Getting to Know Sydni Rowen

Title: Account Coordinator
Here Since: May 2017

What do you do at SKAR?
I am an account coordinator, which means I assist the account services team by helping with research for target audiences, communicating with clients and serving as a liaison between strategy and creative work.

There are lots of agencies to choose from. Why SKAR?
I sensed immediately that SKAR had authenticity – not just in the work produced but in the way the employees treated one another. I got a taste of it from social media initially, and then it was even more genuine during my interviews.

There are people who have been here since the 1960s, and then there’s me, who started four days after graduating college. Yet, on my second day, employees with years of experience asked me about my opinion on a creative element. It blew me away that I was a valued team member so quickly.

What do you do in your spare time?
Rollerblading, doodling, writing calligraphy, going to a movie theater, reading a good book or petting my three dogs.

What is your favorite movie?
“The Parent Trap.”

What makes you madder than a wet hen?
Rudeness and negativity. Be kind and considerate of others! Life’s way more fun that way.

Name something that made you laugh so hard you cried?
Around graduation, my family found some glorious VHS tapes with impeccable footage of me in terribly choreographed dances, impersonations and re-enacted “SNL”skits. It was horrifying, and I’m giggling just thinking about them.

What’s your favorite app?
I recently got an iPad, and there’s an app on it called Procreate. It’s every doodler’s dream. There are hundreds of brushes and colors to choose from, and it brings vast possibilities to life for calligraphy and lettering.

Which college class did you like best?
I studied abroad at the University of Oxford in England between my sophomore and junior year of college, and I was in an English class where I got to study Shakespeare in a very tangible sense. We went to a play every week, visited his hometown and saw a play in the Globe Theatre. Surreal and humbling, to say the least.

What is your biggest fear?
Being told I’m allergic to chocolate or coffee.

Best pizza place ever?
Fong’s Pizza in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. I grew up there, and the crab Rangoon pizza is indescribable.

Finish this line: Oh, here comes Sydni, she’s a real _________.
Klutz. I fall approximately five times a day. I’ve been called Skidnee since I was in elementary school due to clumsiness, and I’ve broken 15 bones.

If you could meet any person, past or present, who would it be?
C.S. Lewis. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is one of my all-time favorite books, and I found his life journey of discovering faith absolutely fascinating.

What was your favorite toy as a kid?
Oh man: I had a Barbie Jeep that made me feel like I ran the neighborhood. Give me a slick pair of heart-shaped sunglasses, that sweet ride, and I was on top of the world going 4.5 mph.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting college, what would it be?
Vulnerability is valuable. Go to your professor’s office if you’re confused, go chat with one of the health center counselors if you’re overwhelmed and go rollerblading even if you’re nervous you’ll fall. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, and it can only help you learn more about yourself and others.

Favorite band?
So many: Journey, NEEDTOBREATHE, Gavin DeGraw, Ben Rector – also, the Cornhusker Marching Band has a special spot in my heart (my fiance was the drum major).

If you weren’t in advertising, what would you be doing?
I considered being a child life specialist, which means I would be a liaison between the medical jargon and families while kids were in the hospital. These specialists explain what the surgeries are solving and how the medicine works. I’ve always loved kids, and I really appreciate making people feel valued and aware. However, my brain is all about words and creativity (not science), so I think I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

Name someone you admire.
My great-great-aunt Imogene. She passed away my freshman year of college, but has been a constant driving force of encouragement to me. She was a total spitfire: always finding ways to learn and get out of her comfort zone. She was the first female nurse anesthetist in Nebraska. She traveled to Greece by herself in her 70s. She played in a bowling league until age 88, when her cancer diagnosis worsened. She was bold and courageous, but also warm and sincere. She serves as a daily reminder to value my educational privileges, as her education was something she had to fight for earnestly. I yearn to motivate others to reach their potential as she influenced me.

Name something about yourself that people might say, “Huh, that’s mildly interesting.”
I have two very random things, but both at least mildly interesting (I think)…

I taught classes in local jails and prisons to inmates about life skills and job readiness throughout college. It was a constantly challenging and growth-filled experience. I found out how weird it is to answer “What’re you up to this afternoon?” with “Heading to jail!”

In fourth grade, I won my schoolwide Halloween costume contest when I dressed up as a picnic table. It literally did not fit through a door, but it was a dream come true. Massive box, picnic cloth, plastic food and napkins in my hair … the works.

Where did you go to school and why there?
I’d dreamed of being a Husker my entire life and went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My parents met there, and it ended up being where I met my fiance, too. My mom and I actually both graduated with the same degree (Bachelor of Journalism, majoring in advertising and public relations). There was a professor who, during her first year of teaching, taught my mom, and I had her the final semester before she retired. She said I looked familiar, and it all quickly made sense. I was so honored to share in such a special family tradition.