Beware, workaholics! Finance intern works himself to death in London
Moritz Erhardt was nearing the end of his summer seven-week internship in Bank of America’s London investment-banking unit when he collapsed at home. The body was discovered by his flatmates.
The circumstances of his death are unknown. Some reports suggested that Mr Moritz, a German student at the University of Michigan, was epileptic. Meanwhile there are a lot of speculations that the bright young man died from exhaustion.
He appears to have been one of many interns caught on the so-called “magic roundabout” – a process whereby a taxi takes interns home, waits outside while they shower and change, then drives them back to the office to begin another long day.
“He apparently pulled eight all-nighters in two weeks. They get you working crazy hours and maybe it was just too much for him in the end,” said one intern living at the same student accommodation complex as Mr Erhardt.
Another finance intern added: “We all work long hours, but the guys working regularly until 3am or 4am are those in investment banking. 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.”
It’s generally accepted that summer finance interns spend a lot of time at work. They are competing for well-paid jobs after all. Young people think that they landed a chance at their dream job by accepting summer internship and work hard spending nights and weekends at office.
“In the toughest job-market experienced in recent times, competition is even higher. Consequently these talented, diligent, young people are ever more willing to work hours which more senior staff would not,” said a spokesman for FinanceInterns, a careers advice group.
While only the investigation will reveal the exact reason of Mr Erhardt’s death, it’s clear that the eager young man overworked and that a promising future has been cut short.
Voice of Russia, The Independent, The Daily Beast