Kim Kuoch

Class Year: 

2013
Hometown: Berwyn, Pennsylvania, USA

School: 

Phillips Academy Andover

Language: 

Spanish

Student Background

Kim grew up in the Philadelphia area – both in Pennsylvania and New Jersey – but attended Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts. During high school, Kim was extremely involved. She was very active in two environmental clubs and participated in chorus. Kim was also very athletic; she played both field hockey and lacrosse, and even rock climbed! She found out about the Huntsman Program when she attended Wharton’s Leadership in the Business World program after her junior year of high school. Two Huntsman students were TAs for the summer program, and they eagerly discussed the Huntsman Program with the current high school students. She also attended an information session led by executive director Inge Herman during Leadership in the Business World, which further interested her. During high school, Kim thoroughly enjoyed her humanities coursework, but she also found her economics classes highly interesting; the Huntsman Program seemed to her a great merger of the two.

Study Abroad in Chile

One of the reasons Kim chose to study abroad in Santiago was her love of nature, which she found strongly influenced Chilean culture. She found that people – especially in rural areas – are extremely connected to their environments: the dry desert in the north, the cold Patagonia region in the south, the Andes Mountain Range, and the ample coastline. With her study abroad program, she was afforded the opportunity to visit the north twice and south once! Academically, her favorite course abroad was called History of Chilean America. It covered the 20th century, and what she found most appealing was how it approached history from a sociological perspective. It looked at processes, whereas she found the focus of history courses she had previously taken to be on people and events. 

One of Kim’s main takeaways from her experience in Chile was how to relate with people from different backgrounds; she found Chilean society to be polarized between the left and the right, with many of the poorer citizens tied strongly to the left, and those who were well off aligned with the right. Entering the country as an outsider, she learned how to negotiate potentially polarizing conversations to befriend and relate to both groups. In fact, Kim says the relationships she was able to develop were most valuable; many of the friends she made in Chile took her both around the city, as well as included her on their typical weekend trips, thus supplementing the aforementioned trips provided by the program and affording her an insider’s perspective on the country.

The Huntsman Experience

Kim is very involved both inside and outside of the classroom at Penn. She is vice-president of Phi Gamma Nu business fraternity, and is also highly active in PennCil, the recently founded Penn chapter of The School Fund. This organization raises money for children in developing countries to pay their school fees; PennCil also looks to increase awareness of these educational needs through sponsoring case competitions. At Wharton, Kim has chosen to concentrate in Operations and Information Management, as she found its approach to solving problems businesses face very innovative. In particular, she liked the strategy-based focus on how people make decisions. Kim has also found the courses she took to fulfill various requirements very rewarding, such as her philosophy of religion class that looked at arguments for and against the existence of a god. One of Kim’s favorite aspects of the Huntsman Program has been how the humanities and business aspects of the curriculum integrate. For example, she took a course in the College of Arts and Sciences on community empowerment, and was able to apply knowledge from Management 101!

Kim’s favorite aspect of Huntsman, though, is the strong community network. She was happily surprised by how tight-knit the community stayed after moving off of KC3 at the end of freshman year, and loves how people across all grades are so willing to help each other. She finds that this extends even beyond current Huntsman students to the alumni base; in fact, after her freshman year, she interned for a Huntsman alum in Mexico City! The following summer, Kim interned at the Botswana International Financial Services Center, and this coming summer, she’s looking forward to interning at Houlihan Lokey, an investment bank in New York. In the future, Kim hopes to find a job in finance that relates to sovereign debt, and maybe one-day transition into the public sector if the right opportunity presents itself. Either way, Kim feels that the Huntsman Program has prepared her well; beyond the amazing professors and courses, Kim feels that being able to work out future plans with people who share similar interests has been extremely helpful.