Making the Most of Your Internship

as the summer internship season hits the midpoint, eager interns flooded the halls of Nasdaq headquarters in Time Square for the North American Markets (NAM) Client Intern Day. Sitting before experienced panelists from our NAM team, interns from client companies gained valuable insight during the “Making the Most of Your Internship” panel discussion.

Across the board, the panel emphasized the importance of networking. An internship is an opportunity to ask questions, learn about the day-to-day life of different employees and discover what kind of career is right for each intern. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there in a new company with many experienced professionals, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

“If you’re truly interested in what the full-time employees do, then you’re going to want to have a conversation with them, and they’re going to want to have a conversation with you. So, networking will happen naturally if you just think, ‘Do I want to talk to this person? Am I interested in what they do?’ And then go from there,” said ETF Senior Market Manager Danielle Rutsky.

Beyond networking, an internship is a great way to market yourself. By working on new projects or collaborating with staff and other interns, you can showcase your skills. Interns are generally under a microscope, and it’s up to the intern to take advantage of it.

“Perception is reality, especially early on in your career,” noted Tanya Patwa, Head of US Options Sales.

What people can see is what people will think, so it’s important to be honest with yourself, have self-awareness and do what you enjoy.

“You want to be invested in what you’re working on,” agreed Senior Options Analyst and previous Nasdaq Capital Markets Intern Seamus Scaring.

When Scaring interviews interns, he shared that he’s looking beyond their technical ability and more at what they’re genuinely interested in, from what they are reading, seeing and hearing. He continued, “You see people fade out of roles early on because they’re just picking them for the title.”

Rutsky and Patwa both emphasized Scaring’s point that pursuing your interests will ultimately get you much farther in your professional development.

Panel moderator and Marketing Manager Elizabeth Coogan left the room with some wise advice she once heard as an intern herself: Although the formal interview process ends once you land the internship, the true interview is far from done. Think of the experience as a summer-long interview for you to prove that you deserve to be here.

Wrapping up the panel with a Q&A, all three panelists were on the same page about where they ended up after their internships. In the fintech industry, they’re enjoying a fast-past and exciting work environment. The session was collectively motivating and inspiring, and as interns left the room, they had an inside scoop on how to navigate their own futures.

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