By Cassie Kamens
Calling all @discover716 readers, Sophinna Singh Oginni is the author of Banking on Buffalo: 7 Years of Lessons and Blessings. Here is a quick blog about my interview with Sophinna where we talk about her life and her new book, make sure to check it out:
Sophinna was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended high school and college in New England. After graduating from college, Sophinna got a job in the MDP(Management Development Program) at M&T Bank in Buffalo. She packed everything that she thought she would need in a suitcase and boarded a one-way flight to Buffalo in 2010. As you can imagine, moving to a completely new place can have many challenges but Sophinna was determined to make this new place home for at least a little while. Thankfully, the MBP program that she was in at M&T Bank was a collection of people who just graduated from college and were starting in the workforce. In addition to her collegues in the MBP program, one of her close friends from college was also working at M&T. Sophinna used to take walks around Delaware Park during her time here. She said that with friends, they would discuss where they were in life, as she and her friends were in their twenties when big life changes often happen. When I asked Sophinna what her favorite part about Buffalo was she described watching sunsets on the skyline. She said that the only furniture she had at this point was a folding lawn chair that someone had given her and she would watch the sunset on the Buffalo skyline here at the end of days. Sophinna said she found comfort in watching the sunset. A reminder that even things that seem small can mean the most. Speaking of small things making a difference, when Sophinna moved to Buffalo she said that she tried to compare things in New York City and Buffalo. For example Buffalo has Tim Hortons like New York City has Dunkin Donuts, both are coffee shops that you can find on what seems like every corner.
Sophinna officially started to write her book in 2016 about how living in Buffalo changed her life. Sophinna said that the name for her book came from part of her application to University at Buffalo for a masters program. The name came from how she moved to Buffalo and is a clever play on words. When she moved from New York City to Buffalo, Sophinna said that she was packing as much as she could and banking on Buffalo having the rest.
Sophinna was telling me that she credits Buffalo with her womanhood and one of her favorite quotes from the book is, “As I was building my life in Buffalo, Buffalo was building me”. The book was released on Aug 3, 2021 and is really a tribute to all that Buffalo had to offer Sophinna. When I was speaking with Sophinna, she said she wanted her book to encourage more people to give Buffalo and places like Buffalo a chance. There are so many places that are off the beaten path so to speak that have many things to offer, especially to people who are in a period of exploration in their lives. We spent some time talking about how Buffalo is America’s best kept secret and how Buffalo is both big and small. Buffalo is big enough that there is always a new adventure but small enough that everyone seem to know everyone. Buffalo has something for everyone from sports to food to music and everything in between.
After finishing writing her first book, Sophinna has many plans for the future. She is now married and is hoping to start a family in the future. Sophinna still works in financal services, now for Paypal working in payment technology. In addition to starting a family and working, Sophinna has ideas for more books that she would like to write!
I know that I can’t wait to get my copy of Banking on Buffalo:7 Years of Lessons and Blessings and read it! Definitely check out Sophinna’s book and instagram to stay up to date with her!