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August 21, 2013 - 12:50pm

Former exchange student dies during London internship



A 21-year-old German student who participated in an exchange program at the Ross School of Business died at his apartment during an internship at Bank of America in London, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

A spokesperson for Bank of America confirmed to Bloomberg on Monday that the student, Moritz Erhardt, died in his apartment on August 15. Erhardt was in his final week of an internship program at Bank of America in London.

The bank spokesperson John McIvor said as of Monday the cause of death is still being investigated. Police do not consider the death suspicious.

Erhardt was reportedly working extremely long hours during his investment banking internship, according to the British publication, The Independent. Erhardt’s unnamed colleagues wrote online that he had stayed awake until 6 a.m. three consecutive days prior to his death.

The Ross School of Business referred comment on Erhardt’s death to University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald.

Though Erhardt is listed on the student directory, Fitzgerald noted that Erhardt was not a current student or graduate of the business school, contrary to some reports. He said Erhardt was studying at the business school during an exchange program with the University.

“He was a student at (WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management) in Germany, taking a semester abroad at (the business school) last winter,” Fitzgerald said. “The internship program he was in was not arranged through (the business school).”

Erhardt's death has raised questions about the working conditions for and expectations of interns in the banking industry. When asked about Erhardt’s alleged working conditions at his internship, Fitzgerald said the business school did not have a comment as the internship was not arranged through the University. Because of that, he said the business school has no knowledge of the internship.

“We don’t know anything about the internship program so it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on (Erhardt’s treatment),” Fitzgerald said.

Based on public reports, Erhardt is the fourth student affiliated with the University that has passed away in the last three months, including a recent incident in which a student was fatally struck by a car on Plymouth Road.