Ji Kim

Senior Director, Digital Product Management

Like many children of immigrants, I was expected to become one of the following professions: Doctor, Lawyer, or Engineer. This caused some serious dilemmas for me during high school because I loved studying history, taking photos, being obsessed with music, and doing graphic design for my school yearbook. Let’s just say, my parents weren’t the biggest fan of my passions.

After high school, I ended up attending the University of California at Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!). The biggest reason why I chose this college was that they allowed undergrads to take classes from any program. This allowed me to explore areas that were foreign but exciting to me (like Anthropology, Sociology, New Media Arts, etc.) while majoring in Economics and Computer Science. During college, the internet was just taking off and I was fortunate to get an internship at one of the first internet music startups. This experience opened doors for me to work at other early internet pioneers while still in college! Although it took a few more years to complete my degree with honors, this experience was the key contributor to discovering my purpose.

As an adult, I was able to apply multiple passions to successful career paths: engineer, designer, entrepreneur, teacher, and product management leader. I learned that you don’t need to pick just one thing in your career. Some of us were meant to have one thing driving us in our lives and get really good at it. Some of us were not – and that’s okay.

I am excited to continue my next journey with NAF and help the next generation of youths to discover their professional paths and calling.