Springtime at Harvard means that hundreds of students are strapping on their fancy suits, accentuating the action verbs on their resumes, and exposing themselves to another deadly outbreak of investment banking interviews. Unbeknownst to most of these finance-types, however, are the health risks that result from continual exposure to such workplace activity.
According to a recent study from the University of Southern California, which followed over two-dozen entry-level investment bankers over the course of a decade, the combination of 100-hour workweeks and high-stakes job requirements often leads to psychological and physical ailments including insomnia, alcoholism, heart palpitations, eating disorders, shorter tempers, and prescription drug addiction after only several years on the job.
Further psychological reports found that investment bankers are three times more likely to be depressed and anxious than the average person. In many cases bankers even displayed suicidal tendencies. Others were diagnosed with chronic health conditions like Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders.
The study additionally found that over 20 percent of bankers leave the profession by their mid-30s, and that two-fifth of those who remain choose to curb their workload because of health concerns. The majority of investment bankers, however, maintain their heavy workloads in favor of the luxury, big money, and steak dinner perks that their high-salary careers offer.
Still, students headed into finance should be cautious before going into their I-banking interviews—or at least that's what the study seems to be suggesting!