Goldman Sachs is limiting interns' working hours. It's not the only one.
Deutsche Bank has also implemented rules governing the number of hours its interns work during both the week and at weekends. Credit Suisse is understood to encourage 'flexible work', so that interns who spend the weekend in the office get to work in an 'agile' way during following week. And the intern grapevine has it that following the death of Moritz Erhardt during an internship at Bank of America in 2013, it's become the norm to leave the bank at 11pm while you're there for the summer.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on its restricted hours, Credit Suisse declined to comment on its agile working and BAML was unable to immediately respond to a request for clarification. UBS also declined to comment and Barclays, Citi and Morgan Stanley were unable to respond within our time frame.
While MBA interns are already installed on summer associate programs, most university interns will start summer analyst programs next week.
The soon-to-be interns we spoke to were nonplussed in the face of attempts to restrict their working hours. "From what I've heard from other interns elsewhere, these policies are easily worked around - at some banks senior team members can override them when interns are working on live deals.. which is most of the time!," said one, speaking off the record.
Another incoming intern said working practices need to be changed by interns themselves: "A top-down approach to working hours certainly sends a powerful message on the part of GS. But for it to have the desired impact it needs to be incorporated with a bottom-up approach. That is to say, interns themselves need to choose not to work into the early hours."
It doesn't help that summer analysts are usually elite students for whom hard work is second nature. "From my own perspective, if the work is there to be done with a tight deadline, then I will quite readily
work into the early hours," said one. " - At university for example, during exam term I can expect to be working into the early hours on a daily basis. I imagine many interns share a similar existing work ethic and that being around people with the same approach will reinforce that."
"Everyone goes in to the industry knowing it's a demanding one," said another intern who's due to start in IBD at a US bank in London next week. "- At the end of the day summer internships are only 10 weeks long - the experience you will get out of it really does depend on how much you put in, so it makes sense to get involved with as much as possible whilst you can!"