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5 Movies to Watch Before Attending Business School

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The Wolf of Wall Street
It's a Wonderful Life
Boiler Room
Office Space

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be in the business world? Or, have you ever thought about how you're going to make it when hearing some people out there are "playing dirty"?

You're in luck. I've put together a small list of movies I consider all students majoring in business should watch. Not that you should make life moves based on movies, but the overall themes here can give you a small glimpse of the real world.

  1. The Wolf of Wall Street

    The film features the infamous Jordan Belfort (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio) as he defrauds wealthy investors in massive security scams. He ended up serving 22 months in prison for his crimes. It's a story full of corporate greed and the effects that can have on an individual. While it kind of mimics the exciting world of sales, it actually shows how it can all go wrong if you make poor decisions.

    The Wolf of Wall Street is an excellent example for business students, showing them the consequences of unethical behavior. By taking immoral actions, you can risk hurting or destroying your business AND your reputation. It's a great film to watch if you want to learn more about ethics, power, selfishness, greed, sales and corporate leadership.

  2. It's a Wonderful Life

    Now you may be wondering, why is there a Christmas movie on this list? Well, It's a Wonderful Life isn't just about the celebrated holiday. The 1947 film follows George Bailey as he contemplates taking his own life. His life's work is on the verge of crashing. As his guardian angel shows him how the world would have looked like without him, George realizes that life is more than what your job title is and how much money you make.

    As business majors, we all can get caught up in making money, cruising through the motions. So much so, we start ignoring other things and don't stop to appreciate the life we have. Your friends and family are much more important than what job you have or how wealthy you are. This American classic teaches us that no job is worth dying for. Life itself is the real reward of living!

  3. Boiler Room

    This film is very similar to The Wolf of Wall Street, except – the main character was roped into an unethical mess rather than choosing to join. He wanted to become a wealthy and successful stockbroker in hopes of making his father proud. Little did he know, the company he began to work for was playing dirty.

    Boiler Room is a great movie that portrays ethics in the late 1990s and the "get-rich-quick" mentality every businessman had. It also highlights the importance of putting some time and effort into researching a company before accepting a position!

  4. Moneyball

    In the 2011 movie, Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt), has a small budget as the general manager for the Oakland A's (a winning baseball team). Constricted by the mandatory budget, he is forced to develop new and tricky ways to keep up with the other teams in the league.

    Moneyball demonstrates the value of inventive thinking and the good that comes with change. We can all learn that coming up with new processes and ways to do ordinary tasks is beneficial to keeping a company current and relevant. This film is an encouragement to take calculated risks to help improve your business. 

  5. Office Space

    Last but not least, we have Office Space, a comedy about a desk job's boring life. It goes deep into office politics and gives an example of terrible operations management.

    This goofy film is actually a little scary because of how truthful and real it is. It all ended in disaster when the main characters were just looking for stable and well-paying jobs. It goes to show you must know what you want before going and accepting the first job you're offered.

Well, there you have it! Five movies you should consider watching before attending business school. Each movie teaches you about the struggles you will go through as a person in the business world, whether ethical or financial. What are some other movies business students should watch? 

Morganne Darling

Morganne Darling

Morganne is a freshman Marketing major and is a part of the UTD Women’s Soccer Team. Apart from pursuing a degree, she’s aspiring travel guru. She is eager to spread the news about anything and everything JSOM related! Read more articles

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