5 Must-Watch Films and Documentaries for Business Students



Traditional schooling, although important, only teaches a person so much. For business students, colleges and universities do a great job teaching the principles of business, but these principles should be supplemented with films and documentaries that accurately portray the real-world business environment. These films and documentaries, when combined with traditional business teachings, can help students prepare themselves for their future business endeavors.

While many business films and documentaries are somewhat dramatized by Hollywood, they still do a good job of providing behind-the-scenes insight as to how the real world conducts business. For students, these films and documentaries provide practical lessons that can be used as fiction or nonfiction case studies.

“Boiler Room”

“Boiler Room” is an ideal film for business students to watch at a young age because it deals with business ethics and the need to properly vet a job prior to accepting the position. The movie takes place during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and follows a college dropout who becomes a stockbroker to please his father.

Seth, the main character, becomes caught up in the allure of large commissions and wealthy partners, and turns himself into a top salesperson. However, he begins to question the legitimacy of his job and the operations of his company, and he has to come to terms with what matters in life: money or reputation. This film does a great job of highlighting the pitfalls of a “get rich quick” business mentality.

“Glengarry Glen Ross”

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is an iconic business film that was a 1992 adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The film follows four real estate agents who have an inability to successfully sell properties to retirement communities. Facing pressure from their company, they are forced into a sales contest where the losers are fired. The idea of being a “hard closer” in sales comes from this film.

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