Jacob Heinemeyer is following the career path his two greatest male role models cleared ahead of him, and Lakeland University’s Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program helped guide him.
Heinemeyer, 28, is a double Lakeland graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice (2010) and a master’s in counseling (2015).
He’s now an admissions advisor for Lakeland, having come full circle at the place where his higher education journey began a decade ago.
“There are a lot of similarities between Lakeland’s undergraduate experience and the master’s program,” says Heinemeyer. “The professors truly care and want the students to succeed. They build that rapport, that personal vibe, and they’re flexible. My professors were always in my corner.”
Coming out of Shiocton, Wis., Heinemeyer was a good student with a passion for sports. Choosing Lakeland because it supported his desire to compete in three sports, he excelled in football and baseball all four years and played basketball as a freshman.
After graduating with his CJ degree, he breezed through police academy and worked security in the Green Bay area for a couple of years.
Meanwhile, Heinemeyer’s father, Dino, was making a difference as a special education teacher in Shiocton. Jacob’s brother, Mitch, had gone through Lakeland’s MAC program and was serving as a high school counselor at Albany (Wis.). He’s at River Valley now. With his dad and big brother helping young people reach their potential, Heinemeyer considered a career switch. When the opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant football coach at his alma mater arose, Jacob eagerly returned to pursue his MAC.
“Earning my master’s is definitely something I’m proud of, and it has helped me tremendously,” says Heinemeyer. “I honestly think I can communicate with people so much better now, using all of the best-practice strategies I learned in the MAC program at Lakeland.”
His long-range goal is to remain in higher education and work in student success or academic advising, or advance in admissions. For now, he loves what he’s doing, and where he’s at.
“It’s really rewarding to be back here at Lakeland, the place where I flourished as a student,” he says.