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MBA Recruiter Interview: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. headquarters can be found in Burbank, California

Image: Oscity/Shutterstock.com


Based in California and home to library of approximately 7,000 feature films and 5,000 television programs comprising tens of thousands of individual episodes, Warner Bros. could be an attractive proposition for any MBA with their eyes on a career in the media and entertainment industry.

In the following interview, the company’s vice president of talent acquisition, Barbara Serby talks through the opportunities available to MBA graduates. According to Serby, Warner Bros. targets MBAs because,  "the rigors of a top MBA program require students to develop interpersonal and relationship skills which are critical to success in any role." However, she also points out that, “an MBA won’t necessarily make you more successful than someone who took a different path. Our goal is to hire a variety of talented people who work together to deliver the best results and further the development of the Warner Bros. legacy.”

That legacy encompasses a feature film division (Warner Bros. Pictures) which made US$3.71 billion at the box office (worldwide) in 2015 and counts Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them among its big releases in 2016. There's also the company’s television arm (with a roster which includes the popular comedy series The Big Bang Theory) to consider as well as subsidiary, DC Entertainment, home to the world-renowned comic publisher, DC Comics.

If that’s whetted your appetite as to where an MBA qualification might take you at Warner Bros., then read on to find out more.

Barbara Serby; Warner Bros.Why does Warner Bros. hire MBAs?

Warner Bros. recognizes that an MBA program gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world business challenges that will further their development as potential leaders. The rigors of a top MBA program require students to develop interpersonal and relationship skills which are critical to success in any role. In addition, pre-MBA work experiences in other industries can bring a fresh perspective that complements our industry expertise.

Why do MBAs want to work for Warner Bros.?

Given the changing dynamics of media and the entertainment industry, it’s an exciting time to join an industry leader like Warner Bros. Our current business is an interesting combination of traditional media content (e.g. feature films, network television production) and evolving digital content and distribution platforms. In addition, we are growing a variety of areas including video games, consumer products and virtual reality, while constantly exploring new ways to develop and distribute content to global audiences across every platform. There are a plethora of areas where MBAs can contribute to our diversified portfolio of businesses.

What are the most common job roles for MBA graduates at Warner Bros.?

We do not limit our MBA hiring to a specific area of our business. We typically hire MBA graduates into strategy and finance roles. However, we have also hired MBAs in technology, marketing and distribution roles. In general, these positions are located in the United States.

Which business schools do you tend to recruit from?

Warner Bros. has an active on-campus presence at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, UCLA, USC and the Wharton School of Business. In addition, we consider applicants from all business schools who apply directly for our positions.


What steps should MBAs take in order to make a good impression? Conversely, what are some common mistakes MBAs should avoid when contacting recruiters?

It’s important that you develop a thorough understanding of our business, not only our current capabilities but growth opportunities in the industry. Take that a step further by trying to connect with a previous intern or employee to gain additional insight and perspective about company culture and environment. Not all companies interview or operate the same – try to research those distinctions before your interview.

Written by Nicole Willson

Nicole is the SEO manager of TopMBA.com, as well as a contributing author. She holds a BA in history and sociology, and a master's in library science. Aside from her work for QS, Nicole is a long-time contributing editor and administrator for WikiHow.

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