A Bank of America intern, who was found dead in the shower at his apartment, has sparked serious concerns about the macho culture around the internship program for banks. The internship program presents with punishing hours that the interns must endure. This young Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern was found dead by his roommates after he just went through a three-day stretch where he worked until 6 a.m. each morning, according to CNN Money on Aug. 21.
Moritz Erhardt, 21, was close to the end of the seven-week internship working at the London offices of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. His death has prompted calls for city firms to take more responsibility for the interns who push themselves through this type of workload in hopes of securing jobs when the internship is completed.
The interns have visions of glass buildings with corner offices and hefty wages in the world of big finance. In hopes of making this happen they will frequently do 20-hour days in some of the "most adrenaline-soaked offices on earth," according to CNN Money today.
The internship entails working weekends, meals at the office and often getting in a taxi when the sun is coming up to go home from the night before. Once the intern gets home, they might have a quick shower and go back to the grindstone just to do it all over again. Erhardt may have been epileptic, which is what some reports are saying today about the intern who was from south-west Germany.
Over the summer about 300 interns working at various banks in London stay at the Claredale House student accommodation complex in Bethnal Green in east London. This is where Erhardt was found dead. Their stay ranges from seven to 10 weeks. One intern, who did not want to be named, claimed that the investing banking division group that Erhardt was with faced the longest hours. According to The Independent the unnamed intern said:
“We all work long hours, but the guys working regularly until 3am or 4am are those in investment banking. People working in markets will have to be in at 6am but not stay as late, so what time you can leave the office depends on your division."
This death could be a wake-up call to the grueling intern program. When police and paramedics arrived to Erhardt's apartment he was unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police do not suspect any foul play in this death, but they are not releasing the cause of his death yet.