2014 Tillman Scholar

Sophi Kim

Harvard Business School

“No matter how difficult circumstances are, I feel compelled to make a difference and I want to do my part in fulfilling the mission.”

Hungry for meaning and with a desire to make a meaningful impact on others’ lives, Sophi took the road less traveled by commissioning in the US Navy after graduating from Northwestern University in 2009. As a daughter of first-generation immigrants, she realized that the great privileges that she enjoyed as a naturalized US citizen were not free, but an obligation to repay.

During her four years of service as a naval officer, Sophi served onboard USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD-8) in San Diego, CA, and also notably as one of the first females to serve on US submarines as a department head on USS WYOMING (SSBN-742) in Kings Bay, GA. Breaking through the gender barrier which has persisted in the service for more than hundred years, and leading sailors to accomplish one of the most vital, presidentially-mandated mission taskings have been highlights of her career in the military.

Sophi left the service in 2013 and matriculated at Harvard Business School as an MBA student to tackle on the biggest challenges at the private sector. She is now working at a health care provider as an operations professional to instill the learnings and values that she honed in the Navy into the health care industry.