I think what distinguishes banking culture is its blatant, often self-fulfilling assumption that junior employees will almost entirely quit within two or three years. In contrast to highly-specialised, technical professions such as medicine and law, whose new entrants may leave a particular firm but tend to stay within the industry (thus incentivising employers to at least adopt a pretence of reputational concern), junior bankers almost universally end up leaving the sector. Banks therefore tend to see analysts and associates as disposable cannon fodder, guiled into a Faustian (albeit temporary) exchange of poor treatment in exchange for a resume boost and some pocket money.

I've written extensively about my personal experiences in M&A, always happy to share if it helps someone else standing at the same crossroads I was a decade ago.

P.S. you write really well!