Jonah Svihus

Give yourself time to think. Some of the best revelations, whether personal or spiritual or academic or cosmic, happening when you’re idling. Build reflection and stillness into your work. 

Jonah Svihus BA '18



Degree and Class Year

BA ’18


Monterey, California

Current City

Boise, Idaho




Jazz combos, Entrepreneurship (before it became a minor)

Overseas study

Vietnam/SE Asia

Job Title, Organization

Copywriter, Duft Watterson

Continuing Studies

MS, Advertising and Brand Responsibility, University of Oregon, 2022

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Stunning, Challenging, Righteous

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The campus took my breath away. Everything felt wet and alive and vibrant. It was small enough that I could see myself finding a community quickly, but not so small as to be constraining. There was room to grow without getting lost in a sea—a perfect-sized pond if you will.

What have you been doing since graduation?

I moved in with my now fiancee and spent four years figuring life out while working. You know, just stuff you do in your 20s. I’ve worked in publishing, the service industry, sales, and now advertising. But these days, I’m fly fishing, playing shows on the weekends, and trying to write short stories when I get a free moment.

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?

As a copywriter in advertising, I’d say coming up with wacky and entertaining ideas is the biggest skill set I use. It helps to be a writer, but it’s really about going into the big muddy of your subconscious and noodling around till you land a big ol’ catfish of an idea. I really learned to do this work in all those literature and writing classes I took as an English major. Those seemingly proper and prim Victorian poets? Nah—put on your perv glasses and read between the sultry lines. The coursework taught me to go deeper, weirder, stranger, and make a cogent argument for why it is that way. It’s an important skill to have if you want to have fun in your life.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

Give yourself time to think. Some of the best revelations, whether personal or spiritual or academic or cosmic, happening when you’re idling. I’m not advocating for procrastination. Rather, build reflection and stillness into your work. There’s a reason why r/showerthoughts has some of the greatest insights on the internet. When you’re assigned something like writing a paper or building a model, give your mind time to absorb other influences.

Why did you major in English?

I was originally going down the path of a history major. I was assigned some passage to read at one point and I thought, “This is awful writing. It’s as if this was written to never be read or enjoyed.” At that same time I was reading Woody Guthrie’s book Bound for Glory for a Folk Literature class in the English department. That’s when it dawned on me: being an English major means you get to read some of the greatest stories in human history, talk about why they’re great (or not), and write about them. That’s the homework. That’s the schtick. Beats reading some dry history textbook if you ask me.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I stay in touch with a few professors and instructors as well as former classmates. I also donate to a scholarship that provides music scholarships to students at L&C.