“I have known Jeremy since we were Freshmen at NYU when he wore Abercrombie polos and had no facial hair. He recently officiated my wedding — best officiant ever. Jeremy is always kind and sassy when he needs to be. He’s incredibly supportive and loyal to the people he cares about. Some of his oldest friends call him Jer Bear because he’s cuddly but the claws come out if you mess with his people! He’s also cool as a cucumber in stressful situations and really good at problem solving so you definitely want him on your bank heist crew.”
“I am truly so lucky to have Jeremy as a friend; he’s truly one of the most generous, thoughtful, and funny people I know. I can always count on him to read my long ranting texts and provide excellent advice, watch a Season 4 Simpsons episode with me, buy me a drink after a long week at Nowhere bar, somehow have the answer to any transit-related trivia question, and most of all – make me feel loved and special.“
“I can honestly say, Jeremy is the only man to have been tattooed on my skin. He’s also on my zombie apocalypse team.“
I was flung one day into a group chat that said “Phuong! Put Jeremy on Stern Singles so he can find a man!” and who was I to say no? Sternies, welcome to November’s Stern Singles feature, Jeremy Kim. After just chatting with Jeremy for an hour, I can attest the vibes are good. Read on.
Give me the life story, Jeremy!
Hello! I was born and raised in Colorado in the suburbs – just south of Denver. (No, I don’t ski – blasphemous, I know!) I lived there until I was eighteen, and then I moved to New York to go to NYU for undergrad in 2005, and I’ve been here ever since.
As an undergrad I was doing a work study on-campus job in the Development and Alumni Relations office for NYU. And when I graduated they said, “Hey Jer, are you looking for a full time job?” And I said, “Yes, please, take me,” because it was 2009, 2010, and the economy was still not doing so hot. I said, sure, I’ll take an entry level job, and thirteen years later, here I am. I was fortunate in that I managed to do well and progress in my career fairly quickly.
While I was working, I got a part-time Masters of Urban Planning at NYU Wagner, and I’d love to work in urban planning someday after finishing my MBA. But no plans to leave New York yet. I love it here. I mean, I’ve been here since 2005 (laughs).
I’m really into infrastructure – the subway, water, power, all that nerdy stuff. That was my focus when I got my masters in urban planning.
You’re an NYU veteran at this point. But what is your favorite thing about New York and Stern?
The diversity here is a big part of it. That’s very important to me. I feel like everyone says that, but it really is the diversity of experiences and kinds of people. I grew up in a suburb called Littleton in Colorado. It’s very white, very much the same kind of person, right? And so I wanted to get out of there, and New York had that kind of sense of infinite possibility. I always feel like when i’m in New York, if I go out one night, or if i’m just walking around the city, it feels like there’s always the potential you’ll turn a corner and something will happen that will change your life, or you’ll meet a person that could change the course of of what you’re doing, even insignificantly. I’ve never really felt that anywhere else. So I think that’s probably my favorite thing.
I feel like it’s good to romanticize the city. I definitely relate to the small homogenous town upbringing. Do you think you will stay in New York forever or as long as you can?
That’s a great question. I think about this a lot more lately; I think everyone probably does post Covid. But I’m not really sure where else I would go. I was in the UK recently, and that was kind of the first place I liked. London seems like New York, but maybe just less intense. But you know, New York is definitely part of me. It’s where I’ve grown the most. It’s where I’ve developed the best friendships that I have, even though people are kind of scattered now. I think for the time being the plan is to stay here and stick it out. If something major happens in life and I’m drawn someplace else, I’d be okay with that. But I think I’ve kind of become a die hard New Yorker, you know. I always complain about it and think about leaving, like most NYers, but it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.
Feel that. What are three words your friends would describe you as?
I would hope that one word would be generous. I try to be a very generous guy. Maybe sometimes unintentionally! If we go out somewhere and we are at the bar, I’m the one buying everyone drinks. I think they would say, hopefully, I’m smart, too. I’m kind of a nerd. I took German for like five and a half years, so I can speak German at an elementary level. But I also took Portuguese and Spanish, so I can sort of dabble in those. I also know a lot about lots of random stuff, like useless facts.
Okay Mr. Polyglot, I will need one useless fact from you.
So I learned recently that koalas are very stupid animals. For example, if you give a koala like a piece of eucalyptus on a plate, they won’t know what to do with it. They need to see it on the tree, or they won’t know how to eat it.
Probably because they’re so slow moving, they can’t afford to have that big of a brain. Okay, one more word to describe you.
I’m gonna go with funny. I think that I can be a pretty funny guy sometimes, again, maybe unintentionally! But I like to have fun and make jokes. I think I have a pretty quick wit. I think my humor is kind of weird and esoteric like a lot of millennials; I was raised on the Internet right when it was first coming out.
What role do you think you play in the Friend Group?
I like to help people have a good time. I really enjoy being out with people that I love and care about, and my priority is always making sure that people feel comfortable. I’ll go out of my way to make sure that people are enjoying themselves.
My friends have said I’m the foundation of the group, which is very flattering. I’d like to think I’m kind of the glue that holds folks together. I like to bring people together that I care about, and that are close to me, and find points of similarity so they can make friends with each other, too. And just make sure that everybody’s having a good time.
Yeah, I love that because friend groups often struggle to meet other friend groups or more for other things, and New York can accidentally be a bit cliquey.
So now that we’ve talked about three words that describe you, what are three words you would want to describe your ideal partner?
My first priority is kindness. That means not just being polite or being nice to others, but also more fundamentally, someone who can sympathize and empathize with other people, can treat everyone with respect, and who can advocate on behalf of others when they need it. I’m a really big believer in inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity – all these things have become buzzwords, but I really do believe that they’re essential. So someone who has their line of sight focused on kindness is most important. It’s the first thing I look for now.
The second thing is a sense of humor. Definitely would like to be with someone who can crack jokes with me, and kind of, you know, be silly. I can definitely be a more serious guy at times. And so it’s nice to have a partner who can remind me to keep things in balance.
And then the third thing would be someone who’s curious. Like I said, I’m a pretty curious guy. I like to learn about everything. It’d be great to find someone who can be curious with me, someone who’s down to do something new or explore something new. There’s lots to see and do in the world. And hopefully, I can find somebody to help me see it all.
I love it. Okay. So then, what are you not looking for specifically in a relationship?
Oh, gosh! So much? (laughs)
I like being social, and I like going out and doing things to a certain point. But then I also reach a point where I’m done, and I need to go home and recharge and relax, right? So I could definitely not be with somebody who was a party animal and needed to be out all of the time. A nice mix of socializing and chill time at home.
I definitely cannot be with someone who doesn’t have a strong sense of right and wrong, or a moral compass for themselves they abide by. It’s fine and good to have strong opinions, because I definitely do. But I would have a hard time with somebody if they were apathetic about everything. Knowing what is important to them, and what they can tolerate and what they can’t, is really important to me.
Lastly, someone who’s incurious – someone who wasn’t interested in the world, or didn’t want to keep learning things about the world and themselves. I feel like I am constantly trying to do that – trying to learn more, be a better person, expand my horizons.
All valid and very real things. Now, I ask everybody this, because most people say the same thing for the first date. What is your ideal second date?
I think my ideal second date would be a museum or a zoo date. Something where we can do something interesting. And there’s stuff to look at, and comment on. I think it’s easier to get to know someone that way, instead of sitting across a table from someone and trying to think of things to ask, and be funny, and interesting, etc. etc. etc.!
Highly recommend the Fotografiska museum. Tried and true second date from yours truly.
Would you say you’re an extrovert or an introvert? Or an ambivert?
I would say ambivert. I generally have to be extroverted in a professional work setting. But I think I tend to be a little more introverted in my personal life. Again, it’s kind of like I have an extrovert battery, and when it’s dead, I have to recharge.
That makes total sense! Whereabouts in NYC are you located?
I live in the Bronx. I bought my apartment here seven or eight years ago. Before that I lived in Park Slope and other parts of Brooklyn.
He’s a homeowner, people!
Flash round: interests, hobbies, things. Favorite movie?
Blade Runner, director’s cut. The close runner up, though, is The Emperor’s New Groove.
The Emperor’s New Groove is a categorically phenomenal movie. I was Yzma last year for Halloween.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in the city? Are you a foodie? Favorite cuisine?
I wouldn’t say I’m a super foodie. I’ll pretty much eat whatever. But I am half Korean, so that’s my favorite cuisine. I do love all of the K-town restaurants, but I can’t think of a specific one.
Do you cook?
I don’t cook! I actually really don’t like cooking. I can never time everything correctly so it all comes out at the same time for some reason.
So would you like a man that cooks?
Oh, absolutely. That would be the dream.
Any cool places you’ve traveled?
I went to Tokyo for nine days once, and I hiked Mount Fuji over two days. I’d just broken up with somebody, and I needed an “Eat, Pray, Love” moment. But I would recommend training beforehand, which I did not do, because I’m an idiot. I think my soul left my body several times along the way. But it was one of the most fulfilling and memorable experiences of my life.
Note to take up a training plan before climbing a mountain, got it. How about music?
Not a musician, but I really love music. I’m a big fan of, I guess people call it techno now, or electronic music. That’s what I listened to a lot in high school. I love anything with a good synth line. I also love Nineties rock and pop because I grew up on that – I think I know the lyrics to every single song that came out between 1990 and 2001. A lot of eighties new wave stuff, too. And then a sprinkling of country music, because when I was little, that’s what my mom listened to all the time. I know all the old 90’s country hits by heart.
We love a man with varied tastes! Let’s talk about Stern a little bit. How has your experience been? How is it shaping up your career?
Stern has been great. First and foremost, I’ve met a lot of really great people. It kind of defied my expectations in that way. There’s a perception out there of business school being full of a specific kind of person, and I’ve been really happy to find that everyone I’ve met for the most part has been super down to earth, really smart, very intelligent. I learn a lot from them. And as I reflect on all the classes I’ve taken, Stern has also helped me become a much more critical thinker. Going beyond the surface level and sort of training myself to ask the right questions, you know, to dig a little deeper, and to consider multiple perspectives. It’s been really helpful to hone that skill.
Any final things that you want people to know about?
Hmm, I like to crochet. It’s a good stress reliever.
What have you made?
I’ve made a couple of blankets for friends and family members who have had kids. I’ve made a teddy bear for my niece. And I’ve made about a million scarves, because that’s the easiest thing to do.
Any other hobbies?
I love to dance. I love going out when I have time. Not so much lately, because I’ve been taking Saturday classes. But I love going out dancing in Brooklyn. I love a nineties night, or any themed night.
Where do you go dancing in Brooklyn? Taking notes for a friend.
I love Nowadays. That’s maybe my favorite. I’ve been to 3 Dollar Bill a couple of times for their dance nights. C’mon Everybody is great. It’s a smallish bar that does great nineties and disco nights.
If someone were to reach out to you. Would you want it to be via DM, email, carrier pigeon?
Email or DM is fine! My insta is @twenty3nyc.
If you’re looking for an absolute catch that will also be an undying friend, endless vessel of good jokes and fun facts, and can probably make you a cooler accessory than a scarf, hit up Jeremy!