Name:  Kathy O. Lofton
Major at Baruch College:  Public Administration (MPA)
Company: Lofton Media (Self-employed, free-lance)
Title:  Writer, Producer and Documentary Maker
Graduation Year(s):  2007
School (if applicable) within Baruch College:  School of Public Affairs (SPA)


Please briefly describe your current profession in-detail including your responsibilities and tasks. I am currently writing and executive producing a documentary. I created the concept, raised the financing through crowdfunding, and I am responsible for the directing, casting and content. I hired a local filmmaker to perform the production and editing.

I plan to take the documentary to market and also enter it into film festivals in 2015 and beyond.

Please briefly describe your career path to-date, including the reasons behind job changes you made since graduating from Baruch College. When I enrolled at Baruch, I was a marketing analyst for a global transportation company headquartered in Memphis, TN. Although I made a good salary, I was lacking intrinsic reward at the end of the day. I found myself happier when volunteering and engaging in public service. So, I decided I wanted to be paid for what I loved doing for free. I changed careers at the age of 40 and went back to school for my second master’s degree. I received a fellowship to attend Baruch. I resigned from my position and took a step of faith, heading to the Big Apple. After graduating from Baruch SPA in 2007, I eventually landed a position in my hometown of Memphis. This was not deliberate, but just worked out that way. I was hired in the office of Community and Federal Relations with a premier insurance company, an ideal match for my MPA. I worked there until 2013, at which time I needed to resign due to my father’s health crisis along with health issues of my own. Since that time, I have worked in a couple of grant-funded positions and also as a free-lance writer. It has been tough in the current market to find the type of employment I desire. Until I can hopefully relocate again for employment OR telework, I am using my skills to create my own opportunities where I am.

When I lost my job at a university in fall 2014, I took advantage of the opportunity to pursue some latent entrepreneurial aspirations. One of those pursuits included publishing a short story for teens and subsequently producing a documentary. As of April 2015, I launched filming for the production of my documentary I Am a Caregiver. I obtained my MPA because I had an interest in serving and championing under-served groups, as well as affecting social change. So now, I am applying my MPA through media. Even if I return to work for someone else, it most likely will be related to Public Administration in some way.

How did your experiences at Baruch College (e.g., academic studies, extra-curricular activities, student groups) prepare you for your career? First, attending school in New York City was one of my most beneficial life experiences to-date.  Spending most of my life in the south and southwest, it exposed me to so much in terms of culture, business, and learning more about myself. I realized that I could adapt and adjust to other places better than I imagined. I am more versatile and bold than I thought. It was hard living on a stipend and being an older student. However, I immediately fit in when in New York when I thought I’d be a fish out of water. I felt like the TV show character Mary Tyler Moore throwing up her hat when I was there! LOL!

My studies at the Baruch SPA fully prepared me for my job as a community relations analyst and federal legislation researcher. It was not until I was actually in my position did I realize how valuable my education and coursework at Baruch really was. I had to use stats, I had to construct surveys, I had to write memos, I had to use the lingo, and I understood government dynamics when health care reform surfaced and affected my company. I felt very confident in my abilities as the result of attending Baruch. The MPA has proven to be very useful in the types of work and activities that are meaningful to me.

What job resources (e.g., internships, work-study jobs, summer and/or other work opportunities, etc.) have influenced your career choice(s)? I was a National Urban Fellow while at Baruch. As part of the fellowship program, I was required to fulfill an experiential work assignment. The opportunity to spend nine months at the U.S. Department of Commerce was an integral part of my educational experience. It exposed me, prepared me, and provided great work experience to add to my resume. Moreover, it helped to confirm my desire to work in public service on some level.

Today, what advice would you give to an undergraduate or graduate Baruch student interested in your field? Do not take the class assignments for granted. The content really does apply to the real world. Therefore, learn it and nail it. You’ll feel so good at the moment when you have to apply it, and know exactly how to do so.

How can an interested person contact you?

E-mail:  [email protected]