Rest in Peace
Condolences to anyone that knew 22-year-old Helen Chen, the NYU Student/Lazard intern that passed away on Tuesday night. I know that just the other night we were discussing working late, putting in your hours, we even have a blog post around how a Summer Analyst should think about their 10-week internship and be the first one in/last one out/really give it their all — but this is beyond tragic💔
I cannot imagine what her family/colleagues would be going through right now.
I don’t think anyone knows currently if it was stress/work-related when it came to how/why she fell (she was coming back from a work outing/Mets game) but this brings up a good point around being an intern. As an intern, you definitely want to push yourself to do more and really show that you’re committed — we all know that’s the goal however I think what most don’t understand is that everyone has their own limits. I remember when I worked in finance in San Francisco, I didn’t want to worry about expensing an Uber home (also it wasn’t too common back then for expensing Ubers to be a thing) so there were times I would walk home through SoMa. What you hear about SF is true — it was sketchy (and it’s not like NYC where others are out and about, SF is generally eerie quiet after 10pm). Thinking back to it, why would I risk my life, safety, sanity for the cost of ~$20?
Hindsight will always be 20/20 but the point of this is that it’s very sad to hear stories like this. Whether or not this was work related, please take care of yourself. That is arguably the most important thing that we can do and ONLY WE can do it. Your firm (not matter how great they seem to be) will not care as much about you as YOU WILL. I’ve said this before — if you monitor your health and take into account health = wealth…. well hey the longer you live, the more years you have to be successful and make $ (if that is your end-goal). Buffett made 95% of his wealth after the age of 65. Understand that this life is a marathon, not a sprint. Everyone has their own capacity, their own limits and the reality is you can only push yourself so hard when it comes to doing something. The minute you realize this life is a single-player game and you get what you’re supposed to (whether it’s that FT-internship position or not) that’s when you’ll play not to impress others, but solely for yourself. If you get FT, great — if you don’t, great — I’ll publish an article later on how many successful people have been fired before in their lives. It’s not the end of the world.
On that note, we’ve all been busy — try to get some sleep tonight and maybe start fresh tomorrow — days and pieces of news like this make you realize what we’re all doing this for and that there are bigger things that take more priority out there 🙏
Also if you’re an intern and aren’t happy/think banking might not be a fit for you/looking elsewhere, just reach out and let us know what you’re thinking. We’re here to help. I’ll personally coach you for free.