Alumni Spotlight: Justin Dahlheimer '06
1. What’s your favorite memory of your time at Hamline?
All the time I spent studying, relaxing, pontificating in Manor Hall. I was lucky enough to be one of the few first years to be assigned in Manor Hall, when it was mostly upperclassmen. So, you grew close to your fellow floormates and had some close friendships that helped a small-town kid warm up to the big city. I liked Manor so much that I came back my junior and senior year and served as a resident assistant.
2. What's your typical day?
Really, there’s no typical day in a community banker’s life. At least not in a small town like Osakis. I’ve spent my time here trying to really be involved in the community so FNB Osakis can be the resource it needs to be for Osakis to continue to be an excellent place to live, visit, and work. That means some days I’m leaving work early to coach at the high school, others I’m attending meetings at City Hall or Osakis Public School, and occasionally I’m responding to a fire or emergency with the volunteer fire department. All that said, my main work is to help our customers and citizens of Osakis accomplish their financial goals in an ever-changing landscape; it is difficult to do that well if you aren’t out in the community understanding what opportunities are present and what issues are coming.
3. How has Hamline had an impact on your personal or professional life?
I met my wife (Lisa Johnson Dahlheimer ’06) while at Hamline, so I’d be foolish to say there was anything else that had more impact. That said, Hamline really allowed me to continue to develop as a person who had goals and passions. My education wasn’t so narrowly focused on my major that I couldn’t participate in a sport (I ran Cross Country and Track & Field for two years). Staying in touch with what I’m passionate about has really helped me grow into a life I enjoy, not just a career.
4. What advice do you have for current Hamline students?
Be willing to build relationships with the great professors, coaches, activity directors, deans, etc. You attend a school like Hamline over the larger college experiences because of the advantages these mentor/student relationships produce. These types of relationships lead to opportunities that make you stand out as a person, especially when the job market is flooded with people that achieved the same degree as you.
5. What is your proudest accomplishment?
I was the "Most Improved Runner" on the Hamline XC team in 2003. While that team has certainly seen better runners (go HamDogs!), the work ethic and tangible connection to improvement I experienced really instilled a discipline that keeps me willing to learn and challenge myself. I’ll never forget the days I was able to run with my teammates, and Coach Schmaedeke ’77 remains one of the most important influences in my life. I’ve been coaching for going on seven years now, and I will always try to pay forward the lessons the team and he gave me.
6. What was your favorite place on Hamline’s campus, and why?
Klas Field. It was only open my senior year, but since I began coaching track in 2011, I’ve had a lot of great memories made at the MSHSL State Track & Field Meet hosted there every June. It’s a terrific track and a great stadium experience.
7. Who was your favorite Hamline professor, and why?
Nurith Zmora. My wife and I both had her as an advisor and I can say emphatically there was no class more eye-opening than her survey to American History. For a small town kid, seeing her teach American History with more of an outsider’s perspective really forced a perspective on me that has been very valuable in learning to think objectively. Professor Zmora challenged me to have an original thought about topics that I thought were written in stone, and apply the same analysis to the present and future.