The death of a Bank of America intern, found in his shower after reportedly working three all-nighters in a row at a London investment bank, is drawing attention to the long hours sometimes required during internships.
Moritz Erhardt was a 21-year-old German student working a seven-week internship for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, The Independent reports
. London police are not calling it a suspicious death, and the newspaper said some reports indicate Erhardt was epileptic. Tests are being run to determine the cause of death.
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Erhardt worked in the Investing Banking Division, which another intern, who wasn’t identified, said required the longest hours.
“You’re only doing it for up to 10 weeks so there’s a general acceptance of putting up with it,” the intern told The Independent. “I see many people wandering around, blurry-eyed and drinking caffeine to get through but people don’t complain because the potential rewards are so great. We’re competing for some very well-paid jobs.”
Another unidentified intern told the paper that Erhardt suffered through eight all-night shifts in the last two weeks.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch denied that Erhardt worked “crazy hours,” the International Business Times reported.
Social media lit up as the story of overworked interns went around the Internet, and a message board at Wall Street Oasis
pulled in comments from other people in the investment world.
Wrote Tristan, “People can actually stay awake 72 hours without sleeping?? I'm starting my IBD internship at a BB pretty soon but if I have to work 72 hours in a row I'm pretty sure within a few months you guys will be discussing my sudden death.”
Another, notthehospitalER, commented, “This is terrible. Probably a kid like the rest of us on WSO who was so excited to be working there, at least when he got the offer...” to which another poster replied, “I don't remember being excited during my IBD stint... worse (sic) 3 months of my life.”
Questions about whether Erhardt’s death will have repercussions were everywhere. And some, like this Twitter poster, called for reform.
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