In 2013, a 21-year-old London-based intern at Bank of America named Moritz Erhardt died.
His death was ruled due to natural causes, but people worried he was over-worked.
Since then, the industry has worried about young people on Wall Street working excessive hours.
The year Erhardt died, Goldman Sachs was the first of the major banks to begin “protecting” Saturdays for interns and analysts. They’re now forbidden from being in the building on Saturdays.
Since then, banks have gone a lot further in their efforts to ensure interns have a positive experience — both in terms of fun activities and perks, and in terms of limiting the number of hours interns are supposed to work.
Most recently, Goldman explicitly told interns that they should not work between the hours of midnight at 7 a.m.
Here’s a roundup of intern rules and guidelines at all the major banks, told to us by company spokespeople:
Bank of America:
- Weekday hours: interns are not expected to work past midnight or return before 9 a.m.
- Weekend hours: interns are “not expected” to work on weekends.
- Monitoring: team leaders from the interns’ teams monitor and enforce guidelines. Team leaders also monitor work assignments to ensure interns have access to different assignments, sectors, deals, etc.
- Perks: there are networking events “to provide them with a well-rounded experience with the firm.”
- Bonus policies for first- and second-year analysts:
- • Full-time chief resource officers monitor hours, work volume, and assignments for analysts.
- • Weekends: analysts are to take at least four days off per month.
- • Vacations: analysts are required to take their allocated vacation days.
- Weekend hours: Saturdays are protected. All investment banking and capital markets (trading) analysts and associates should be out of the office from Friday at 10 p.m. until Sunday at 10 a.m. — every weekend. This also applies to interns.
- • They are not expected to log on remotely to work during this time. They are, however, expected to check their email “in the event that any business critical issues arise.”
- • Analysts and associates are also required to take 100% of their annual vacation time.
- • Interns are assigned two mentors each — one at the junior level and one senior.
- • There are social events and networking events for interns where senior management engages with analysts and associates (training, review, speaker series, social/networking events).
- • Community service: interns and analysts can volunteer with a number of organisations, including a theatre group for kids hospitals and mentoring groups like Americorp’s ServiceWorks and iMentor.
- Weekend hours: Junior bankers (including interns) get one protected weekend per month.
- Weekday hours: There is no policy regarding weekday hours or working through the night.
- In 2013, the bank formed an in-house committee to help improve the junior banker experience.
- Weekend hours: interns are not allowed to work more than two weekends a month. We understand from interns that weekend work hours are monitered by the human resources department.
- Deutsche has a “no intern left behind policy,” meaning that interns “work hand in glove with team members (full-time employees) to learn the ropes and get the work done.”
- • It’s “not unusual” for Deutsche Bank interns to attend client meetings.
- • Senior managers “regularly” take interns to in-house dining rooms for breakfast or lunch to chat.
- • Community service: one mandatory community service day. This year, interns will join up to 100 children from a Free Arts NYC partner to “celebrate with a day of art and mentoring activities.”
- Hours: intern hours are officially up to the discretion of individual groups.
- • We understand from interns that the investment banking division generally has more oversight than the trading division, but it does vary within the investment banking division: the technology banking group has a curfew, for example, while mergers & acquisitions does not.
- Monitoring: The bank said it is “actively monitoring all hours of work. That is especially the case when it comes to weekends and late nights. And in general weekend work usually requires group head approval ahead of time.”
- • Each summer analyst and associate is assigned a mentor.
- • Community service: June is Morgan Stanley’s global volunteer month, but analysts and associates continue to do volunteer work throughout the summer.
- • Networking: team-building events can range from going to Yankees or Mets games to doing a more extended weekend trip as a group.
- Hours: A spokesperson could not comment on weekday or weekend hours for interns.
- • Networking events for the intern class include events with school team members, mentors and affinity groups.
- • Every analyst has two mentors — one at the peer level and one at the senior level (meaning, a director or managing director).
- • There are opportunities to hear directly from senior management, including Antony Jenkins.
- •There are speaker series.
- •All interns participate do community service on “Volunteer Day.”
And, of course, Goldman Sachs:
- Weekend hours: Saturdays are protected for junior bankers.
- Weekday hours: A spokesperson said, “We verbally communicated to interns that we expect them to be out of the building before midnight and not back before 7am.”
- Monitoring: all employees must swipe in and out when entering and leaving the building, so hours can be monitored that way.
- Like JPMorgan, Goldman created a junior banker task force to address work/life balance back in 2013.
- Also, a source familiar with the matter said the bank will have more to say soon about “additional initiatives” potentially in the works to improve the junior banker experience.
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