Meeting the legend Warren Buffett in Omaha

Yep– the Buffett you thought! I still cannot believe that I met the man in person!

Last Friday, 19 other Fisher grad students and I had the honor to represent Fisher and have lunch with Mr. Buffett at Anthony’s Steakhouse in Omaha.

During the Q&A session before lunch, Mr. Buffett shared his wisdom of life and investment to us. Well, it was mostly about the power of love.

Here are some key points of his speech that impressed me the most:

a) Thinking about your favorite person and the one you dislike the most, write down their characteristics. Then you will know how to be a better person.

b) Unconditional love is the most precious thing in life which cannot be bought by money. You would get it from your parents or spouse. Love others first, then you will get love from them 1000 times back. He said he would not be the same person without the unconditional love of his wife and father.

c) Being others’ spouse and parent is the most important job in life. You cannot take back your actions or words. There is no replay or delete.

During his speech, Mr. Buffett shared many interesting stories. For example, in early 1990s, Mr. Buffett and Bill Gates and other icons in business and tech sat around a table to discuss how the internet would develop in the next decade (which Buffett said they should have taped) They talked for hours, but they didn’t come up with amazing ideas such as Youtube, Linkedin, or ads in websites– though they had the best business and technology minds in the world.

The most amazing part of meeting Mr. Buffett is that he speaks in a candid manner to students. He’s not arrogant at all– just like a grandfather talking to his grandkids, or even just as one would talk to friends. Moreover, to manage a crowd over 160 people, he only brought two assistants, a secretary and a bodyguard. You would not even sense the existence of the bodyguard until he wandered in the hallway to keep an eye on Mr. Buffett during lunch time. The secretary was so easygoing and elegant. She just sat behind the table, observing the room and monitoring the process during the Q&A session, only interrupting when necessary but in a calm and warm voice. With all the student groups taking pictures, there were a little chaos, but Mr. Buffett still maintained his smile. It was a brief experience, but I am impressed by how efficient and organized his team was and how much he trusted them.

Fisher grad Students meeting with Mr. Buffett

Another treat was the delicious steak, smashed potato, and strawberry cake at the steakhouse. But photos were not allowed to be taken inside the restaurant, so here is our group photo outside. You definitely should visit the place if you ever travel to Omaha!

Anthony’s Steakhouse

After meeting Mr. Buffett, we still had 3.5 hours before our flight back to Columbus. So, three other Fisher students (Lauren, Michelle, and Zainab) joined me and Heidi from the Office of Global Business to rent a car and take a quick tour of Omaha. Thanks to Lauren for this awesome idea and to Heidi for driving us around Omaha– and even to Iowa at one point!

Nebraska Furniture Mart
OMAHA

Last but not least, big thanks and respect to our awesome and calm trip leader Matthew Nordman, who helped us to get to Omaha in time given some flight issues and helped us to transfer on an earlier flight back, so each of us on the trip could finish the journey within 24 hours. Four flights within 24 hours and a return to the same airport is a record of mine now!

SMF Class Dinner after Intensive Finals week

Hey there! Long time no see, my dear readers!!!

Where have I been???

Well, we SMF candidates have had a lot on our plate in the past few weeks: mid-term exams, group projects, and FINALS, of course.  I was often at Gerlach Student Lounge late at night with my friends to study. Sometimes I also caught up at the 18th Avenue Library. And my group spent dozens of hours together for group assignments in the study rooms at Gerlach Hall, including two days during “autumn break” to work on our final group case for Corporate Finance. Weekends in the past few weeks were just days without classes for me.

View @ 18th Avenue Library
@ 18th Avenue Library

Also, in the 7th week of the first session, our SMF class presented company research reports for the Turbo Finance course, which we had been working on from the very beginning of everything. (For more information about our pre-term, please refer to my previous blog.) Each group delivered awesome presentations on their company. And we got snacks from two groups whose companies are a food company and food packaging company, respectively. My group didn’t bring any treats for our class since we cannot distribute semi-conductors!

TADA!!! Here is our awesome class! Everyone looks sharp. And I was struggling to show my face among 6-foot tall Americans when we were taking the photo…

SMF Class of 2017 Presentation
SMF Class of 2017

After wrapping up the first session, two of our classmates, Agrja and Mia planned and organized our SMF class dinner before we got too busy for the new session. It was a lot of work– including writing invitation to the whole class and professors, confirming attendees and booking the restaurant for the large group.

But it was also a lot of fun that night. Professor Fuller shared his business-trip memories. He told our table about the special shrimp with unique cooking techniques that he tried in an Asian restaurant. Professor Pinteris and his family shared their stories and discussed Chinese dishes with their table. (Professor Pinteris’ daughter is so cute!!! She told us stories about her friends and family. And she took a “selfie” with everyone with her sweet smile!) The last-but-not-least table was “Chinese with Hector” he can speak fake Mandarin! I laugh out loud every time when he mimics us talking.

SMF Class Dinner
SMF Class Dinner

Thank you, Mia & Agrja, for your time and efforts to make all of this happen! I look forward to our next SMF dinner!

Taking a Break during my Busy SMF Schedule

“A career fair last week, 3 case discussions this week, 2 mid-term exams  on Monday next week, and FINAL exams two weeks after that.” That’s how I describe my SMF life to my friend. Later, my classmates remind me that we also have one presentation and one case brief due next week.

This is not just busy. It is CRAZYYYYYY!!!!!

But the good news is that the director of our program, Professor Pinteris, adjusts the schedule after our classmates talk to him about this– which is super sweet. (After all, we can’t miss the big game between OSU vs. Oklahoma this weekend!!! GO BUCKS!!!)

GO BUCKS!!! & BEAT OKLAHOMA!!!
GO BUCKS!!! & BEAT OKLAHOMA!!!

Having a busy schedule doesn’t mean that we cannot have some fun!

On weekends, our class usually gathers for dinner and drinks together. We have tried one Chinese restaurant, one Indian and two Mexican so far. In terms of bars, I have no clue because I cannot handle alcohol (I have no intention of fighting against my genes). But if you are a fan of drinks, there are many decent bars in town. You can definitely get what you want here!

SMF dinner
SMF Weekend Dinner

Also, some of my classmates signed up for a soccer team and had a game on Tuesday. Sun, breeze, birds, and a soccer game for that afternoon–relaxing and beautiful!

SMF Soccer Team
SMF Soccer Team
Birds
Birds
Sun
Sun

But as I told you before, it was a busy week for SMF student. As I result, I headed back to Fisher before the game ended because I had to go to my next scheduled event — a group meeting for our project!

My team is awesome. Everyone contributes and teaches each other. My favorite part is that we do our project literally together, not just write sections separately and collect the pieces later. After every group assignment and meeting, we learn way more than we expected. I enjoy our days and nights together.

The life of SMF candidates is busy, but we have the support and help from each other. And all the things we do in the program prepare us to change from a student to a professional. We can actually see the alteration from time to time. It is amazing that some of our classmates now sound like investment bankers or financial analysts in class discussions!

10 PM at Gerlach Hall
10 PM at Gerlach Hall

Week Two: First Monday and EY on Campus!

Monday Morning in Columbus
Monday Morning in Columbus (Aug 29)

“There will be no rest for the weary”, as they say.

Today is the first Monday of this semester since week one started with Tuesday (Aug 23).

Monday is a long day for SMF students this session because we have THREE classes (Corporate Finance I, Data Analysis I & Econ I), from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, with only a one-hour lunch break. So, I was in a bit of a hurry to have a quick lunch at SUBWAY with my friends. When we were heading out of Gerlach, I heard one of my classmates yell, “WOW FREE PIZZA!!!” That’s when I discovered recruiters from Ernest & Young (EY) with DELICIOUS PIZZAS (both Veggie & Meat), EY-yellow sunglasses and EY T-Shirts! This is recruiting season at Fisher– and you’ll often find various organizations on campus. With free food and give-aways!

EY Yellow at Fisher Campus
EY Yellow at Fisher Campus

BTW, I was so relieved that I escaped from SUBWAY for one day because I almost ate there every day in the pre-term. How busy and crazy our SMF schedule in the pre-term is! Just check my previous blog to have a peek! Subway is something that you can eat every day because it is fast and close to Fisher, but you don’t want to! Basically, it is a combination of Meat + Veggie + Cheese + Bread. If you eat it every day for a while, it will taste like the same thing despite various recipes. TRUST ME or TRY IT. You will know what I mean! Or you can prepare your lunch the day before and take it to Gerlach as some of my classmates do. There are two refrigerators on the second floor of Gerlach.  

After a few bites of pizza, I talked to several EY staff in the field, including Adam, Meg, Anna & Harrison. They were so patient and helpful & answered questions from students one by one just as in the career fairs–but under sunshine without air-conditioning and a fancy building.

However, the conversation continued in the “fancy building” (Mason Hall) with AC after 5:30 pm with more EY staff answering questions for more students. Ther students were so polished and professional. I am really impressed and proud of our Fisher family!

Exciting Semester Starts with FINAL EXAM for SMF!

Aha! The new semester begins! Believe it or not! SMF students are preparing for their first final exam this week! How exciting! : )

SMF stands for Specialized Master in Finance. There is no doubt that we are a special group who has already done two group assignments and five case studies before the new semester begins and is going to take a FINAL EXAM in the first week of the new semester.

???

There are maybe many question marks in your head: Are you kidding? Do you finish a course for only one week? How is that possible?

Well, that’s because we have been on campus for three weeks before the semester officially begins! We were taking a course called Turbo Finance which covered almost all basic ideas of Finance, from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm.

Additionally, we met successful alumni of our program and took Bloomberg training with the legendary rock star of Bloomberg, Professor Matt Sheridan, during the busy pre-term schedule.

This sounds like mission impossible, but we did it! The awesome staff of Fisher and the director of our program who is also our professor for Turbo Finance, Dr. George Pinteris, prepared and scheduled perfectly to make all of these happen.

& Here is some beautiful view of campus and Columbus!

Fisher College of Business:

Fisher

The Oval:

The Oval

The One & the Only RPAC:

RPAC

Ohio State Fair (Annually August Event in Columbus):

Ohio State Fair

Columbus at night:

Columbus Nightview