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Goldman Sachs Limits Interns to 17-Hour Workday, Impressing Absolutely No One

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Goldman Sachs has told its 2,900 interns to take it easy this summer by limiting themselves to a 17-hour day. Yes, folks, you read that right. Working twice as many hours as a normal person is Goldman Sachs’ idea of not overdoing it. 

The announcement of the policy “shift” comes two weeks after The New York Times published a story about a 22-year-old first year analyst who fell to his death hours after calling his father and complaining about the toll his job was taking on him.  Sarvshreshth Gupta was the latest in a disturbing string of deaths in the finance industry among young workers enduring 100-hour weeks.  

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Goldman Sachs spokesperson Michael DuVally denied any connection between Gupta and the 17-hour rule:

“This a continuation of our ongoing efforts to improve the overall work experience of our junior bankers,” said in an email. “We’re continuing to examine the issue and when we identify areas that will improve the junior bankers’ overall work experience, we’ll implement further changes. The process is ongoing.”

The highly publicized 2013 death of a Bank of America intern in London shed light on the conditions of Wall Street internship and sparked a series of small changes in the industry.  At the time, Goldman Sachs was the first to set a policy forcing one weekend off-day for analysts.  Other firms, such as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, soon followed suit.

Wall Street interns are often college juniors who work as analysts and business school students serving as associates.  They notoriously pull all-nighters and work weeks without a day off in order to impress their bosses and begin a lucrative career in finance.  

The new Goldman Sachs policy forces interns to leave at midnight and disallows them from returning until 7 am.  The firm says the policy is “to improve the overall work experience of our interns.”  While Goldman Sachs pitches the change as a message that “there is more to life than banking,” it sets a dangerous precedent of the de facto minimum workday being 17 hours long.


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