Confessions of a Real-Life Bank of America Junior Banker

"The exit opportunities are a huge draw," Arthur explains. "A lot of people do it for a couple years, but the hours do go down. The exit opportunities are fantastic. You make a lot of great contacts in finance and the client side."

Arthur said there's "no doubt" the investment banking analysts and associates are jumping for joy over Bank of America's policy announced in an internal memo this week.

Christian Meissner, head of Bank of America's global corporate and investment banking, distributed a memo obtained by ABC News and confirmed by the company.

"Following an extensive review of the work environment for junior bankers over the last several months, we are announcing a series of improvements designed to increase the efficient use of our time and resources, support work-life balance, increase our junior banker staffing levels and enhance the overall work experience," Meissner wrote in the memo.

Among the changes rolling out this quarter, Meissner said, is a requirement that analysts and associates, or junior bankers, take a minimum of four weekend days off per month. Exceptions to the guidelines must be pre-approved by a business head or the regional head of global corporate and investment banking if outside the U.S.

Bank of America is giving a staffing and resource manager greater responsibility to monitor work volume, hours and assignments.

"It's not uncommon to hear stories in which they may be ready to leave 6 o' clock in evening, which is a relatively normal time," Arthur said. "They may not have had that much work that day. But then they get staffed on a deal and work until 2 or 3 a.m. It's just the nature of the work: unpredictable."

Still, Arthur said Bank of America has a more collegial culture than the other investment banks.

"In my time as an intern and a full time analyst, this is probably where BaML separates itself in my eyes- which is why that story about the London intern was so surprising. We have many colleagues at varying levels who used to be JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, etc., and it's a pretty wide consensus that BaML has a much more collegial culture," he said.

Like many junior bankers, Arthur's plan is to endure long hours and making Excel spreadsheets for two years or so, then to move on.

"I plan to continue in banking for possibly two more years before graduate school," Arthur said. "After that who knows… might be back, might not."

After his experience at Citibank, Benjamin decided banking was not for him and is now in graduate school studying public policy.

"I really wanted to work with people and positively affect peoples' lives," Benjamin said. "The experience I had was a tough one, but it gave me the opportunity to decide what to do."

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