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Min "Minni" Kim
Class of 2016
Hometown: New York, NY
What Baker programs were you involved in?
LehighSiliconValley, EUREKA! and iPrize.
What project were/are you involved with?
I was involved with various independent projects with Professor
Ehrig and Todd Watkins; Flow, an event production and lifestyle
brand; in addition, I did research on disruption in the digital music
industry and business model innovation in the music industry.
What problem did your project address and what was the solution?
Coming from NYC, where various cultures coexist -- allowing me to explore anything I wanted on a given day -- I felt stifled by the structure that seemed to exist around Lehigh’s social scene. Talking to other students, I realized this was not a new phenomenon: students had been struggling to find their place at Lehigh for years and didn’t feel empowered to create an environment for themselves where they could really enjoy the things they were passionate about. As a result, my friend Jeffrey and I wanted to a build a social community at Lehigh focused on music and dance, with a particular focus on leveraging student DJ’s as the tastemakers for events. Through a grassroots + DIY approach to event production, we were able to crowdfund events that gave people a place to let loose and enjoy various music cultures without the structure that came with other social options.
What was your “transformative moment” during this project?
After the second event, we had a number of people (who we had not met before that night) give unsolicited donations in order to keep our events happening throughout the year. People would come up to us and say “This is what I’ve been missing at Lehigh. I don’t know how I haven’t met you guys earlier.” Statements like that hit home for us, because we really felt we were making a concrete impact on the lives of other students. The fact that our brand and mission resonated with enough people that we were able to push these events consistently really inspired me to think bigger. These moments have given me a foundation for what I want to do with my work in the future outside of Lehigh.
What are you dreams for this project?
All the work that I do is interconnected. Whether it be Flow, my research on the music industry, my current efforts to connect music culture seamlessly with dance communities...I see a future where these passions all converge. I am blessed to have such a diverse array of experiences that have afforded me with a unique perspective for how people connect with ideas and experiences, and I want to continue building experiences for people that are life-changing and inspiring.
What do you foresee as your next steps in life?
I am moving to Santa Monica, CA in June to begin my job at Red Bull where I will be doing a lot of the same things I have done with Flow, University Productions, and the Baker Institute. This includes ideation and execution of innovative campaigns to boost the Red Bull brand in niche communities across the world. Eventually, I want to be doing something more entrepreneurial, but I feel that I have much to learn from an organization that has literally invented new sports, built an entirely distinct beverage category, and transformed the way brands market themselves to communities.
What are your other passions (hobbies, heroes, sports, etc.)?
As you can tell, I have a huge passion for music and dance. I have DJ’d for four years, and have been blessed to perform alongside artists like Big Sean, Flosstradamus, French Montana, Phony PPL and more. Recently, dance has been a huge part of my life since I joined African Renaissance, the premier Afro Dance team at Lehigh. Kanye West and LeBron James are two of my role models, as they have built their own brand by going against the grain and claiming ownership over their own identities.