By Sarah Small
Early in his freshman year at ILLINOIS, Jeremy Nuzzo learned that business students regularly meet and grow their professional networks with influential business men and women. Right away Nuzzo decided he wanted to meet Warren Buffett, one of the most respected businessmen in the country.
With advice and encouragement from John Hedeman, assistant dean, Honors, Nuzzo first attempted to establish a connection with Buffett through alumni. He eventually learned his path to meeting one of the wealthiest people on the planet was strikingly simple albeit a little slow; he put his name on a list and just waited.
Three years later Nuzzo’s number has come up. On November 6 he will travel with 26 of his fellow honors students, Hedeman and Mary Porter, retired executive assistant dean College Relations and Special Events, to Omaha, Nebraska for a day with Warren Buffett.
“The thing that impresses me most about this is that its student initiated,” Hedeman said.
The group will join students from five other universities and tour two of Buffett’s companies, spend two hours with him in a question and answer session then share lunch.
“There’s an aura around Warren Buffett in his modesty,” Hedeman said. “He’s headquartered in Omaha and he takes time out of his schedule to meet with students.”
Hedeman said he hopes the students come away from the experience with an appreciation for the real person behind the iconic businessman.
“What I hope is they’ll see him as a human being who makes decisions like they do every day,” Hedeman said. “It’s ordinary people with extraordinary skills that do extraordinary things.”
For Nuzzo, he welcomes the opportunity to observe the real Buffett beyond what he reads in books and newspapers.
“It’s about getting to see what he’s like in a small group setting,” Nuzzo said. “Seeing how he operates at a much more personal level.”