On March 27-28, 2014, 19 students from the LSU Flores MBA Program and the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program had the rare opportunity to meet with billionaire investor and businessman Warren Buffett. Along with James C. Flores Endowed Chair of MBA Studies and LSU Flores MBA Professor Don Chance, the group traveled to Omaha, Nebraska for a session with the 83-year old Buffett, who Forbes magazine ranks as the second richest person in America. Presently, Buffett’s estimated net worth is $58.5 billion. This is the second time in three years a group of LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business students has been invited to make the trip.
According to Chance, Buffett conducts programs for groups of college students at the headquarters of his company, Berkshire Hathaway.
"Mr. Buffett has not only done a lot of good with his money, but with events like this, he is obviously influencing another generation with his time and advice,” Chance said. “Two of the most valuable tips he gave the students were that the most important things for being successful in life were a strong marriage and family and finding a career you love.”
With the assistance of Executive MBA student Amy Vidrine, the LSU Flores MBA Program presented Buffett and his staff with 10 bottles of a special LSU version of the McIlhenny Company’s famous Tabasco sauce. Additionally, the LSU Department of Finance brought Buffett an LSU cap.
Vidrine, owner of the New Iberia, La. management consulting firm the Vidrine Companies, relished the experience.
"The opportunity to interact with Warren Buffett was a tremendous experience I will never forget,” Vidrine said. “His warm and humorous personality emphasizes his tremendous desire to develop future business leaders. I am very grateful to the LSU Flores MBA Program for providing this opportunity.”
LSU was one of four schools and a national chapter of a student organization in attendance for the late-March meeting. The full group toured one of Buffett’s companies, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and a few students stayed an extra day to tour two more of his companies, Borsheims and the Oriental Trading Company. Buffett met with the full group of students for a two and a half hour Q&A session and then treated everyone to lunch at Piccolo Pete’s, a popular Nebraska restaurant. Buffett even personally drove four students from his headquarters to the restaurant, and full-time MBA student Marcus Bennett had the opportunity to be transported by the most valuable chauffeur in the world.
In addition to Bennett and Vidrine, the following students comprised the group from LSU: EMBA students Khalid Bokhari, Joseph Kelley, Laura Rempert Kraeuter and Patrick Toomey; Professional MBA students Seyi Fadamiro, Jason Hovey, Michael Taylor and Carnisha Thomas; full-time MBA students YangYang Han, Victoria Hendrix, Jinsong Liu, Mengmeng Liu, Katie Mashburn, Eliska Otillio and Qi Zhu; and MS Finance students Frank Betts and Tao Xu.
The mission of the LSU Flores MBA Program is to remain competitive in the national and regional markets, while fostering learning, leadership and networking in a global business environment. Full-time, professional and executive tracks are offered and provide schedule flexibility for those wishing to pursue their MBA from a nationally recognized program. For more information, visit mba.lsu.edu or call 225-578-8867.
The Department of Finance is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program Partner and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board-Registered Program that offers high quality curricula to undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in corporate finance, asset management, real estate, insurance, banking, financial planning and business law. The department boasts internationally renowned research faculty in several areas, including derivatives, asset management, banking and spatial econometrics. The department’s Securities Markets Analysis Research & Trading Lab boasts the Bloomberg Professional service, the platform used by more than 300,000 leading business and financial professionals worldwide to make informed business decisions, and an extensive library of financial data bases including the Wharton WRDS System. Additionally, the department encourages, supports and conducts research in real estate by housing the nationally renowned Real Estate Research Institute. For more information, visit www.business.lsu.edu/finance or call 225-578-6291.
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