Kara Koch (B.A.,’07)
What was your favorite class, professor, or fondest memory of Hofstra?
As one of the University mascots, I got to spend four years cheering on the Pride and getting paid for it! The Spirit Support team allowed me to represent Hofstra at games in locations such as Rhode Island and even Montana, which was a wonderful and unexpected experience.
What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
Children’s Television. As an intern in the Home Video department at Sesame Workshop, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of our first special for military families, titled Talk, Listen, Connect. I wanted to meet whoever created this incredible program, so I asked my supervisors to help me arrange informational interviews with the producers and was later hired as a production assistant.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
I was hired as a production assistant in the special projects department at Sesame Workshop and learned to work as part of a team. Even though you may not always get individual recognition, sometimes the end product is so rewarding that you won’t notice – until the first time you see your name in the credits!
What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Explore all the different ways to get into your field, be it television, radio, or anything. Sure, I get to do some unusual and very cool tasks (transport puppets and meet the voices behind them), but the majority of my day is spent at my desk preparing for script reviews or corresponding with our international partners. Not every production job is right behind the camera, but you can find one that suits your skills and interests, and each one is equally important to getting the show on the air.
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
What brought you to Sesame Workshop?
While discussing options for a senior-year internship, my professor and adviser, Doug Morrow, threw out Sesame Street. It just clicked, so I wrote a personal cover letter (mentioning Snuffleupagus, of course) and crossed my fingers!
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Besides seeing the puppeteers in action, I really enjoy the time I get to spend screening classic Sesame Street segments for use in our international co-productions. It’s amazing to remember seeing these segments on the show more than 20 years ago.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I hope to continue making a difference in children’s lives – either around the world or in my own home!
Over the last four years, Kara Koch’s co-workers have included Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Kermit the Frog, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, and even Mr.Snuffleupagus. Kara works as a production coordinator in the global production department of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. As coordinator, she is responsible for production activities related to international properties such as Jalan Sesama in Indonesia and Sisimpur in Bangladesh. Kara works closely with the production teams in these countries to ensure the Sesame brand is successfully integrated with local content.
Prior to joining the global family in 2009, Kara was part of Sesame’s special projects team, helping to produce various outreach programs, including Let’s Get Ready, Coming Home, and When Families Grieve. These award-winning programs, featuring celebrities such as Queen Latifah and Katie Couric, offer children and families support on topics such as emergency preparedness, military deployment and injury, and the death of a loved one.
Kara earned a Bachelor of Arts in audio, video, and film in 2007, and graduated from Hofstra Honors College. She engineered the “Gone Country” radio program on WRHU 88.7 FM, Radio Hofstra University, and represented the Pride as a mascot for four years.