Moritz Erhardt’s promising career in the financial banking industry ended when he was found dead in the shower after leaving a 72-hour work shift.
The 21-year-old exchange student from Germany came to America to study at the University of Michigan. He was transferred to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London to complete his seven-week internship. His death happened only seven days prior to the completion of the program.
Colleagues at the bank had discovered Erhardt slumped over dead in the shower. An online message sent by one of the financial staff read that one of the interns who had been working for 72 hours straight and did not show up to work. The post suggested someone from the firm go over to Erhardt residence to check to see if everything was alright.
Another intern, who requested anonymity, confirmed in a statement to the press that over the past several weeks, Mortiz had pulled the “magic roundabout.” This term refers to when a cab drives an intern home at 7 in the morning after working all day, waits for the passenger to take a shower, change clothes and then taxi the intern back to the financial institute for another 24 hour day at work.
Another intern interviewed attested to the long hours Mortiz put in. He also claimed that during his own internship at the financial institute, he had endured “three months of hell.”
To quantify the hard work and long hours interns must undergo in the financial sector, a former investment banker admitted that internship candidates put in between 100 and 110 hours per week on the average.
A representative from Bank of America declined to comment on the intern’s working schedule.
In Mortiz’ profile he wrote that he had over ambitious tendencies. This came from growing up in a family where he was expected to excel in his career. Because of his parent’s expectations, he felt pressured to succeed.
Moritz was epileptic and Scotland Yard is not treating his death as suspicious.
As told to the London’s Independent by one of the 300 interns living at the Claredale House, which houses the banking interns, the financial group in which Mortiz worked encountered the longest and most grueling hours in investment banking.
So was it fate or the toll of labor in this competitive financial world that took the life of Mortiz Erhardt?
It is apparent that the long hours he put in at work, Mortiz was trying to reach the top of his success by impressing the bosses. With competition being the toughest in today’s job market, young adults are more inclined to work longer hours to get ahead than those from the baby boomer era. A medical journal published last year stated that people who worked night shifts were more susceptible to having stress related symptoms such as strokes and heart attacks.
As for Mortiz being an epileptic, two of the main essential ingredients that will help prevent an epileptic reaction is getting enough sleep and avoiding unusual stress. Both of which appear may have possibly aggravated the intern’s health condition.
An autopsy is being conducted concerning the death of Mortiz Erhardt. His family may never know the real cause of their son’s passing. But whether his death is work related or problems with health, it is evident that stress played a factor in ending a young man’s endeavor for a successful career in the financial world.
Written by Lisa Graziano