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Meet Our Latest Alumna Spotlight: Henrietta Farley

Living and working at Goldman Sachs in New York City, our October Alumna Spotlight, Henrietta Farley keeps us up to date with her life after graduation. Since moving to New York in 2016, she has become accustomed to the city lifestyle where everyone has full permission to live out their lives in a way that’s authentic to them.

Continue reading to learn how outside hobbies, like improv classes provide Henrietta with energy and joy to work hard at her day job, how her passion to understand others through empathy and curiosity have been key in her personal life and career, and more!

Name: Henrietta Farley

Theta pledge class: MC '08

When you graduated from Mizzou: 2012

Major/Degree: Bachelor of Journalism - Strat Comm

Hometown: Hinsdale, Illinois

Where you live now: New York City

Where do you work right now/what have you been up to since graduation?

I currently work at Goldman Sachs in New York. I have worked at the firm since 2013 after completing two back to back internships in Chicago after graduation. I started in the Chicago office and then moved to the New York office in 2016.

What's your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is solving complex problems with a very talented group of people. I really enjoy the humility that comes with working on complicated challenges - you have to be open about what you don’t know and be quick to own where we have gone wrong in the past.

What's your favorite thing about the city you live in?

I have always loved New York City and it was a lifelong dream to live here. I love the diversity of ideas and way of life. There is no one way to live or be here, there’s a mix of everything and everyone has full permission to live out their lives in a way that’s authentic to them. The food, history, energy, fashion, art & culture don’t hurt either!

What are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about empathy and curiosity. I grew up across the UK, US and Australia, so I have a lot of experience being the new person. I’ve found working to understand others through curiosity and empathy have been key in my personal life and career. If a person or business does something a certain way, there’s usually a backstory as to why. Even if it makes sense perhaps to change it now, showing you’re looking to understand where a company or person is coming from, helps you get the full picture and come up with an informed solution.

I’m also very passionate about affordable access to mental healthcare. I’ve found it’s easier to focus on working toward a successful life, whatever that means for you, if you have the tools to work with the anxieties and stress that inevitably come with modern life, rather than trying to avoid them.

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I love to spend time with my family in Sydney, visit two of my closest Theta girlfriends in Denver and also take improv classes in NYC. I especially love improv because it uses a completely different part of my brain and doesn’t allow me to multi-task. One of the key tenets is more or less ‘don’t think’ and thinking is pretty much what I spend all day doing, so it’s a nice reprieve. I’ve found my outside hobbies and passions give me the energy and joy to work hard at my day job.

Other future career/life goals:

My list of goals is ever changing and sometimes, overwhelming! From a career standpoint I want to continue to get out of my comfort zone and learn new things. As the role of technology changes in business, I have been taking more time to understand digital product development and management within financial services. This has been a challenge, but also an energizing change from my traditional area of focus.

My life goals are to continue to maintain my health, relationships and spend quality time with my family.

What do you miss most about Mizzou?

Going into my freshman year, a lot of my parents' friends would always tell me that college would be ‘the best years of my life’ and sometimes when I was at Mizzou, I found that sentiment really overwhelming. I would be sitting in Ellis library at 1am, very stressed, thinking ‘is this really the best time of my life?’ What I know now, and profoundly miss about Mizzou, is the unique opportunity to be surrounded by close friends that are on the same schedule and all live in the same place. The opportunity to try lots of different things and have the full resources and support of the university behind you. So while I have certainly had many fun and joyful times since post college, I will give a nod to the cliche in saying it was truly *some* of the best years of my life.

What do you miss most about Theta?

I miss having that group of women pumping each other up and being genuinely there for each other. I have so many great girlfriends today, some from college and some not, but schedules, timezones, etc. tend to get in the way. Theta was a unique chance to all be together, supporting each other through that time in our lives.

What is one thing you took away from being a part of Theta in college that has shaped you into the woman you are today? (AKA: What impact has Theta left on you?)

I was a decent student in high school, but Theta really motivated me to achieve at the next level and think big about what I wanted to do after graduation. I found Theta to be a very progressive version of a ‘sorority’ and I truly felt empowered by the support of all of the women. That support is still something I tap into today and has made me feel braver in taking career and personal risks.

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

There are so many amazing memories and as I think back I feel so lucky to have gotten to experience them! Some of my favorite memories were on the bus on the way home from a barn dance or social. We would always be singing funny songs or cracking jokes. We also became good friends with a lot of other sorority women on campus and those memories of all being together are some of my favorite.

Anything else you'd like to add?

The friendships I made with my fellow Thetas are still part of my daily life. I still talk to two Thetas almost daily and we all live in different parts of the country. When I have been at my lowest, more than once, they are flying in, on the phone and so genuinely supportive. I am still amazed at how capable my fellow Thetas are. I was once in a really tricky situation that was requiring me to fly back to Australia with a complicated working Visa situation but I was extremely busy at work and didn’t have the time or mental capacity to figure it out. My Theta friend went and looked up all the steps I needed to take and sent me an email to help me out.

In college, I am glad I worked hard academically and participated in internships and working on campus, but I am most glad I made lots of time for joy, fun and light heartedness with my member class. There will always be more work, but not always as much time to spend forming these genuine relationships.


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