March 24, 2014

MBAs Rub Shoulders with Billionaire Investor Warren Buffett

Buffet with MBAsIn the middle of an Omaha winter, Warren Buffett takes time to meet, lunch and share advice with TCU MBAs and Dean Erekson.

by Elaine Cole

Warren Buffett is known for being a shrewd investor who makes wise choices. For seven years in a row, he has chosen TCU as one of the schools from which he invites MBA students to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, for some up-close-and-personal time. 

And, like last year, he chose a TCU MBA student to ride in the car with him to the restaurant. Spencer Albright climbed into Buffett’s car, along with three students from London, Northwestern and Arizona State.

Buffett asked Spencer where he wanted to be in five years, then offered advice.

“It was amazing. He is really personable. I didn’t expect him to be so extroverted,” Spencer said.

Spencer also sat with Buffett at the restaurant for some one-on-one time.

“I asked him what business skills he wished he had learned in school, but instead learned in the process of investing,” Spencer said. “He said it was the need to have working knowledge in every field, from strategy to supply chain to marketing, accounting, finance, but the most important skill is to lead people and understand what motivates them.”

Dean Erekson accompanied the TCU MBAs on the trip and said it was a special privilege for him and the students to meet with Warren Buffett.

“His insights about business were, of course, quite special,” Erekson said. “I was especially impressed with his emphasis on finding and living within our Circle of Competence, whether as a business or an individual. He focused on developing specific expertise throughout his career and networking experiences, but he also recognized the special talents and abilities that one can bring to an organization.”

TCU MBA Morgan Maxwell agreed. “He not only talked about investment strategies and practices, but also about giving back to society, working for people you respect, and choosing your partners in life and business wisely. Even though he is extremely wealthy, it was impressive to see that he does not define himself or his success solely by his wealth.”

“As our students embark on challenging business careers, hearing Mr. Buffett’s message on commitment to family and maintaining personal integrity was clearly impactful,” Erekson said.

TCU MBA Justin Thompson is taking up Buffett’s offer to return for the annual shareholders’ meeting.

“I’m looking forward to going back for the meeting,” Justin said. “It will be like watching the celebrities of the business world, since one share of Berkshire Hathaway stock is worth around $177 thousand. It will be interesting to hear what questions they ask, what they are interested in, where they are going, and just get the overall report of Berkshire Hathaway. It’s a great opportunity to learn from one of best in the industry.”