Intern’s overwork-related death gets Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) worked-up

Posted by sara Frank August 26, 2013 0 Comment 992 views


There is nothing new or unheard about the fact that most large corporations are slave-drivers when it comes to wringing the most out of rookie interns. A week ago, a German Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) intern worked for 72-hours straight, in London and was subsequently found dead. This incident has spotlighted what a lot of people opine is becoming a culture and norm with a lot of companies.

The pressure builds-up

New entrants into the global-finance industry are put under extreme work pressure and thus become victims of stress. This is true of many other industries as well. Moritiz Erhardt, a 21-year-old intern was discovered dead on 15 August at his residence in East London. It was reported that he collapsed while he was in the shower after having worked 3 consecutive nights up until the wee hours of the morning.

Though the actual cause of death is yet to be ascertained, Erhardt had been at the close of a rigorous and demanding summer internship at BAC’s Merrill Lynch investment-banking unit located in Downtown London. Both, industry experts and fellow interns say that 15-hour days are a norm for eventually acquiring a full-time job later. All-nighters are also not an uncommon occurrence.

A matter of a job

As is the case with most global businesses, clients across the world might demand overnight-changes to an Excel model or a pitch book. These jobs are generally handed-down to those at the lower-rung of the ladder. It is an accepted norm that young workers will be rewarded professionally for being available for these kinds of jobs at all odd hours of the day or night and will also take up any and every task that has been assigned to them.

This is even truer of summer interns. The stakes are high and they have to prove their mettle in a 10-week competition for full-time jobs that are scarce. So far, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) has distanced itself from this intern’s death and have offered their condolences to Erhardt’s family.


About sara Frank

Sara Frank is our chief congressional correspondent, Sara has covered the presidential campaign, Congress and congressional campaigns. Prior to that, she covered the U.S. House. Sarahas also worked covering the House, Senate and campaign finance. Among the numerous honors she has received for his reporting, Sara is the recipient of an Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She was also nominated four times for a national Cable Ace Award.

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