Learnings from Movie - The Devil wears Prada

 | October 04,2011 05:01 pm IST

The Devil wears Prada” is a learning experience for the freshers who just entered the industry and getting themselves attuned to the intricacies of corporate culture. It is a story of, Andy Sachs (character played by Anne Hathaway), who just enters into the industry, is robust on her core values, listens to her heart till end and still able to survive the corporate culture.

The story of Andy puts a cap to think, that how despite being regularly called “silly girl”, she is able to win the heart of” Miranda Coolly”, her boss, been able to reach the top by never putting her core values at stake.
Learnings from “ The Devil wears Prada” could also be seen from HR perspectives as well, where entire movie has aspects of Human Resource strategies starting from branding, recruiting, creating HR policies, mentorship, to management employee clashes.

“Runway”, the magazine has been created as brand during the movie as at every point it has been portrayed that if an employee is working at runway, s/he can do the same anywhere. The magazine is the voice of fashion industry. Dialogues like “a million girls would kill for that job.” “Don’t be ridiculous, everyone wants this,” by higher management says it all.

Learnings from HR perspective could be penned down as:

Facilitating smooth onboarding
from the very first day, Andy was asked to be on job, and it made Andy’s life difficult. If Runway was such a sought after organization, they should have allocated at least some time for new joiners to facilitate on boarding activities, to acquaint with organization’s values, and disciplines.

Avoidance of Toxic Leadership
Leadership traits in the movie were quite negative, as being reflected by the entry of Miranda to the office, that how all her subordinates get back to their shell. Such environment creates negativity and does affect productivity. A good manager should be approachable, appreciative and new comers should not feel rejected. He should be able to create rapport with all the subordinates which was missing in Miranda’s attitude. The commanding attitude she was reflecting is obsolete and in the current scenario, where organizations advocates flat structure, it is not acceptable.

High Team spirit
Constant team meetings, where everyone tries to portray themselves as best and please their bosses are not a positive sign of team functioning. Expecting innovative product from such a team shall be misnomer.

Succession planning
higher management should always have succession plan handy, unlike what happened with “Runway” organization, where till end she could not replace Miranda, due to handpicked options available with her. Such situations normally let the person in question monopolize and can set negative examples in organization.

Importance of good mentor
Efficient Mentorship does help an employee to move up in the ladder in the organization, and Nigel, the art director, is the perfect example of the same. His regular sessions with Andy where he talked about the “Runway” as an organization, made Andy so comfortable that she could perform fairly well despite all the intracacie.It was just not only Andy, but also other people whom he took under him and honed to bring best out of them by his efficient coaching. His receptive nature made him so very popular.

After discussing the HR learnings, let’s now move to learnings from character Andy.
Don’ts at interview
the way Andy entered the interview room, and replied that she wanted to be an investigative reporter shows her unpreparedness for the interview.
As a job seeker, you should be aware about the organization you are appearing for.

Work Life Balance
To keep a perfect work life balance is essentially important. It is clearly seen that despite the fact Andy doing quite well in her job, but her love life is in trouble, which should be avoided.

Rapport with supervisor
To share a good rapport with your boss at work place is important, as it is this factor that keeps you motivating towards your work. In movie the way Andy started changing herself for her boss to understand better (though within limits) is an appreciative example. Boss-subordinate relationship is something you cannot put at stake, if you plan to be the part of the organization.


Patience is the key, which is well reflected by Andy. Despite several failures, work pressure, indifferent attitude of boss, she kept trying and could finally win the hearts, and could come out with flying colors.

Loving your work
It is very important for freshers to love their work and be positive about the organization, as this positive attitude only carves the path of successful career for them.

The level of commitment towards work, organization, your boss helps you to gain confidence amongst your peers as well as with your boss and it does help as you plan to move ahead in your career.

To conclude, the movie clearly depicts that how we can keep our values intact and still reach greater heights in our career. Simple understanding of the organization, rapport with boss, accommodating nature is the key to success for a fresher.






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Lizabeth on 10/19/11 at 01:50 am

I just hope woevehr writes these keeps writing more!