Intern allegedly worked to death

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year-old German intern for Bank of America’s investment banking division in London, was found dead after allegedly working for 72 hours without sleep:

Bank intern’s death spotlights workaholic culture (news.msn.com)

The article describes the grueling workloads that finance interns in London, New York and Singapore go through to procure a coveted, high-paying job in the finance industry.

Among the highlights: 20-hour days, spending weekends and mealtime in the office, and working all-nighters. Politicians are calling on banks to ensure their employees’ safety by limiting their hours. But interns argue that it’s themselves, not the banks, who impose these rigorous standards:

But interns doubted it would be possible to change the culture, saying they were never explicitly told to work such long hours but imposed this on themselves in their desperation for a job.

“People push themselves because they want an offer with the bank and the chance of a great career and great money,” said one former intern from a major U.S. bank who secured a job after the summer. “This is a golden path.”

But is that “golden path” worth the immense stress that comes with it? Especially when these finance jobs, though high-paying, are also extremely demanding? (According to the article, young bankers tell stories about “trying to get a weekend off a month, working three days without sleep, and negotiating to be freed up for their wedding.”)

I’d certainly never want a job like that — no matter how much money it gave me. No amount of dollar signs is worth my physical and mental health. A drive to succeed is certainly commendable, but it’s frightening that people my age are so obsessed with material wealth that they put their health and even their lives in danger.

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About David

I'm an aspiring writer and filmmaker in my twenties. I also run a blog where twenty-somethings share their stories and advice on beginning a career in this economy. Check it out at http://twentysomethingsblog.com

Posted on August 27, 2013, in News & views and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. this is so disturbing and sad. what an unfulfilling life to live… you literally work yourself into the ground. i feel so bad for this young man and his family.

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