Die-hard Redskins fans know his name and his voice, but most probably do not know that he attended Mason. Grant Paulsen, beat reporter for the Redskins on 106.7 the Fan, is a graduate of Mason.

Paulsen’s time at Mason began during his senior year in high school. His first impressions of Mason were during the exciting time of Mason’s Cinderella run to the Final Four. He came in 2006 to visit friends, and as a result, Mason became his top runner for college.

When it came time to finally decide where he would attend college, Paulsen picked Mason because it was a local college and it would help him continue to build rapport with people in the journalism and media fields in the area.

Paulsen came to Mason knowing that he wanted to work in sports journalism one day. With guidance from professors, especially well-known journalism professor Steve Kline, Paulsen honed in on his journalism skills.

“Professors here are really connected and active in their fields at Mason. They create great opportunities to make connections,” said Paulsen.

Paulsen believes that for anyone trying to get into sports journalism or any other sports communication job, Mason is a good place to start. There are so many places to start networking, given the school’s  proximity to D.C. and the locations of D.C. sports events. For example, the Redskins’ practice fields in Ashburn, Fedex Field, and the Verizon Center are just a short drive or metro ride away. Professors at Mason are also advantageous because they are more than willing to call on their connections in the field to help a student gain more experience, internships and even jobs.

One big disadvantage that Paulsen mentioned is the fact that Mason only has one major sports team, the basketball team. All the other teams at Mason are popular, but not on the level that basketball is. Also, a Division I football team does not exist for anyone looking to go into some part of the communication field in that sport. Paulsen thinks this is a big disadvantage because students cannot gain the experience of covering a variety of sports.

“More teams mean more experience and that is one thing that Mason does not provide,” Paulsen said.

Despite these disadvantages, Paulsen made his way to the great career that him came to Mason seeking. Paulsen sees his job as fun, challenging and one that does not feel like a job. He gets paid to watch and follow football, which he sees as a dream job that he is lucky to have.

Like other Mason graduates, Paulsen still has bigger and better things that he hopes to achieve one day. He loves his job now and would be perfectly content staying with it for many more years, but hopes to move to larger platforms of sports journalism. Eventually, he wants to be able to cover play-by-play on a national level. He would also love more chances for broadcasting, but for right now, he plans on growing in the field that he is currently in.

For any student who may doubt the phrase, Once a Patriot Always a Patriot, Paulsen proves that statement to hold true. As an alumnus, he still follows Mason basketball, which was what brought him here in the first place. He even attended games last season and plans on coming back to the Patriot Center for years to come. Mason continues to still be a somewhere Paulsen fits in.

When asked about whether he would choose Mason if he had to do it all over again, he replied, “Absolutely. No question about it.”