One for the Books - Lynn Sikora '06

One for the Books

Alumna Lynn Sikora '06, self-proclaimed lover of books and “all things international,” turned her passions into a successful career with a Chicago-area publishing company. Sikora majored in English writing at Saint Mary’s and completed a German major through the University of Notre Dame. She now works at Publications International, Ltd., in Lincolnwood, Ill. She is an acquisitions editor in the children’s books division and works with people from all over the world.

That’s nothing new for Sikora. International communication is her forte. As a student, she studied abroad for a year with the Innsbruck, Austria Program. In addition to exploring Austrian culture and being able to view mountains from her dorm room, Sikora relished the opportunity to speak the German language like a native. “Learning art history and philosophy ‘auf Deutsch’ was no easy feat, so I’m very proud of the fact that I did it,” she says. 

Sikora’s foray into Austrian life continued after graduation when she spent two years teaching English to children ages 10-18 in Vienna. “It was one of the best moves I could have made,” says Sikora, who credits Saint Mary’s with preparing her to take advantage of whatever life had to offer. The academics here, as well as caring professors and a vibrant campus life, taught her to dream big and to develop the skills that made her dreams a reality.

Now Sikora flexes her creative muscles at Publications International “to help bring exciting, educational, and affordable products to young children.” In addition to handling all international books for her company, Sikora works with licensors submitting books in various stages for approval and hires artists and voice talent for books that require new art and voice-over for electronic books. She works on projects with different licensors and properties including Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney and Friends, and Bob the Builder.

When she started, her company had just launched a German division, and with her German-language background, Sikora felt right at home. “Saint Mary’s prepared me [for my career] in so many ways,” she says. “Many of my classes focused on small group work and that is something I do on a daily basis at work. When working in a group, it can be easy to hide, but Saint Mary’s really taught us to speak up and share ideas in an approachable way.”

Sikora also shares her talents with the Saint Mary’s Admission team. From time to time, she represents the College at career fairs in her area and will soon be calling accepted first-year students to answer their questions. She’s just giving back to a place that, she says, “helped me become who I am today.”