Warren Buffett’s former deputy who snagged her job with a daring letter says the risk of doing so is ‘pretty low’ — so why not try.
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Warren Buffet protégé Tracy Britt Cool famously got her job with Buffet by asking for one in a letter in 2009.
She said on CNBC Make It that the risk of doing so is pretty low, “so why not try?”
As a student, her letters also secured her meetings with Morgan Stanley’s and Bear Stearns’ CEOs.
Tracy Britt Cool famously got her job at Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, after writing him a letter in 2009. She says doing so was a no-brainer.
“The risk is pretty low — it’s that someone is going to say ‘no.’ So why not try?” she told CNBC Make It in a report published Sunday. It is not immediately clear when the interview took place.
Her letter to Buffet earned her a meeting with the Oracle of Omaha, to which she brought corn and tomatoes from her farm as an homage to their shared Midwestern upbringing, the New York Times reported in July 2022.
And the letter paid off, with her landing a job as a financial assistant to Buffet, before rising quickly through the ranks to become one of Buffet’s top lieutenants, according to a Bloomberg profile of her.
While her letter to Buffet helped land her the job, Britt Cool told CNBC that she also wrote letters to executives she admired while still a student. These letters resulted in meetings with the CEOs of Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns.
“I wasn’t doing it because I wanted a job. That’s not why I reached out to people. I was doing it because I wanted to become more thoughtful,” she told CNBC, per the report.
Comparing the reachouts to her college scholarship applications, she said this persistence “requires the discipline and the time and the energy to do it. And to invest in that.”
Britt Cool spent a decade working at Berkshire Hathaway before striking out on her own in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported. In her decade-long stint at Berkshire, she chaired four of the company’s subsidiaries and was one of its few senior female executives.
Her work even earned her the moniker of “the fireman” from Buffet, who told the Journal that “anything I’ve assigned her she’s done a first-class job on.”
After leaving Berkshire, she started her private equity firm Kanbrick in 2020. In her company’s annual letter published in April, she took a jab at “meme stocks” and touted the “iPhone moment” that artificial intelligence was experiencing.
Britt Cool isn’t alone in her proactive approach to career building. Similar audacious letters landed Madonna her first film gig but got Hunter S. Thompson rejected from the Vancouver Sun.
Britt Cool did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.