Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Ian Kim, New York University (Stern)

Ian Kim

New York University, Stern School of Business

“Former trader who ended up in family food business. Passionate about all food related things.”

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: As a proud husband of a YouTube celebrity, I appeared on seven YouTube videos with over a million views.

Undergraduate School and Major: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, BSc in Quantitative Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ottogi Corp.; E-commerce Sales Manager

What excites you the most about living in New York City and how do you see it enhancing your learning experience? I’m eager to meet all kinds of people. Since New York City is a global hub where cultural, financial, and media powers meet, I cannot wait to absorb information from diverse events and seminars that the city provides.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of NYU Stern’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? IQ+EQ. My past work experiences have taught me that becoming a manager requires more than intelligence. Stern’s culture of diversity and inclusion will help me to reach my fullest potential.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at NYU Stern? I plan to specialize in Business Analytics. Classes taught by Professors Robert Seamans and Foster Provost seem interesting. Also, I am excited to join group events from clubs such as Arts, Culture, and Cuisine to enjoy NYC’s rich variety of activities with fellow students.

What does EQ (Emotional Intelligence) mean to you and when have you seen its value in your career? Emotional Intelligence is the ability to take notice of others’ emotions and is the basis of all human relationships. I rotated through five different teams for the last four years for certain purposes, where I had the privilege to witness which teams excelled in the long run. Teams with members who had great communication skills endured. When team members motivated each other or were able to make empathetic observations of each other, they worked better.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I had been fortunate enough to participate in a number of key projects within my firm. Yet, the accomplishment that I personally value the most stands out for a different reason. I was able to connect with my colleagues from many different teams at a personal level. I believe building trust with employees is the most deciding factor to lead successfully. It took all of my four years to make genuine connections and earn trust from people from different divisions, which I am most proud of.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Through earning an MBA, I would like to equip myself with essential managerial skills. After graduation, I plan to return to my family-owned packaged food company to take on a managerial role. My aspiration is to contribute to the sustainable growth of the Korean food industry, and supply the world with good, affordable, and easy Korean food.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I recommend that applicants join admissions webinars. They inform you well of the do’s and don’ts throughout the application process.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, Harvard Business School

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into NYU Stern’s MBA program? Have fun with ‘Pick Six.’ It is a personal expression essay where you can express yourself through six images and captions. Show your personal strengths that you could not express elsewhere throughout the application process.


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