UVA Darden Professor Named to Best 40 Under 40 List

09 June 2023

By Dave Hendrick

University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Tami Kim has been named one of the 40-Under-40 Best Professors by Poets & Quants.

Kim, who teaches in the Marketing area at Darden, was selected from more than 1,500 nominations. Nominations were judged on teaching (70 percent) and research (30 percent).

Kim, who received the student-led Faculty Diversity Award in 2022, is a much-admired teacher and researcher, with findings on consumer behavior in digital environments attracting attention from both academic and popular press outlets.

She answered questions about her background and approach to teaching for Poets & Quants.

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I grew up watching my father (who was also a marketing professor) absolutely in love with his job. He loved the freedom to be able to learn and think about any topics he wished to think about and he derived a lot of meaning from mentoring his students and working with organizations. He kept recommending that I give his career a try and after a few years of rebelling, I relented and I’m so glad I did. Unfortunately, he passed away before I got into a PhD program but I’d like to think he’s watching over me every step of my career.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? Broadly, I study how social norms and expectations of behavior emerge on digital platforms. For instance, in one paper with Ting Zhang and Mike Norton, we found that digital payment platforms such as Venmo can harm interpersonal relationships. Although digital payment platforms have certainly made our lives more convenient by allowing us to exchange exact amounts owed in a matter of seconds, we find that such precise payments can make the relationship feel too much like a business transaction, and hurt the overall relationship quality. After all, you wouldn’t want your friends to treat you as if you are their accountant! More recently, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about—and conducting research on—how (consumers believe) free speech should be regulated on social media and what their beliefs mean for platform governance.

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Starting out at Darden, many students are often intimidated by the case method and may feel apprehensive about speaking up in the classroom. Since I teach both first and second-year MBAs, I have had the privilege of witnessing their growth and development over time. It’s incredibly meaningful to see them become more confident and resilient versions of themselves—and knowing that I have played a part in their growth is truly rewarding.

Read the full profile on Poets & Quants.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Molly Mitchell
Associate Director of Content Marketing and Social Media
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia