Top Five Netflix Movies & Shows for MBA Students to Binge Watch

Top Five Netflix Movies & Shows for MBA Students to Binge Watch

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As we remain sheltered-in-place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people turn to various forms of entertainment to stay sane. We’ve begun to see a proliferation of dance challenges on TikTok, happy hours on Zoom, and fun games with friends on the Houseparty app. We have also passed the time bingeing on Netflix movies and shows. With an abundance of content related to business and entrepreneurship, Netflix is a pretty good source for educating yourself and picking up some new knowledge and skills.

By consuming entrepreneurial entertainment, you’ll be able to observe how others have overcome hardships, and be able to empathize with their daily struggles and learn from their trials and tribulations. In this article, I recommend my favorite business-related movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix that every prospective or current MBA student should check out. Here they are, in no particular order…

SERIES

1. Inside Bill’s Brain

The gist:

In this business docu-series, Bill Gates, the software magnate is demystified. As viewers, we get to the core of who he is and learn not only about his passion and process for tackling climate change solutions but also what makes him tick and what experiences in his past have shaped who he is as a person.

How it helped me as an MBA student:

This was an intriguing look inside the mind of a genius. Throughout the series I learned how intelligent, passionate, and savvy Bill Gates actually is and it gave me a sense that these are some of the essential qualities of any successful business person. After watching this three-part series, I felt more motivated to read more, learn more, and do more with my time.

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2. Mad Men

The gist:

This classic American period drama series follows the lives of 1960s advertising executives looking to stay ahead in the high-pressure world of Madison Avenue advertising firms. Throughout the series you learn that anything can be marketed if it has the proper tagline.

How it helped me as an MBA student:

Mad Men offers an immersive experience into what it was like to work at an ad agency in the 1960s. I actually worked at a creative agency before Booth, so it was interesting to see the parallels that still exist when it comes to business structure, client interactions, and the creative process. Mad Men unveils the core of advertising, which is to make people happy. I’ve learned that in marketing a product to consumers, I must lead with the value proposition: what the product will do for them and how it will improve their lives.

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MOVIES

3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The gist:

This Netflix film is based on the true story of a young boy named William Kamkwamba  who saved his town in Malawi from famine by constructing a windmill to provide water and electricity. As drought, deforestation, flood and famine hit his village, he began to search for a solution by borrowing books from his former school’s library. And in those books he learned about wind turbines–knowledge that would eventually deliver prosperity to his village.

How it helped me as an MBA student:

At its heart, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a story of incredible innovation. William overcomes countless obstacles throughout his journey but finds a way to overcome them through grit, courage, and perseverance. This movie teaches that any entrepreneurial venture comes with its own inherent risks, however, every risk gives way for new opportunities. Don’t ever let your doubts keep you from pursuing your dreams because even in failure, there are new lessons to be learned and new goals to achieve.

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4. The Great Hack

The gist:

The Great Hack unearths the dark side to social media through the revelations discovered in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. We grapple with the fundamental question of where personal privacy begins and ends online and the ramifications when tech companies harvest online information about us.

How it helped me as an MBA student:

During my time here at Booth, I have taken particular interest into how personalized behavioral marketing works. Through classes such as Big Data and Data-Driven marketing, I’ve learned the tactical and strategic steps for running successful marketing campaigns. This film, while serving as a lesson of what to avoid, sheds light on how the industry truly works and how to proceed with customer data with integrity.

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5. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

The gist:

This Netflix documentary tells the story of Jiro Ono, 90-year-old Japanese sushi chef and restaurant owner who is widely considered to be the best in the world. You are invited to take an inside look at the day-to-day life of Ono and his staff, their dedication to quality and obsession with perfection.

How it helped me as an MBA student:

Jiro’s passion, dedication, and obsession with perfection are sources of motivation in this documentary. He creates an unforgettable experience for his customers, which begs the question to aspiring entrepreneurs of what type of unique and memorable experience are you offering to your customers? Whenever I start my own business in the future, I aspire to put in as much attention to detail and consideration for the customer as Jiro does when preparing his sushi cuisines.

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Hopefully you’ll be able to learn some new skills from these five Netflix shows, movies, and documentaries as you await life to get back to normal and you’re able to return to Chicago Booth’s Harper Center. Until then, stay safe!