Summer is here and we are capping off another year of Stern Singles. Our newest featured bachelorette is none other than Kathryn Whitney.
“In addition to being one of the funniest people I know, Kathryn is kind, smart and down for any adventure.”
Those are all high qualities in an adventure companion.
“Kathryn is the type of person you’d be happy to get stuck next to at a dinner party table.”
Honestly at this point I’d just be happy to get stuck at a dinner party again. But I appreciate the notion.
Kathryn recently joined Stern to pivot into “marketing at a nonprofit, preferably one that helps give under-resourced kids access to higher education.” She’s a marathon runner, a world traveler, and apparently pretty great with trivia and cocktail advice. I sat down with Kathryn to learn more about her life and love in New York.
What brought you to Stern?
I have a background in investment banking and investor relations but I would like to pivot into marketing and communications. My ideal job after graduation would be working in a marketing role at a nonprofit in the city. I especially love working with kids and I already have extensive experience volunteering as a member of the Associate Board of a nonprofit called Row New York.
What’s keeping you here?
The world class faculty, the quality of the courses, the diverse professional and personal backgrounds of my peers, and the energy on campus, despite the pandemic, have kept me here. Every time I get the experience of an in-person class, it reminds me of how lucky I was to be admitted and how fortunate I am to pursue higher education.
What excited you most about coming here?
Being able to study in the most exhilarating city in the world excited me the most about coming here. I was also excited to continue my financial education at one of the top business schools for finance. I was born in the city and lived here for the first four years of my life. I attended preschool in the city and then moved to a small town north of the city where I finished my secondary education. I went to Trinity College in Hartford and then moved to the city right after. Pursuing higher education in the city where I was born has always been a dream of mine. Also, I was excited about being able to connect with professionals from diverse backgrounds.
Did anything worry you about starting grad school?
I had first day jitters, but everyone was incredibly nice and all my experiences have been positive. Once the pandemic hit last year, I was nervous about the format of online learning and how NYU would adjust. The way NYU has dealt with safety protocols and COVID testing allayed my fears and made me feel safe.
What’s been your favorite part about the program?
When it comes to academics, my strategic communication and strategy classes have interested me the most. When it comes to extracurriculars, I’ve enjoyed Trivia Game nights put on by the Graduate Marketing Association, the Escape the Room night put on by the Administration and a workshop put on by Stern SpeechMasters. I’m looking forward to a Paint and Sip night too.
What’s been the best surprise about the Corona Business School experience?
The best surprise has been attending in-person classes more than I thought I would.
What do you think makes you who you are?
My relationships with my family and friends are an important part of who I am.
Tell us about your family
I’m the oldest of three girls and my extended family includes many grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Spending time with family and friends is always something I enjoy. Of course, this year I’ve really gotten to be with my immediate family and dog more than with my friends or extended family. My beagle, CJ, and I have spent a lot of quality time walking outside, while my friends and I have connected regularly over zoom and less in person.
Your friends described you as a big time adventure gal. Are you excited to get back out in the world and travel?
I’m a homebody who loves to travel. I would say I have an adventurous spirit and I jump on the chance to travel whenever I get the opportunity, but I also enjoy poking around New York City and discovering a neighborhood or street I’ve never come across before.
So what do you do when you can’t hit the road?
I love to knock down challenges. For example, right now I’m trying to read all 100 novels on Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels of the Twentieth Century List. So far, I’ve read 25. My favorite is The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I’m a pretty tenacious and determined person facing challenges outdoors as well…a former college rower who now runs marathons. I also enjoy SoulCycle and am looking forward to the day Barry’s returns. So, I guess fitness and sports are an identifying feature of who I am, as well.
I feel like the world is collectively going through an Edith Wharton phase right now. She just understands high society and pandemic life.
What excites you?
I’m a big runner, so any time I get the chance to train for a half marathon or marathon, I’m very excited. I’ve run seven marathons and fourteen half marathons. I’m trying to run all six World Major Marathons. So far, I’ve run New York (three times), Chicago and London. I’m running New York again this fall for Fred’s Team and I’m planning on running Berlin next fall.
Did you pick up any quarantine pastimes?
I’ve been learning to play golf the past few years and I’m finally good enough to keep score. That has been a fun quarantine pastime for me and it’s a great lifetime sport. Now that the weather is warming up, it’s nice to spend time out in nature! It’s a passion that my dad and I share.
How was it being home through all this? Any fun family quarantine stories?
My dad always threatened he would have to take a year off from work to clean out our basement, which fell into disrepair and disuse and became the last stop for a lot of rarely used possessions after a flood…and he finally got the chance to do so.
Our newly restored and organized basement became the center for a lot of family activity. Like many, we got a Peloton and put it in the basement to keep us going when SoulCycle wasn’t an option, and our ping pong table is clear of all the stuff that followed us home from college. The table has been pressed back into service and my game has never been stronger! Still can’t beat my dad, though…
In high school, my favorite bands were The All-American Rejects and No Doubt. Now my favorite musicians are the Generationals and Odesza.
I may have peaked as a small human when Move Along came out in 2005. However seeing Odesza with a live orchestra is in the running too.
Favorite song to dance to?
Shake it Off
Unexpected… but expected.
Favorite karaoke song?
Love is a Battlefield
Oh heck yes.
How I Built This
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Do you cook?
Yes, a little bit! I can make some comfort foods especially chicken, pasta, salads (Caesar’s, a family favorite) and most breakfast foods.
I love a good comfort salad…
I’ve been learning how to make different drinks and my mixology skills have improved dramatically! I can make margaritas, palomas, mojitos and a mean dark ‘n’ stormy. My specialty is the Aperol Spritz!
Now that is much more my style. I blush at any mention of bitters.
How do you spend your days?
Studying, working out and playing golf.
Favorite date spot?
The Happiest Hour
Yeah, you’re definitely the Aperol Spritz type.
Describe your ideal first post-quarantine date?
My ideal first post-quarantine date would be going to a bar and then walking around the Village.
Hear that suitors? Act now while you’ve still got the spring blooms! Cherry blossoms and daffodils don’t last forever.
What do you want out of a relationship?
For me, spending quality time together is extremely important. So someone I can rely on and have fun with… someone with kindness, a good sense of humor, and intelligence are definitely things I’m looking for in a partner. Also, I would like to be with someone who is supportive of my endeavors, but also someone who pushes me outside my comfort zone. I’m extremely athletic so finding someone who makes fitness a priority would be nice.
Do you have any deal breakers in a partner?
No Aperol Ash Trays.
What do you find most challenging about dating?
Putting myself out there is hard for me. I can be shy at first. But, once you get to know me and I get to know you, I definitely open up and let down my guard.
What do you enjoy most about dating?
I enjoy meeting people with similar interests and exploring the city.
Is there anything you would like to tell your potential suitors?
I’m excited to meet you!!!
There you have it folks, the lovely Kathryn Whitney. Catch her if you can. Get a sip of this Aperol Spritz.
If you would like to nominate a classmate for future features of the Stern Spotlight, please email the Oppy staff at [email protected].