JONATHAN CHO, Growth Product Manager at Zocdoc

jonathancho

JONATHAN CHO

Hometown: Edison, NJ
Occupation: Growth Product Manager at Zocdoc
Years in NY: 4.5

I think New Yorkers probably struggle with understanding who they are the most. The city is such a fast paced environment where moments feel extra ephemeral. Maybe I’m speaking for myself, but I think it’s tough for most millennial New Yorkers to get comfortable with who they are while the world around them is so fast paced.
— Jonathan Cho, on New Yorkers


FIRST JOB EVER

My first job ever was as a bus boy at a local country club. 

ON MEMORIES IN NY

My favorite area of NYC has to be Greenwich/West Village. It's hard to choose among so many diverse neighborhoods, but I specifically like the West Village for the tree lined streets, old buildings, and amazing restaurants. 

A restaurant I could ALWAYS eat at would be Spumoni Gardens out in Gravesend. Back in high school, a close friend who moved from Brooklyn would always take me up to have dinner there on special occasions. My favorite memory was heading to the restaurant in the middle of the winter with my high school buddies and happily burning my mouth on a fresh square slice and freezing while scarfing down a pint of spumoni ice. 


ON GROWTH

The biggest change I've seen in myself from high school to now is my ability to step back and be more aware of what's going through my mind. I make better decisions from having that clarity. Throughout high school I was fairly impulsive and didn't allow myself to reflect on things to improve. Since finishing undergrad, having worked unpaid internships and starting my career in a startup, I've grown to make deliberate steps towards goals with a clearer mind. 

A personal goal of mine for the past year has been to make more meaningful relationships. A challenge I and many other New Yorkers face is finding opportunities to meet people. I first started attending meet-ups and joined Slack groups to meet people within my industry. After having a good experience at meet-ups, I decided to take on meet-up hosting responsibilities for a craft beer meet-up in the city. It's been a fun and rewarding meeting new people and getting out of my comfort zone — especially when it's around a hobby.

A recent fascination for me has been fermentation, whether it be breads or beers. A hobby of mine is trying new beers and introducing friends to ones I've found to like. I'm passionate about exploring new ways to engage my curiosity and sharing what I learn. I've gone far down the rabbit hole to educate myself on what makes what I enjoy so tasty. I'd like to share with readers, if there's something you like, explore it deeply and share it. There's tons of people out there that are open ears — it only makes our community closer. 


NEW YORK STRUGGLES

I think New Yorkers probably struggle with understanding who they are the most. The city is such a fast paced environment where moments feel extra ephemeral. Maybe I'm speaking for myself, but I think it's tough for most millennial New Yorkers to become comfortable with who they are while the world around them is so fast paced. Perhaps it's paralysis from endless opportunities or something else, but it seems like getting caught up with the speed of it all may send you down a path to knowing yourself quicker or just make the journey more "interesting". 

ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE WORLD

If I could change one thing about the world it would be for more people to be more present and aware of moments they're in. It's something I've been practicing and has had a noticeable impact on the quality of my life and hopefully, those around me. I think we would see less reactionary hate and dislike when more of us are aware of the present and what's actually causing uncomfortable emotions. 


ON EARLY STAGE STARTUPS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

It's quite the journey to have joined Boxed back when we were working out of the CEO’s garage. I look back at it now as some of the most formative years of my career. I learned that when there are times of uncertainty, it's essential to boil down the problem and chase down whatever is needed to get the job done. I also learned that creating good habits is essential to being fair to yourself and being disciplined—what some of my colleagues and I jokingly referred to as eating sh*t sandwiches AKA no shortcuts.

I hope to always remain inquisitive and open minded, but will work on being more action oriented. I'm not sure exactly where I'll be in the next 5 years, but I see myself moving on to a meaningful venture of my own. Something that's challenging while encouraging growth—and most importantly, something that makes a positive impact.