This is an extremely depressing story reported in the Mail Online. It’s a MUST READ. Check it out! via Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern Moritz Erhardt found dead after working long hours | Mail Online. This story takes me back to when I was a part-time tutor to Masters’ students at EAP (Ecole Affairs de Paris – a French Grand Ecole
– this subsequently became ESCP and was ranked No.1 worldwide by the Financial Times in 2010 for its Masters in Management). The students were exceptionally bright, typically from privileged backgrounds were required to undertake, at that time, internships in London, Paris and Berlin. In London, there was always intense competition to get a place in a prestigious investment bank, especially by the German students. I remember vividly one German student who described the practice of “working over the top”; he meant around the clock. Interns in investment banks are typically glorified “goffers” but there is intense competition to do a good job and hopefully be offered a job when they finish their studies. There was another German student who completed his internship in a major consulting house – he too worked very long hours to create the right impression; a few years later, in his late twenties, he died on a squash court. This is the other side of austerity, where privileged students tap in to their connections to gain an internship in a big-named organization to put on their CV or possibly be well-placed to be later offered a job. Of course, these students are typically from families in the top 1% income range. Most students of ordinary families from the “great unwashed”, the 99% do not get a sniff at these prestigious internships and, off course, their careers follow much humbler trajectories. Let me turn this to an open question:
How can internships be cleaned -up?