A second master’s degree lets Mason graduate exercise another part of their brain

Paul Vosti is the first to tell you that he doesn’t need another diploma.

He already has a BA in Japanese Studies from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in International Studies from the University of Washington. But Vosti also likes to learn. So when the opportunity arose, he dove in.

photo of Paul Vosti in a mason t-shirt
Paul Vosti, graduate student in masonry. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services

Later this month, the 65-year-old Burke, Va. resident will graduate from George Mason University with a master’s degree in financepart of the program’s first cohort of 14 students.

“There’s a sense of accomplishment,” Vosti said. “But honestly, I don’t even know if I’m going to make this a professional career opportunity as much as just an educational experience, which I love. I love going to school.

Vosti had not been in a traditional civilian college setting since 1989, when he graduated from Washington. A military career followed, including stints as senior Guam policy adviser and director of Japan policy in the office of the Secretary of Defense.

He currently works part-time as a contracting officer’s representative, administering contracts for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. All this to say that Vosti had some catching up to do with current teaching tools.

“When I came to the University of Notre Dame as a freshman, we all came with portable electric typewriters. It was our technology,” Vosti said.

For her finance classes, which were all online, Vosti had to learn software like Python and RStudio, as well as Excel’s advanced features for entering formulas.

He had to familiarize himself with the functions of a financial calculator and, as he put it, “remove that heavy layer of rust” in courses that included a heavy dose of numeracy.

Linen Sunassistant professor in the finance section of Mason’s business schoolsaid it didn’t hold his student back.

“What’s unique about Paul is that when he studies something new, he really digs and asks a lot of questions until he understands every detail of the underlying mechanism,” Sun said. “It’s the quality that sets him apart in whatever he is determined to accomplish.”

“He’s not afraid to push forward and he’s a role model for other students,” the associate professor said. Jim Hsieh, the director of the master’s program in finance. “I’m sure he convinced other students that if you focus on something, you can achieve it.”

The truth is that studying finance is a throwback to Vosti’s youthful interests.

When Vosti started at Notre Dame, he intended to major in mathematics. When he switched to Japanese studies due to his keen interest in international relations, mathematics was pushed aside.

“But I’ve always had this interest in playing with numbers,” Vosti said, “and I’ve always been interested in financial markets. interested, and it would be new acquaintances.

Vosti attended Mason in large part, he said, because the funding program was supportive, encouraging and worked with his GI Bill requirements. It also allowed her to complete the program in 15 months to accommodate a long-planned vacation.

“I just loved it,” Vosti said of the program. “It was like exercising another part of my brain. I enjoyed the trip as much as it could open up to me.

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