Goldman Tells Summer Interns To Go Home Before Midnight

Facts (applies to interns only):
Interns are not allowed in the office between 12am - 7am

They're not allowed to work Saturday

They're not allowed to work from home during these hours

This brings up a couple interesting dilemmas:

This will never work. Interns are never going to ease up regardless of regulation. Who do you think is going to get the full time offer? The guy who works till midnight only or the guy who stays until the job gets done?

Also

This is a classic foot in door, bait and switch or whatever you want to call it. The intern experience doesnt even come close to the full time experience anymore. They will leave thinking they know and ibd but they absolutely do not.

Questions:
How strictly will this rule will actually be upheld?
Will other banks follow suit?
If you were an intern in this case would you break the rules to try to get more work done?

Would love a report from the 'inside' later this summer.

From Bloomberg:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is telling its summer interns to take the night off.

Banking interns were instructed to leave the office by midnight and not return before 7 a.m., while also taking Saturdays off, Michael DuVally, a spokesman for the New York-based bank, said Wednesday.

Wall Street firms are attempting to reduce stress and improve conditions for their youngest workers. Goldman Sachs has increased salaries for junior employees and discouraged entry-level analysts from working weekends as many of the brightest college students seek careers in private equity or technology rather than investment banking.

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-17/...

Comments (60)

Jun 18, 2015

This may just be an attempt to make up for all of the recent bad press about working conditions. Many banks have these sorts of "policies" that HR loves to talk up at recruiting events but if you actually talk to the junior people, you'll see that nobody takes them seriously.

Pretty sure 99% of interns are thinking to themselves, "Wow, if I come in on Saturday when nobody else does, I'll definitely impress everyone with my work ethic!"

EDIT: After reading the comment from @EnergyHOU below, it seems as though I stand corrected. Bravo, Goldman.

EnergyHOU:

A contact of mine in IBD NYC this summer says it has been strictly enforced since Monday. If you're caught it gets formally documented and you have a "talk" with HR among others. That's all I have heard. Also said they've been doing 1 hour meetings with HR on the daily basis.

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Jun 18, 2015

yeah... seems like lip service..
It would be cool if they fined/fired any analyst whose card is swiped after midnight :)

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Jun 18, 2015

I'm gonna respectfully disagree. I think, given the current climate, anyone caught swiping out way too late of swiping in on Saturdays will be reprimanded and appearances will be kept up. This is not a hard policy to enforce and because it's in the spotlight, Goldman has to keep appearances, because god forbid someone leaks that it's not being followed to the media and cause more bad press and backlash. In another year or two, it'll go back a bit to being closer to what it was... now... not so much.

Jun 18, 2015

It seems as if Wall Street firms aren't really attempting to reduce stress and improve conditions, just give the appearance that they are.

"There's always money in the banana stand" - George Bluth Sr.

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Jun 18, 2015

A contact of mine in IBD NYC this summer says it has been strictly enforced since Monday. If you're caught it gets formally documented and you have a "talk" with HR among others. That's all I have heard. Also said they've been doing 1 hour meetings with HR on the daily basis.

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Jun 18, 2015
EnergyHOU:

A contact of mine in IBD NYC this summer says it has been strictly enforced since Monday. If you're caught it gets formally documented and you have a "talk" with HR among others. That's all I have heard. Also said they've been doing 1 hour meetings with HR on the daily basis.

What's worse though? Staying in the office until 3 am or a daily one hour meeting with HR?

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Jun 18, 2015

Any meeting with HR is worse than enter anything here but what can you do

Jun 18, 2015

Not to mention this only applies to interns, not analysts.

"There's always money in the banana stand" - George Bluth Sr.

Jun 18, 2015

maybe it means that interns must go home before midnight but come back in before 4 am... :)

Jun 18, 2015

no, the article says they're not allowed in the office between 12am-7am

http://www.wsj.com/articles/goldman-sachs-tells-in...

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Jun 18, 2015

"Young bankers told to stay away from office between midnight and 7 a.m. during weekdays"
.
.
well... i guess WFH at night is a victory ... of sorts :/
is it just me who can see how cleverly (apparently) the firm has avoided telling interns to NOT WORK between 12-7?

Jun 18, 2015

Why is the responsibility on the interns and not the people directing their work? If this was meant to be a serious policy, then reprimand the intern's boss if they swipe in too late.

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Jun 18, 2015

This will never work. Interns are never going to ease up regardless of regulation. Who do you think is going to get the full time offer? The guy who works till midnight only or the guy who stays until the job gets done?

Jun 18, 2015
lordbendtner:

This will never work. Interns are never going to ease up regardless of regulation. Who do you think is going to get the full time offer? The guy who works till midnight only or the guy who stays until the job gets done?

Who do I think is going to get the full time offer? Not the one that got fired for breaking the rules, that's the one I'm thinking...

Jun 18, 2015

agreed. the guy who gets his work done and doesn't risk a PR nightmare for Goldman.

Jun 18, 2015

Simple solution: just gotta be more efficient......get the work done by midnight.......keep hr and the bossman happy

Jun 18, 2015

They can't be in the office from 12 AM - 7 AM. There are still 17 more hours in the day.

Jun 19, 2015
NESCAC:

They can't be in the office from 12 AM - 7 AM. There are still 17 more hours in the day.

Exactly, 17*6 = 102 hours of work time each week

Jun 18, 2015

Haha

  1. They just have to leave and not be in the office between 12-7, which means that will just work at home
  2. 7AM may mean that analysts may be expected to be coming in earlier
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Jun 18, 2015

it's not like interns do any real work anyway.

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Jun 18, 2015

Better than nothing, but that's still 17 hours a day --> 102 hours a week (with the no-Saturdays rule)

Jun 18, 2015

Even better hours policy well enforced in my non-GS groups. We basically send the interns home/expect them not to do it. They won't be penalized for it. FT analyst and associates are supposed to get it done, not summers.

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Jun 18, 2015

WFH. Simple. The policy says nothing about a staffer dropping a pile of work on someone at 11:59PM and expecting it done by 8AM.

Jun 18, 2015

I thought the issue is was that analysts and associates were overworked on a regular basis, aside from the Merrill Lynch intern a few years back I haven't heard of issues with interns (though I'm sure they work just as hard if not harder). Doesn't seem to make sense to make the policy only for interns, and as for the overworking problem I don't see a way out of it at the current moment without taking on more staff tbh...

Aug 8, 2015

Deleted

Jun 18, 2015

apparently if you log in from home it also gets documented and same consequences. like people said, this is for interns, it's not like they are actually useful anyways.

Best Response
Jun 19, 2015
geore89:

Better than nothing, but that's still 17 hours a day --> 102 hours a week (with the no-Saturdays rule)

Bunch of people who dont work at GS giving their (wrong) opinions -
- Policy is strictly enforced
- Interns dont come in until 9
- Interns leave around 10 on average (0 facetime culture strictly enforced)
- Interns are encouraged and allowed (read forced) to go to events etc. daily
- Friday 9pm to Sunday 9am mandatory off
- Interns leave around 6-8 on fridays and come in around 12-1 on sundays and leave around 6-8
- No exceptions to these rules ever

That said - this is a classic foot in door, bait and switch or whatever you want to call it. The intern experience doesnt even come close to the full time experience anymore. They will leave thinking they know and ibd but they absolutely do not.

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Jun 19, 2015

The SA know that FT will be different. They wouldn't get GS IBD without dedication to the industry.
This is a great excercise in effectiveness and time management. It shows which intern works most efficiently, which interns complain the most, which interns can't handle the work/ are too slow, and which interns are worth keeping. All while attempting to keep face and reduce OT pay. Excellent move, GS.

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Jun 19, 2015
FinanceGuy15:

The SA know that FT will be different. They wouldn't get GS IBD without dedication to the industry.
This is a great excercise in effectiveness and time management. It shows which intern works most efficiently, which interns complain the most, which interns can't handle the work/ are too slow, and which interns are worth keeping. All while attempting to keep face and reduce OT pay. Excellent move, GS.

Lol total GS dickrider

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Jun 19, 2015

I think all of these policies are bull shit. I get why they are being implemented and I'mm very sympathetic, but at the end of the day the only thing that would make work conditions better is less work. If I have a constant volume of work, then my company trying to manage my time for me actually exacerbates my stress levels.

Jun 19, 2015

So they pamper interns in order to kill them when they are analysts? It's a publicity stunt without making any sort of compromise from Goldman's side. Law firms have been doing this for ages. Interns - as a rule - do not add much value to a deal compared to the hours invested in training. At best, they break even. GS will not lose any competitive edge over other banks in terms of client delivery by forcing interns to go home early.

If GS truly had intentions to make life better for their employees, and would in fact be prepared to compromise a little, they would install this policy for analysts or associates, with perhaps 5 - 10 weeks a year per analyst during which this policy does not apply for (closing) live deals.

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Jun 19, 2015

Glad I'm not in IB.

Jun 19, 2015

same here... I did not know IB even existed until I stepped into business school and upon hearing the basics of what IB is my honest reaction was something like - man,, how bad a manager do you have to be to want your minions in the office all the time... literally.. sounded like a sweatshop to me..

Jun 19, 2015
TwoThrones:

Glad I'm not in IB.

Not all banks or groups are like this.

Jun 19, 2015

Even their 'best-effort' sounds like absolute shit.

Here's a simple fucking policy, senior guys don't leave until the juniors do, last one out kind of a thing. Does anyone actually think the goal of that policy wouldn't be fulfilled?

Jun 19, 2015
ArcherVice:

Even their 'best-effort' sounds like absolute shit.

Here's a simple fucking policy, senior guys don't leave until the juniors do, last one out kind of a thing. Does anyone actually think the goal of that policy wouldn't be fulfilled?

That's a good policy to have.

My Dad used to joke to his employees "Of course I'm supposed to outwork you! How do you think I got this job?"

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Jun 20, 2015
ArcherVice:

Even their 'best-effort' sounds like absolute shit.

Here's a simple fucking policy, senior guys don't leave until the juniors do, last one out kind of a thing. Does anyone actually think the goal of that policy wouldn't be fulfilled?

It's not quite the culture of the industry yet though, which seems to be closer to fraternities than anything else. What you're arguing for comes directly out of the military mentality: god help the sergeant who eats or goes to sleep before his soldiers do.

Jun 19, 2015

I think i can work 20 hours if my boss is a hot blonde milf with big bouncy juicy tits with exotic perfume and wide blue eyes

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Jun 19, 2015

Also, I'm claiming credit for the idea. The six day workweek rule was something I posted about a week and a half ago:

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-work-alw...
As usual with my best ideas, I pissed a lot of people off and everyone hated it, but the smartest guys in the business are giving it a shot, and I'm convinced it can work.

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Jun 19, 2015
IlliniProgrammer:

Also, I'm claiming credit for the idea. The six day workweek rule was something I posted about a week and a half ago:
//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-work-alw...

As usual, everyone hated it, but I'm convinced it can work, and the smartest guys in the business are giving it a shot.

This isn't a "alright guys, let's give this one a go!", this is a "fuck, some kid died--what can we do to make us not look like dick heads?". Entirely different things. Plus, it's for interns; until they enforce this for analysts/associates I won't bite.

Jun 19, 2015

That will be interesting to see. I do think this is a dry run for extending it to FT employees.

Placing limits on work hours is a very controversial idea, as I discovered. An MD at Lazard even told me he hated it and thought it was a terrible idea.

I do think a hard and fast FT policy on this would make GS- or an MS or JPM more competitive for people with multiple offers or considering tech. That said, I'm a guy who thinks anything more than 70 hours a week is crazy and would never have the work ethic to be a great investment banker.

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Jun 19, 2015

I was always confused as why people say banking and tech compete for talent. They seem like self selecting groups. You do banking for the money and tech for good money/perks/lifestyle. What differentiates the two is the pay ceiling for both (this is where banking trumps tech IMO). I would assume people know what they're getting themselves into when they apply to both, so they aren't really competing. Maybe you get one kid who liked the lifestyle at Microsoft/Google better and would've made an amazing banker down the line, but if I said there was a vacant analyst spot at GS, the line would stretch from NYC to SF.

IBD is a deal business. When there's so much of someone else's money at stake, you can't afford to be working 60 hr weeks and going to your kid's soccer game on the weekend. If the client isn't pleased, then the deal can be killed instantly (at a HF this isn't the case). No one WANTS to work 80 hours a week, it's just the nature of the work...you can't afford not to work a lot. If I wanted to IPO and heard that a bank only makes people work 70 hrs a week, you can be damn sure I will pick the other bank that works around the clock as the lead left.

Jun 19, 2015

Anyone knows if other banks are following a similar set of measures? What about JPM, MS, BAML??

Jun 19, 2015

BAML interns have weekends off

Jun 19, 2015

LOL looks like someone is really pissed off about having their nights and Saturdays free.

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Jun 21, 2015

This policy will probably be upheld because 1) interns don't contribute that much anyway, banks function without them for the other 9 months of the year and 2) it would look really bad for GS to go back on this -- it would reinforce the notion that banking requires selling your soul and being stressed out 24/7, which banks have been trying to dispel.

Will FT analysts receive the same treatment? I doubt it. There are still plenty of people willing to do the job as it stands. It's not a huge hit if banking loses "top talent" to tech or consulting because you really don't have to be that smart to be a decent analyst.

Jun 21, 2015

analyst grunt work at wall street is equivalent to boot camp in the army. it is designed to break you down and indoctrinate you. that means long hours, tons of stress and bitch work. such is life. if it's so bad then why so many compete for the spots? people need to chill out

Jun 21, 2015
the_gekko:

analyst grunt work at wall street is equivalent to boot camp in the army. it is designed to break you down and indoctrinate you. that means long hours, tons of stress and bitch work. such is life. if it's so bad then why so many compete for the spots? people need to chill out

Plenty of people also go complete boot camp, serve a tour of duty or two, and then go home and kill themselves.

Just because plenty of people want to do something, doesn't mean it's something that should be encouraged or let slide. Letting analysts and interns literally work themselves to death does nobody any good. M&A is going to proceed regardless of whether people are getting overworked. The only thing that happens when people are allowed to work as hard as they'd like is that a few overachievers will try to prove themselves by working too hard, and another bunch of overachievers will try to outdo them, and then it becomes an arms race to see who can kill themselves working the hardest.

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Jun 21, 2015

Also at BB in NYC; our hours are strictly capped, and if we are caught breaking the rules not only do we get reprimanded, so do our deal teams. If we need to work later than midnight or on weekends then our deal teams need to submit requests to our staffer, otherwise we are not allowed to work.

Jun 22, 2015
FeedMeDealFlow:

Also at BB in NYC; our hours are strictly capped, and if we are caught breaking the rules not only do we get reprimanded, so do our deal teams. If we need to work later than midnight or on weekends then our deal teams need to submit requests to our staffer, otherwise we are not allowed to work.

Are you an intern or FT?

Jun 22, 2015

I was always confused as why people say banking and tech compete for talent. They seem like self selecting groups. You do banking for the money and tech for good money/perks/lifestyle. What differentiates the two is the pay ceiling for both (this is where banking trumps tech IMO).

I am sure Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel and Travis Kalanick are surprised to hear this!

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Jun 22, 2015

Hey, are you based in London?

Jun 22, 2015

Maybe this is a stupid question (I'm an SA at a HF this summer so I don't have exposure to sell-side SA culture) but what % of the time are interns actually working on something meaningful vs. just sitting around.

Jun 24, 2015

Frankly, I see no point in these sort of regulations or why society should even care if junior bankers are overworked. To make myself clear, nobody forces people to go into investment banking and most that do have other options. The main motivation of people in this industry (with exceptions of course) is greed for money, cars, expensive dinners etc. In the end nobody can legally force anyone to work 100 hour weeks, so it is self inflicted damage by greed and ego if someone allows this to happen to them. There are many people who do other things with their lives who still work at least 70% as many hours, but they paid 3-4 times less. One example would be PhD students in Finance , which is ironically the same field. Even cleaners probably have to work at least 50 hours to make a living. It is a really messed up society, when there is so much focus in the media about protecting the rights of those who have it best, because they somehow want a free lunch, in the form of getting paid a lot more, but working only a little more than the average person. Finance 101 says there is no such thing as a free lunch the only options are:

1) Put up with it
2) Go somewhere else

In the end, no matter how many rules are put in place, there will be ways to circumvent them. This is capitalism. It is the system that gave people the opportunity to earn ridiculous sums of money. It is everyone individual choice how they want to participate in it, based on how they value money and status against other things like time spent with family, friends, doing hobbies etc.

Jun 24, 2015
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Aug 9, 2015