Worst internship stories (investment banking)

Thought I would share the shitshow of an internship that has taken up my summer, but also challenge all you monkeys to share your worst internship stories as well.

I am currently on the tail end of an internship abroad in Hong Kong. The very structure of the internship seemed strange to me. The description said that as an intern of a 300 person trading firm I and 15 other interns would be studying with an analyst for the first two weeks, and then be turned loose for the remaining six weeks to fake trade and make cold calls. My main boss is well past retirement age and has treated the female interns so inappropriately I'm sure it would be a lawsuit in the US. Not to mention every time I answer a question correctly he runs over quickly and hits me with full force in excitement (not pleasurable at all).

But what the crown jewel of the internship has been is when last weekend my other boss, a mid 30s female who blatantly dates clients to get money, took us all to a pool party in Macau (think Vegas but less rules). I was aggressively drunk even on the boat ride there, hit the tables for awhile, then headed up to the pool. My boss brought her friend who was around 35 as well, and at around 9 PM me and two other interns noticed her friend was totally not okay. We struggled to get her into a wheelchair with the help of the pool staff, all the while our boss is screaming at us that she is fine and doesn't need help, and we should all ditch her and go back to the party. Fast forward to later, and my boss barges in the hotel room which we kicked her out of two hours before, demanding to stay there. After a brief time out I walk back in the room to find her standing over my friend flashing him on the ground. Before the internship started I definitely wouldn't think that I'd end up babysitting my boss's friend to keep her from dying of alcohol poisoning, but I guess it happens sometimes.

Anyways, feel free to share your stories.

Comments (36)

Jul 20, 2017

Yeah... Ok...

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Jul 20, 2017

I spent a lot of time binding pitch books with a "machine" (I'll use that term lightly) that was older than me. It has been pretty horrific.

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Jul 21, 2017

AVOCADO

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Jul 28, 2017

How is Harvey & Company doing?

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Jul 21, 2017

Not as an intern but as an analyst.

When the newly employed PE analyst terrorised my entire deal team (boutique in Europe) with needless and shitty tasks. It took us and the PE a week or so to reach a similar conclusion: that analyst was utter crappe. Then they pulled him back. He now doesn't work for that particular firm anymore.

Anyway: shitshow started when I arrived back from an intercontinental flight on Monday (east to west, so no weariness in the morning. Worked until 4, slept a coupla hours. Same procedure Tuesday and Wednesday. Then a solid fully fledged all nighter on Thursday and Friday until around midnight. Saturday a solid nine to five.

This wasn't my only bad week hours wise but the tasks were the fucking worst: like identifying all companies in the industry which are active in regions the target wasn't. Complete with profile, strength and weaknesses. Mind you, the target was active in a regional niche, so Capital IQ suggested lotsa other companies... Plus, yeah. Like I can identify strengths and weaknesses via desktop research.

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Jul 21, 2017

"One time, an intern TOTALLY DID NOT have sexual relations with me."
-Bill Clinton

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Best Response
Jul 21, 2017

If by worst, you mean debauchery, then I have one.

I was working for an automotive company, and it was the middle of the second week when the group decided to bring me on a business trip two states over to one of the factories to learn about something similar to lean six sigma. So I was about 20 years old, and everyone else was between 40-50, all with wives and kids aged between 10 and my age.

So we get to our destination, get dinner, and the guys are like "Let's go to the club". I tag along so I'm not sitting in the hotel by myself. Little did I know we were going to alcohol serving strip clubs. We get to the first one, and I nonchalantly show my ID that clearly shows I'm not 21, and I guess to keep revenues high since my colleagues all looked fairly rich and they know we were a package deal, the club let met in.

Coworkers proceeded to buy me quite a bit of booze, and buy me lap dances. One guy got a dance, came back, and said "Smell my fingers". Pretty poor decision making on their end since I could have black-mailed them quite a bit.

We joked about putting that in the intern brochure for next year. We never spoke about that night again.

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Jul 29, 2017

+1

Jul 21, 2017

Summer of freshman year, I had an internship at one of those Pyramid scam companies that actually work with Fortune 500 companies. All I had on my resume at that time was camp work and sports, so this was obviously the best I could do.
Half my summer consisted of me going door to door to sell Cable and Internet in a full suit in New York in the middle of the summer.
The other half consisted of me handing out free cell phones in the ghettos of NYC to those who qualified, again in a full suit.
If you think it couldn't get worse, we had to report to the office at 9, and instead of being done for the day at 5, we would have to go back to the office an hour away to report about our day (There was even a bell you could ring if you made a sale!) I was working 11 hours a day if you include the subway commutes in 90 degree weather in a full suit... Good times.
Actually made a decent amount of money for a freshman (Not close to the hours I put in), and improved my sales and oral communications skills, so it was not a complete loss.
As of the last time I checked a few weeks ago, the company is going through a class action lawsuit against all the employees that barely got paid for their time.

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Jul 24, 2017

I can definitely relate to running around in a suit in summer. Hong Kong is even worse, Houston-like humid with 90 degrees temperature.

Jul 29, 2017

You should try Bangkok. Coming from a much milder climate (LA), I didn't expect to have sweat marks under my arms every day before I even got into the office.

Added bonus was when it rained enough, which was almost every other day from 2pm-7pm, the streets would mildly flood and my feet would get soaking wet walking home.

Jul 24, 2017

Bro, I feel you. I took an internship one summer for a company claiming to need a finance, logistics, marketing, and client relations professional to expand their scientific equipment and testing company. I figured I was getting myself a pretty diverse role with a decent package: 15/hr + comp for travel/miles on car + commission for sales and accounts generated.

Nope. After what was already a shitty application process, I took the role because it paid the most out of the offers I had received and I was confident in my sales abilities. Turned out he sold bongs, vaporizers, grinders, and grow equipment. Literally, everything you could legally sell that was not pot- this guy sold it. I was stuck. Here is the kicker: my distribution region mainly contained the most ghetto areas in Northern Virginia (not many), D.C., Baltimore, and everywhere in between. I also got hit by a drunk lady at the end of spring semester so my car was wrecked- but somehow just barely recoverable. The lady's insurance covered any rental I wanted within a certain class so I picked the freshest car on the lot: a Mercedes C300 Sport. So here I was- driving around southeast D.C., B-more, and Prince George's County in a black benz in a suit selling/carrying thousands of dollars in samples and products. Needless to say- I hated my job. The shmuck would not pay me my travel/miles/comission. I was constantly being harassed or assumed to be a cop while working these areas. I was selling the hell out of his products but was getting stiffed on my share of the profit. Finally I lost it when selling snoop dogg vape pens to a pakistani guy who goes by AK because he had a GERMAN SHEPHARD attack dog that he lost control of and then ran through the security "doggy" door/gate and attacked me. Definitely a low point in my life.

Anyways, AK gets his bear-dog off of me and apologizes. He tells me that he will look at what I have to sell to make up for the dog fucking me up. He takes one look at the snoop dogg vapes and immediately tells me I am a scammer and a low life for bringing him "bullchit fake Chinese snoopies." He proceeds to turn around and open a stationery closet filled with fake chinese snoop dogg vapes. Some other asshole had already got him. Possibly my boss. Sending me now to do his asshole bidding. Well, I was through playing Walter White with that asshat (my boss). I wrote up a list of all the reasons his company was bullshit, illegitimate, schemey, and not to mention just downright destined for financial disaster and drove straight to him to deliver it along with a clear intent to quit.

In a sick twist of events, he hired a girl I know to replace me and gave her my list as a project of shit to fix! He ended up being profitable within 3 months and quit his corporate job to do it full time. I was so pissed at the hilarity that I channeled the rage into a bunch of apps and got a fund internship. So we both made out okay, but still, screw that guy.

    • 14
Jul 25, 2017

absurd.

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Jul 29, 2017

True power move would have been to quit and open a competing business with your improved model.

University of Chicago

    • 1
Jul 29, 2017

OBamaphone.

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Jul 21, 2017

Don't have one to share unfortunately

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Jul 25, 2017

damn you got barraged!

Jul 29, 2017

FUCK THIS GUY

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Jul 24, 2017

My one and only internship...

I started with a group of other interns - all undergrads - in a VC company in the summer. Dull so far - the VC company was one of the noname 'VC' companies that never had any website and never will as it's long defunct by now. The shitshow started right on the first day when we all realised that

  • the internship is unpaid
  • we have to buy food to our partners. And not only food - also cigarettes and alcohol. All with our own money
  • we have to clean the kitchen after the lunch
  • possibly even clean the office after hours (!)

All of us quit right after the briefing. Actually we did not even quit - each one of us found some excuses to leave the building within an hour or so and obviously never came back.

All of us.. except for one looser. He 'worked' in the VC for the full 3 months of the summer and by the end of it was sent home after a review that ended his 'probation period'. During that review he got told that everything he did was absolutely piss poor and that he'll never make it to the big league of VCs. Not to mention the fact that he spent circa $3,000.00 own money.

I bet this is the 'King of the shit-tier internships'

PS: the company went defunct because all their investments failed. Nothing to do with any other activities.

Jul 24, 2017

Sounds like you were all pledges, not interns.

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Jul 24, 2017
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Jul 24, 2017

C'mon man you left out if she was hot or not. Attention to detail.

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Jul 24, 2017

Actually your internship experience sounds kinda fun, as if all stereotypes were true, plus they took you out to macao, not half bad. If it's an internship after your freshman year, then who the hell cares, I would have just had fun there

Jul 25, 2017

At a boutique on the east coast, one of our interns (super young guy) told me he was going to be 15-20 minutes late to our client meeting because he had a networking call with a Bulge Bracket Analyst at the same time. I remember being so astonished at the stupidity of his response, I blurted out that if he didn't get to the meeting on time he would be interning at the hotdog cart down the street.

He never missed a client meeting.

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Jul 25, 2017

When I was a SA at a micro-boutique in NYC, I worked under an associate two years out of b-school. He never worked in banking before but got hired after doing a stint in corporate development. The firm didn't pay him a salary only commissions of closed transactions. So he would work me like a dog until he saw fit. The firm didn't have shit either. They operated out of a Regus office and interns had to bring their own computers. I went to school in the city and our campus had Bloomberg terminals. This asshole would make me commute 45 mins from the office to get trading comps from the college I attended. Not to mention he would always have these god awful stories starting with the phrase "when I was in b-school...," roughly three times a day. Didn't even get a top 20 MBA . On a diligence call, he mentioned it nonchalant manner a few times and the vp of the pe firm we were working with straight up said "who gives a fuck that you have an MBA," Call went south after that. The deal imploded. Guy had to quit because that deal closing was suppose to cover his living costs.

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Jul 25, 2017
DCFfordayz:

Didn't even get a top 20 MBA . On a diligence call, he mentioned it nonchalant manner a few times and the vp of the pe firm we were working with straight up said "who gives a fuck that you have an MBA," Call went south after that. The deal imploded. Guy had to quit because that deal closing was suppose to cover his living costs.

haha +1

Jul 26, 2017
Jul 26, 2017

She's not going to notice this, that frump, but here goes @TOBINCO

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Jul 28, 2017

I was intern at a small broker in France.

I was always on time not to say early. Once I was late because at my bus station (in the middle of nowhere) the only guy in the area (also waiting for the bus) had an epileptic attack, and of course I helped him.
After arriving I took a shower (I was full of this poor guy's saliva) at the office and bought some new clothes in the shop next to the office.
I got a warning because the same day I was late and I took a shower during working hours.

Of course I quitted

    • 1
Jul 28, 2017

you lost me at "quitted"

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Jul 29, 2017

I bet he can speak two more languages than your British/American/Aussie/NZ ass can handle.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Jul 29, 2017

Summer of sophomore year, I worked at an investment management firm. The hours aren't even long, but I'm someone who gets sleepy super easily. I get especially sleepy during large meetings. About four weeks in, we had a meeting with the head of AM right after lunch. I made the mistake of eating too much at lunch and not having a cup of coffee with me at the meeting.

About twenty minutes in, I was getting real sleepy. Tried to pinch myself, hold my breath, and other stuff that was posted on WSO about how not to fall asleep. Nothing worked... I had the genius idea to hold eye contact with the head of AM to make sure I don't nod off. At the end of the meeting, I saw the other interns giggling as they left the meeting. I caught up with them at the end of the day and asked them what they were laughing at. They told me that I had fallen asleep while looking the head of AM dead in the eyes. Funniest part is that I didn't even realize I had fallen asleep - must've PTFO.

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Jul 29, 2017
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