The cause of death remains unknown for Moritz Erhardt, the 21-year-old Bank of America intern who was found dead last week in the shower of his East London dormitory.
Unconfirmed message board rumours have made their way through the media saying that that Erhardt fell into an epileptic fit after three consecutive all-nighters as part of his internship (sleep deprivation and stress can trigger an episode).
True or not, the chatter has prompted one charity lobbying for better intern treatment to speak out. From the Financial Times:
Intern Aware, a charity campaigning for the better treatment of interns, hit out against what it called a 100-hour working culture for students spending their summer work experience at banks.
Ben Lyons, the charity’s co-founder, said there needed to be a “change in culture and HR procedures where employees are assessed not on the total number of hours they are able to grind out, but on the quality of work they are able to produce.”
Wall Street internships are among the most gruelling (and, as a result, the most lucrative). Banking sources insisted to the FT that internships are used as recruitment tools and are not designed to be “sweatshops.”