Is my 7am-1am intern schedule normal?? How do ppl do this

Figured out I was in the most intense group pretty damn quickly (staffed on deals during orientation week). Genuinely curious if working 18 hours a day is normal. Barely get time to eat… well… honestly, nobody gets lunch they just order stuff and eat at the desk for dinner. I’m still super stoked for the role and love the work but how tf do ppl do this for extended periods of time? The adrenaline keeps me up but sometimes I feel delirious and feel skin get oily hair getting weak if that even makes sense. No time to work out and obviously sticking to 4 hours of sleep due to stressing and keeping my laptop next to me at night. Apparently other interns r averaging 5 hours of sleep. Now that I’m living in it I’m like is it worth…. Once again I love the work and Can blabber on about finance/model/build decks all day but I feel weak

I know I’ve seen bad stories of “sweatshop hours” here before but now I’m in it. Still having trouble understanding how this is possible. Apparently we work Sunday too

 

Not every group… ofc HR said some bs “get here 9am” and I think when the vp hired me he said 9am start but many analysts, vps, some md get to the office 8 and I have things to be sent out before then so pretty clear they want interns 7:30 and I come 30 mins early to be prepared. Analyst told me interns cutting it close getting in 8-9 range last year didn’t het returns

 

This isn't a BB? Most places where I've had friends always encourage the exact opposite. Also, what work do they give an intern? Most interns even know accounting 101 so just sit, shadow and be a sponge for a few weeks before being given something meaningful.  

Boutique or PE as your role mentions? Since no way a BB will give you anything important for a client in your 1st week lol.

 
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:( hang in there

its not abnormal, but when you're a couple months into a heavy summer internship, it feels particularly intense. Tbh I think what you're feeling is good at this stage, because that means you care! And caring is important and lowkey a lot of effort, so maybe your 18 h days isn't 18h of heavy work but like 10 h of work and 8 h panicking if you did the work correctly.

Time will go by and you start seeing patterns in the models / decks you build, and the thesis you're trying to prove out is less daunting so you get quicker at doing it. keep an eye out for when the associate/ analyst you're working for logs out, and then you can sneak in some groceries, gym etc. Find friends in the job - honestly those are more important than anything, cause they'll keep you sane, give good perspective on how bad is bad. 

Also, I think a key developmental arch in banking is understanding when you should and shouldn't dedicate that level of care. That's where you really start cutting down those 18h but still maintain good outputs, and then WLB becomes manageable. Not good by any means but manageable. 

(also totally fair that its none of these above and you like a job with more of a balance. that's what the internship is for. hang in there)

 

Thanks for the comment. Funny how I made this post pretty late whatever amount of days ago and am just now getting off 1ish Am on a Saturday. I think I’m starting to understand that I’m in the “hardo” group. The analysts who got returns above me are the ones pushing s ton of work on top of the 3 vps who send me stuff. Just first week hitting the desk and although i am rethinking if this group is for me. Once again this is definitely one of the top groups but I need to figure out the difference in pay to see if it’s even worth it?? Only way I see being on this team as worth it is something insane like getting paid 30-40k+ more than other groups post bonus which I kind of doubt.

 

By the end of the internship you'll know the answer, since you'll realise this is what life will be like for a few years. Excluding hardos, most people on this website will take better culture/WLB to lose a 20-30k difference in bonus honestly. Seeing that post-tax in your account doesn't resolve your misery.

 

Thats a good observation. and tbh if you can make more of these observations I think you can learn a lot from sticking around 

I'll hit on your second point first - the question of is it worth it is almost always no on pure work to hours basis. hourly rate is like peanuts, I'm sure you heard the talking points and the opportunity cost of 2 years in your 20s wasting away in an office is really high. Sidenote, I am very against working to be a top bucket analyst (re: ppl who work with the pure intent of recognition are delusional) - the 20 k bump after tax is small, and the opportunity cost of the incremental bonus is ridiculous

However, I think if you can sit in that seat and learn about the politics, learn to make friends in deplorable conditions, learn how the grapevine works, honestly its very worth it. this job shows you things normal 20 year old's don't see and if you clue in on the people management portions of this job, you're picking up lessons most people don't get exposed to until they're 40. the counterpoint is that you don't need these skills until you're older - so yeah if you think the job is not for you that is totally fair.

These are just my observations - feel free to disagreed. I also work these ridiculous hours so I have time to ruminate 

 

I would not say it is industry normal but definitely possible. I’m at one of the sweaty EB banks and you will have few weeks of actual 100-120 hour work weeks and sprinkle of couple all nighters if you are staffed in two heavy deals and quarterbacking all deliverables + holding the pen on the model. But of course it is not always not like this, but it is not uncommon this stretches into few weeks.

You are taking a lot of time to do stuff most likely because you just started so take your time and learn through practice. After a year you should be very efficient.

 

Im pretty efficient (to my detriment). I finish tasks 2x as quickly as the other interns & honestly they can barely model so I’m getting hit w everything while they’re mostly getting research+simple decks. One of the associates said “your competency is both an advantage and a disadvantage” lol

At this point I may be getting too specific because I’m sure at least 1-2 ppl on my team scroll WSO…

 

3rd year analyst here. I could lie to you, but to be honest, It does not get much better. This is the reality with IB. This is why the retention is what it is. This is why most people cannot last 12 months in this industry. I hope you knew this going into the industry.

 

Im ambitious but I'm thinking about the actual health implications. Surprisingly half of the people on the team are extremely fit and have full/thick head of hair but I see so many of the others on the team fat bald and clearly lonely and they just look SAD. This is where it may not be worth it.Also after a talk w another intern we agreed this would be tolerable if the people on the team had personalities. Everyone is glued to the seats and monitors 24/7. Even when people say bye going home still are online sending stuff out… definitely time to figure out if the job is the issue or if it's culture. Either way I hope things get better. Main goal is a return offer of course.

 

This isn't the reality for IB. OP is stating that they're at work for 126 hours a week, roughly. 

The median hours at work in IB is almost half that at around 65 hours a week, with 100+ hours being only seen in the most hardcore of groups or in the absolute worst parts of a deal

 

Why do you start at 7am? I’ve been working 9am-1am regularly with a little hour downtime between 6-7pm when people transition home to WFH.

7am seems a bit silly unless you’re west coast and the client is east coast? I might be completely missing something but stay strong man.

I second you on the adrenaline lol you get a pump going when you’re getting cooked and requests are flying left and right, I’m currently on two deals in the same stage so it’s getting hectic.

I hope you have a good team that’s supportive and tries to help u out when they can! I also hope it gets better but ur attitude towards it is great!

All the best,

Cheers

 

After the first five days "on the desk" I think the issue is my team. They’re the reason we have to get in early. If anyone wants specifics I can DM as saying it on here might make it too obvious.

As I’m saying w culture, it’s close to “hazing” but it’s not because I don’t think they’re purposely doing it?? Anyways… Getting asked "how is your bandwidth" at 11:30pm as I am clearly doing something for someone else kills. Also I’ve tried cracking a couple of jokes and I get blank stares. Seniors all have family do they don't do much fun stuff and juniors are all either absolute hardos or very very nerdy and introverted. I definitely can fit into the hardo category but I like to banter/joke w peers sometimes or just lift the mood up. No… they don't even get up to eat. Sitting at the desk other than maybe getting dinner. Willing to sacrifice my summer and 2 months of health for a return. I don't see a world where I have time to network (outside the firm) or recruit. I hope things get better some weeks and I will try to keep a positive attitudeCheers

 

What value is an intern providing at 7am and 1am consistently?

I barely trust first years about to become second years to build a model or page on their own and often just do it myself to get it done asap.

An intern?  Lol

They barely provide value.  Why have them work those hours when I'm just going to have to redo most of it.....

 

At my bank we have a HR-mandated hard stop of 12am for interns and it's next to impossible to get them to go home by then... not that they are working on anything, but put 20 over-eager, type A, highly competitive people in this type of environment and it basically becomes an hours contest. It's a challenge to prevent/stop this every year. My bet is the fhe full-times don't have these guys grinding away from 7am-1am, it's more that the interns are all afraid to be the last to arrive or first to leave and end up pulling ridiculous hours doing a lot of idle facetime.

It also takes them forever to do work given the high learning curve, so I'm sure a lot of them feel overwhelmed with the speed, accuracy, and detail level that's expected and work even longer hours because of it

 

Eh, half true but also not exactly. Sure 7am is somewhat for FaceTime. Some idle time is usually mid-late in the afternoon. Late into the night and into early morning everyone is usually getting a shit ton of stuff done. Not sure if it’s all super important but it’s definitely not “idle time” honestly I wish it was… I’m probably getting hit with 4-5 different things in the morning and another 6-7 in the afternoon to turn in by the next day.

 

Im definitely not providing value 18 hours a day. Nobody is. This whole industry is extremely inefficient.

 

At BB in industry group and been out by 7pm almost very day but this has just been the first real week so we’ll see

 

This is abnormal. This means they don't have enough people for the work, and they throw everything on a poor intern. Ewww. Seriously ewww. Don't do this job unless they pay you half a million straight. Switch team asap.

 

18 hour days, working Sundays, eating lunch/dinner at the desk are all totally normal for this role. 7am is the only odd one but if your role sits closer to markets/is on the west coast that would explain it. There's a reason there is like 90% turnover at the junior levels - it's completely unsustainable and you have no life as a junior.

You should not keep your laptop next to you at night. Put that, and your work phone, outside your bedroom. If people need to reach you they have your personal cell (change the settings so calls from contacts come through your do not disturb and you're all set)

 

Yeah… even right now I have my work stuff near me. Even replying to this thread is sad but somehow comforting. I’m pretty sure I’ll get over it by next week and I pray things get better.

 

I mean all industry insights on things like hours disagree with you. 

18 hours a day every day would put your hours at 126 a week. Even the infamous Goldman WLB deck only has 105 hours a week as the upper average. 

Median hours are 60 to 80

 

 That math assumes 18h 7 days a week lol... I never said anything about that but you can easily work multiple 18-hour days a week in banking and there's no dispute there. 9am-3am is not an outlier, I still do that plenty and a first year analyst will even more. Especially in Cali when you're expected to be on the desk at 7-8am, easy.

I don't know what type of bank you work at but I work 60h weeks maybe 3-5x a year. 80 is my standard, not dying but normal week and I've had hundreds of 18 hour days.

 

Interns working 100-126 hours a week (7am-1am 6 or 7 days / week) during orientation is waaaay off. 

The only way I can see this happening is it's a sweaty group but not a great group such that any junior with a brain laterals in 12 months and it's impossible to bring staffing up to adequate levels. Thus interns end up getting cranked because the VPs / MDs are such clowns that no self respecting Analyst / Associate will put up with them and they resort to begging interns to help them with models all hours of night because any half decent Analyst/Associate will go out of their way to avoid working with them through lateralling or operating in "Fuck It' mode. 

 

Nah I wasn’t working during orientation other than Friday. We got staffed on shit Thursday. By we I mean my group and we realized non of the other groups got staffed and they didn’t until the next Monday/Tuesday.

One thing I haven’t mentioned in the previous replies is that one of the other interns had already brought up talking to HR about switching groups or working less. They mentioned not giving a fuck about a return of things continue this way and perhaps quitting?? Obviously I don’t want to do that but I was also thinking wtf how does this team retain people? Clearly some of the team is actually just insane. Analyst was bragging about how he sleeps like 2-3 hours on the weekdays when people commented about his “available” status at like 5-6am

 

Thread is already too risky prob should not give more details. Whether it is odd or not I don’t know. It is definitely brutal though. As I mentioned I chose to come in earlier (7ish) but clearly they want interns in before everyone else. Even on a Friday I was constantly getting something else after finishing a task. Ofc I’m questioning “why am I even doing this???” For half of the tasks

 
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Bruh how do y’all have this much going on when Fees are down from a down year 

 

I think you are inflating or really inefficient with your hours. Nonetheless, some practical advice:

  • Yeah, it's bad. As others have mentioned, that is a huge reason why people leave. I remember talking to my friend after leaving and my statement was, "that job made me mediocre in every other area of life. I used to be friendly, funny, outgoing, and in shape and when I worked I felt like I was in a dream most days. I never said Hi to people in elevators or asked people how their day was going, I fell out of shape, I didn't date, I wasn't funny. I forgot birthdays and didn't attend events." The job really takes a toll on other areas of your life. The definition of a sweatshop is you want sleep more than S*x.
  • Your day to day does get easier. The unexpected stressors get predictable, you learn tricks to be faster, you learn how to manage up and sandbag or navigate difficult situations.  You get used to managing lack of sleep.
  • The key is catching up on weekends for sleep and working out. It's really hard to heavily drink more than 1 day a week in a sweatshop. You will get sick and feel awful.
  • The hours don't really get better and it still consumes your life at the high levels. PE isn't much better, but higher up in both you get a little more control of your time.

Good luck!

 

Wish I was inflating but 3/4 of my 24 hour day is actually spent at work. I've concluded that the "problem" is my specific team. I didn't take the analyst seriously when he said a light week was 80 hours (thought he was joking then).No this team isn't efficient but no finance firm is… Even the kids interning 9-6 aren't working all 8 hours and are probably taking more than their 1 hour lunch break. Honestly idk if any of my comments are making sense I probably am going somewhat insane.Plan of action is to delete this app delete socials and just focus on work. I'll socialize and do whatever on Saturday since we work Sunday. I'll reevaluate my life after this summer.Question to recruit for ft is there but the job market is so tough so little roles and no time to network…. I feel like no return I'm fucked but return offer I'll still be fucked for 2 years min here

Thank you!

 

Yeah—I worked at a sweat shop and your hours just sound odd. From my experience, it’s a lot closer to 9am -1am rather constantly, a weekly 3am, and some 3ams one after another every so often. The 7am thing is weird to me, unless you are west coast working with east coast people and in that case it should be temporarily for a deal.

Im curious if you are reading too much into FaceTime and killing your sleep unnecessarily. FaceTime is real, and some offices you need to stay there until your seniors leave on a deal, but don’t just stay at the office if you have nothing to do and are very sleep deprived. It’s a balance. Early in my role I fell in the trap of staying late because others were and it made me a worse analyst because then when I got instructions I didn’t understand them quickest because I was getting 4 hours of sleep. 

 

18 hour days is definitely normal but would say 7am-1am is not very normal. Every bank I've been at has people coming in at 9-9:30 and leaving anywhere from 1am to 5am with an average of 3am. Working in IB eats up your entire life and you will have literally zero time for anything else (working out, pursuing hobbies, meeting friends and family etc.) in your life. This is especially the case if you work at a bank where Sunday work is the standard.

Do you want to work out? Do you want to run an errand in the morning? The only way to get it done is to cut into your sleep, which is already only 3-6 hours a night. The other option is to do it on Saturdays but most people are so dead after the week that they don't have the energy to be super active on their only day off.

 

From my perspective, it's about availability. I'm on 4-5 projects at once and at any point in time there will be a bunch of stuff where I am awaiting comments from analysts / associates or the team is awaiting comments from the MD. As an intern, availability is valued very highly and telling your team that you will be out for 2 hours will not be appreciated. 

I think that once you become a 2-year analyst, you get higher ownership of workstreams, operate more independently and have more trust from your team. At that point, it's more common for people to take 1-2 hours off for working out etc. I also think it depends a lot on the type of bank you're at. I'm currently at GS and it's extremely uncommon for anyone below VP level to disappear for 1-2 hours. Before starting at GS, I did internships at smaller banks where pretty much the entire analyst class would disappear for 1-2 hours to workout around 8pm. 

 

I believe you, but have to say this is very hard to believe. I can’t imagine an intern being so skilled and valuable that our group has them working from 7 AM - 1 AM. You must truly be in a god tier group or be a god tier summer analyst the likes of which most people will never see in their lifetime lol. It’s possible I guess. 

Our interns are cranking probably 9-9 5 days a week + some work on Sunday. They’re all on live stuff and I love ‘em, but they just aren’t good or fast enough to justify using them more than that. It’s 10x faster to do something yourself than teach an intern how to do it, wait for them to do it, review it carefully, wait for them to fix it etc. 75% of the time I give an intern work it’s to benefit them more than to benefit me, so that they can develop and learn.

Luckily I think you can use your top group and seeming talent for the job to get into a different bank or a top tier exit opp, whatever that means for you. Keep pushing, sounds like you’re in a good spot overall. Also in his last post 2 weeks ago OP was claiming to have a 40 hour a week PE internship but this week he’s in a sweatshop IB group it seems.

 

I think it’s worth it, at 30 yo you can make 800k or something in NYC if you continue to be above average.