"I worked until 3am on my banking internship and it was fine"
I spent the summer as an intern in the investment banking division of a major US investment bank. It was an intense 10 weeks but a phenomenal experience.
People complain about working hours in banks, but for me they were not a problem. Yes, there were a few 3am finishes and some 4am spikes, but I enjoy intensity. I thrived on it.
If you’re an intern in investment banking, working hard is part of the job. Everyone on the summer analyst program who understood what they were getting into was fine. Someone at another bank dropped out, but I suspect this was because they hadn’t done their research. I know pretty much all the interns at the bank I worked for, and everyone else was comfortable with the workload too.
The bank itself was also very aware of how long the interns were working. There was a sense that they really cared about us. I never felt pressured to work late and was even encouraged to go home sometimes when I was there past midnight. I also had some personal issues during the internship and even though I was on a live deal they I was told to take off as much time as I needed. They were completely understanding of my needs.
I got an offer to return and will definitely be going back when I graduate. Offers were low this year – only around 60% of the interns in IBD at my bank got one and at other banks it was as low as 33%. It was pandemonium on offer day, with some interns upset that they didn’t get an offer. Most people are mature and know how to play the game though – no one was angry with the bank, they just understood that some teams had places and some didn’t. In many cases it was pure luck whether you got the offer or not.
Joe Andrews is a pseudonym
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