It's funny, I thought of this topic because I had read an article a few days ago on how Goldman Sachs is being extremely radical and innovative to improve new graduate employee's work hours by limiting them to max 75 hours a week. I really know people working 90-100 hours a week for the first 1-2 years of being a n investment banker, sometimes even an intern to try to get their foot in the front door. In fact 100 hour weeks is pretty normal for the first few years on wall street in these types of positions. Yet often 1000 people will apply to 20 positions. Starting salary is not even that much, base salary of 70k to 90k, possibly up to 140k with the yearly bonus.
For most of these kids, they don't have much commute time, most get apartments a few blocks from where they work. For convenience sake, I personally don't know anybody working for high profile investment firms traveling more than 20 min to work.
It's a hard job but most enjoy it I think. Especially boys, especially younger ones straight out of college without a lot of obligations (family, pets, relationships), many work all day long, party all night and love it. And once you're in, most get blinded by greed and money they'll work to the death for it. Or maybe they really enjoy it, I don't actually know. I have 3 uncles that have been doing it for 20-30 years. 2 cousins that started a few years ago and a few relatives trying to get in. But, I think our family knows what they're getting into. For someone that doesn't know and just wanted to live the glamorous lifestyle, it's probably a tremendous shock...to be thrown into a terrible work environment, with an impossible workload and no appreciation.
However, that being said, I think if I were given the opportunity, I would probably do it. Last year, I was working 35 hours a week, plus 15 hours of school a week, plus 12 hours of commute not even including preparing for classes and doing papers/research/assignments. I was up to about 70 hrs a week away from home and my spare time went into other personal projects, research, etc. Although it was extremely tiring, to me, it was worth it. I like to be productive and I hate to be idle so for my personality, it may not be a terrible thing. But of course, researching for 3 hours after a 15 hour day vs trying to meet deadlines and work deals after a 15 hour day is probably very different. I don't even think I can understand how much the workload really is, even with so many relatives doing it...