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Christopher Leigh

Business Movie Review Task

The Intern
Director: Nancy Meyers
Lead Actors: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway
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Plot Summary
The Intern is a film about a elderly male, Ben Whittaker, played by Robert De Niro, who takes a senior internship
at a recently built company. The company is an E-commerce company which sells clothing online. Due to the
nature of the business, its employees are of a young age (around mid twenties to early thirties), which leaves
Ben as an outsider. He is then tasked with what ends up being more than a simple helping hand, with the current
boss and founder of the company, Jules Ostin, played by Anne Hathaway. Later in the movie we find out that
Juless company is growing at a much faster rate than projected. She had started her business in her kitchen and
now owns a company with over 200 employees, therefore it is advised that she is to hire a new CEO, to try and
relieve some of the stress and workload laid upon her. She proceeds by interviewing people but is hesitant at
first, as she is worried it may change the ethics and behaviour of the companys employees. She ends up decline
most of the offers on her quest, until she comes across the one she was looking for, and hired during his
interview. Bens Character progresses to become a fatherly like figure to the younger employees and becomes
very close with Jules. He and other co-workers even went to her mothers house to delete an email that was
mistakenly set to her. Ben without hesitance is prepared to help Jules, and ultimately builds their relationship.
Jules is also a mother which adds to the stress and lack of time, emphasising the need for a new CEO, however
she learns that her husband has been having an affair which adds to the emotional stress. However as the movie
then progresses towards the end, we see that again, she ends up hiring a new CEO, makes amends with her
husband, and labels Ben as her Best Friend.

Management & Leadership


It is evident that the protagonist, Jules Ostin, has certain entrepreneurial and leadership qualities to be able to
start from her kitchen and progress to a successful company. Jules has shown that she can carry out the four
main management tasks(Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling) as well as Leading tasks.
The definition of leading is someone that shares their vision and inspires other to carry it out. The film displays
the qualities of a leader through many situations, for example, we see Jules working the customer support
phones, this is an excellent way to both engage with her employees and lead by example to spread her vision in
that specific field. Later we also see Ben tackle a mountain of paperwork without instruction, showing him taking
ownership and leading by example for the rest of the employees.
We see other situations in the movie where ben takes leadership in a spur of the moment problem. Again
relating to the miss sent email to Juless mother, Ben takes charge of the team and leads them to getting in,
deleting the email, and getting out safely.
All these examples are about setting a standard. Jules is not seen simply sending an email of instructions on how
to do things, instead she will appear in person to show how she wants things done and share her visions visually
with her employees, which also in turn builds a relationship between her and her employees.

A hardship for Jules appears when she is advised to hire a new CEO, and therefore handing over the leadership
position. She ends up devastated and is worried that handing the leadership position will change the way her
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business operates and change what the business stands for. However it must be realised that a change in
leadership is not always a bad thing, sometimes the same leadership styles can get a little stale and
introducing a new way of operating the business may introduce something better and more beneficial for the
company.

Creative Thinking & Problem Solving


This topic can relate to a situation discussed in Management And Leadership, whereby Ben and other colleagues
came up with the idea of breaking into Juless mothers house to delete an email that she had accidentally sent.
The film also presents a stress problem with Jules. She has a family at home and a very successful business to
juggle at the same time, and it is advised by her investors to hire a new CEO. She is hesitant at first as it may
disrupt the way in which her business operates in terms of both behaviour and the flow of work.
The company also has a system that a bell is rang when someone does something special. This is a good
initiative as it may motivate employees to solve problems to the business as they will get instant gratification.

Conflict Management
The film portrays a few situations where conflict related issues occur. Although there was not much physical
conflict, there were issues that could have lead to conflict. One being role ambiguity. Ben was applying for a
senior internship and when he was accepted and arrived, he had no task to do instantly and was told if anything
came up, he would be mailed, leaving him in the beginning with no particular role, however this did not lead to
any sort of conflict. The idea of role overload was seen often in the film, where Jules was recommended a new
CEO to relieve the stress, and she had left a load of paperwork which Ben has sorted out for her.
When Jules was presented with the idea of a new CEO, she first thought about her company, and whether this
change could cause conflict, which i potentially can, or if it would change the way the business works
completely.
Another point to raise is that Jules was experiencing some conflict at home, with her husband having an affair,
which changed her work morale and mental stability.

Conclusion
The film shows a character that has turned a business that started in her kitchen, and is now a company that
employs over 200 people. The film also portrayed some common business issues and how they overcame them.
However I feel as if the movie was more of a feel-good film rather than a business related film, even though it
portrayed the issues and progress of a company, it was not the focus point, yet it still does have relevance to the
business syllabus for Grade 12 as it touches on topics such as the ones expressed in this essay.
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References:
http://www.jmlalonde.com/10-leadership-lessons-and-quotes-from-the-intern/

http://www.gscommunications.com/insights-from-the-intern/

http://fiallo.com/2016/04/17/9-leadership-lessons-from-the-intern/

Grade 12 Business Book