Crisp and Crushing It: Sophia Forney
With a career in finance and a full passport, Sophia Forney keeps busy. We paid her a visit to chat about work/life balance, travel, and fashion both on and off the job.
AD: First off, what’s your name, age, and where do you live?
SF: My name is Sophia, I’m 24, I live in Manhattan. I’ve been here for three years now.
AD: Tell me what you do for work.
SF: I work for a boutique investment bank, focused on insurance. We do M&A, capital raising, insurance-linked securities. I’m kind of involved in all of those areas. I’ve been there now for two years, but at the broader company now for three. It’s an intense job, but it’s good.
AD: I hear you tend to have pretty crazy hours.
SF: Yeah, I usually work, I would say minimum 12 hours a day. And weekends, too. It can be hard but it’s pretty rewarding.
AD: What is that like?
SF: I think you just get used to it. When I first moved here I worked a job that was more 9-5, a very different vibe, so it was a big transition when I moved into this new job. It’s a learning experience for sure, your work ethic definitely improves. I think the coolest thing is finding out that when you work that many hours and really dedicate yourself to it instead of doing the bare minimum, which I think a lot of people do at work, how much you’re actually able to do.
AD: And how do you manage hours like that?
SF: I think it was hard in the beginning, but the longer you do it you kind of figure out how to manage. I try to do something social each weekend – going out during the week is not really an option for me. I usually work out in the morning. It takes some maneuvering for sure.
AD: If you could give your 18-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
SF: Put a little bit more thought into what I wanted to do out of school. Everything ended up working out for me, but I think I would have gotten a little bit of a head start if I had challenged myself in the right ways in college. But other than that, I had a great college experience and ending up working in New York City, so I’m happy with how things worked out.
AD: So you’re really into travel. Where are some cool places you’ve gone?
SF: Well I’ve been to Africa four times in different contexts. I went for a school trip in high school – it was a Serengeti class where we studied all the wildlife, so we went and camped for ten days. That was really cool. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro when I graduated college, with my dad and my brother. I did a two-month summer abroad in Uganda, doing research. Then I went to South Africa with my sister two years ago for fun.
I’ve done a couple cool long weekend trips, like when we went to Peru for three days over Labor Day two years ago. That was a random, spontaneous trip. My roommate and I just did a huge trip in Europe a few months ago, we went to Italy, France, and Spain. I lived on a Greek island for two months after high school. Coming up, I’m going to Jamaica at the end of September and going to Hawaii over New Year’s.
My family’s done a lot of cool trips in the US and Bermuda. We’ve always done fun trips. Growing up we did a lot more domestic trips. I’ve always really wanted to travel, so I was the push behind the more international stuff. But now, more and more, my family’s been traveling internationally, which is really cool.
AD: When you travel, what are things you like to make a point to do?
SF: Usually I’m all about the food and wine. Unless I’m doing an outdoorsy thing, like in Tanzania, then I’m all about the nature.
AD: Moving on to fashion! If you had to describe your sense of style in one word, what would it be?
SF: I would say…crisp. Is that a weird word? I wanted to say simple, but I don’t think that’s always the case. I like clean lines, but I can be casual. I love neutral colors, but that’s not to say that I don’t wear bright colors ocassionally. I’m not a big pattern person; if I’m going to do a color, it’ll probably be one big pop of color.
AD: What kind of trends inspire you?
SF: Do you follow Thrifts & Threads? That's what I do for when I want to do something extra. She and her friends have a simple style, but with a touch of something different. I’m very open to a lot of different styles, it wouldn’t have to be one type of look.
AD: So are you a big vintage person?
SF: No – it’s not that I’m closed off to it, it’s just that right now I feel like I barely have time to shop for necessities. And with a more conservative, male-dominated job, it can be hard to find unique pieces that are work-appropriate. But for weekends, it can be really fun. As I continue to advance in my career, I hope I’ll be able to add a little more personality to my work wardrobe.
AD: What is the worst trend you have ever participated in?
SF: I don’t know if this is a trend, but do you know Soffe shorts? Maybe my freshman year of high school – not for sports, just for walking around. People rolled them up really high…dark times.