Inside the life of a Wall Street intern: It’s not very hard, but it’s gruelling

Sleeping office work desk cubicle
This is not, to our knowledge, a Wall Street intern. Flickr/Tahir Hashmi

Internship programs are now well underway on Wall Street, and the resident office rookies are finding out the truth about their prestigious jobs.

We’ve all heard horror stories about sleepless nights at the office and midday root beer float runs for senior bankers on hot days.

But what are things really like for this year’s crop of summer analysts?

Not very difficult.

One investment banking intern at a bulge bracket bank told us that, while his days are usually packed with busy-work, the work itself is never very tough.

The intern spends most of his time researching potential companies that his team might be interested in working with, and helping to write company profiles.

A big project for him might be making a PowerPoint presentation for more senior bankers on his team.

And even then, his deadlines are not very tight. He’s able to run everything by the first- or second-year analysts before anyone more senior sees his work.

But the hours are pretty long.

That might sound disappointing for, say, a straight-A student with a background in finance and experience building complex free cash flow models. But it does keep the interns busy.

The analyst we spoke with said he was staffed on a project at 10 am on his very first day, and another that evening. He wound up working until 2:30 am his first night.

Most days, however, he leaves by 10:30 or 11:30 pm, and is not expected to work more than one weekend in a row.

So, not quite the 100-hour work week you sometimes hear about for young Wall Street. But still not enough time to go out to the bar every night.

That, the intern said, he reserves for Friday and Saturday nights.

Are you a Wall Street intern? What are your days like? Reach out to [email protected] We can keep you anonymous.

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