Why Active Listening Is An Essential Skill with Alice O’Connor

Alice O'Connor

This year, we are doing Nasdaq’s annual internship program a little differently. As we navigate the novel COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned circumstance into a learning opportuniy for interns joining us this year to participate in meaningful and long-term projects. Through the Nasdaq Futures Internship Program, we offer a variety of professional experiences for emerging talent through an immersive 10 to 12-week virtual internship program.

From Stockholm to the U.S., meet few of the bright minds joining us digitally from all around the world. They are playing integral, hands-on roles to help Nasdaq Rewrite Tomorrow.

We spoke with Alice O’Connor, who is working as an intern in our European Markets, Marketing and Communications team. She is also a student at The Stockholm School of Economics.

Tell us a little bit more about the department you sit with and your role at Nasdaq.

I am interning with the Marketing and Communications team for European Markets based in Stockholm. We manage marketing for a wide variety of solutions in Europe, from equities and ETFs to commodities and clearing. In my role, I assist with marketing tasks and lead some marketing projects myself. No one day is really the same, which is just how I like it. In my role, I do everything from research and data collection to brainstorming new marketing tactics and drafting strategy proposals.

Why were you eager to do an internship at Nasdaq?

Nasdaq was interesting to me because I wish to continue working with technology after graduation and because I have enjoyed studying finance courses at university. I was also curious to learn more about how it is to work for such a large and global company like Nasdaq, since I have mostly interned and worked at small companies and start-ups before. Finally, entrepreneurship is another interest of mine, so interning where many entrepreneurs dream of listing their companies one day felt really exciting! 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about working here and on your team?

The most interesting thing I have learned this far about working here and on my team is Nasdaq’s distinctive role in the wider financial ecosystem. Being a technology company that owns and operates capital markets, as well as an innovative industry leader who serves multiple stakeholders, puts Nasdaq in a fascinating position from a marketing perspective. It has been fun and challenging to understand this position better and to figure out how to best market our solutions. We are, for example, focusing a lot on ESG in Europe right now, which feels great to be a part of for the sake of our planet.

Tell us about the most exciting project you’ve worked on so far.

I am working on lots of exciting projects, but one that stands out to me right now is the KPI report project for European Markets that I am managing over the summer. I am collecting data from our digital marketing channels and creating a KPI tracking report to draw actionable insights from our marketing campaigns. It involves plenty of number crunching and data visualization, but also collaboration across multiple teams and with my fellow intern working on the report for the North American Markets team. This project really exemplifies the Nasdaq value “play as a team” and I am thoroughly enjoying it. 

What do you hope to accomplish by the end of your time here?

This summer, I hope to contribute real, tangible value to my team. This includes assisting on ongoing projects and campaigns, but also bringing new thoughts and ideas to the table that hopefully can be implemented and bring value in both the short and long term. I also hope to have learned a lot by the end of my time here, which feels achievable seeing as my learning curve has been exponential since day one and I still have some exciting weeks left.

Your advice for interns next year:

I would advise next year’s interns to be truly active listeners. Reach out to people both inside and outside your own team, sit in on as many meetings as possible, take notes, ask follow-up questions and take time to reflect on your conversations. If you approach every social interaction as an opportunity to learn, your learning curve will get an extra boost beyond what you learn from your immediate tasks and projects.

Lyanne Alfaro


Lyanne is a producer, host and social media strategist at Nasdaq. Her team helps reimage the way Nasdaq tells stories about Nasdaq’s role in the future of technology via video, podcasting and social content. You can find her on social media @LyanneAlfaro

Read Lyanne's Bio