions, ranging from the economy to his humble upbringing. He was very thorough and thoughtful in his responses, and put us at ease with his surprising sense of humor.

As we were wrapping up the Q&A session, Mr. Buffett picked five lucky students from various schools to travel to lunch at Piccolo Pete’s (his favorite restaurant)…in his own car! We enjoyed lunch (his treat!) and took individual/group pictures afterwards. This was our favorite part of the trip as he was more than happy to do funny and serious pictures with us. After the photo session, we went to tour another one of his subsidiaries, Borsheim’s.

All in all, we were very impressed with Mr. Buffett. He is the epitome of successful investing and someone who carries himself the right way. He is personable, funny, and genuinely interested in the students that visit him. Ultimately, this experience will forever be etched in the minds of those who attended the trip!

Thank you, Mr. Buffett!!

Jared Jenson and Chris Wong
MBA Class of 2011
Co-Presidents, Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF)