As the 2016-17 school year begins this week, we take a look at the different Vancouver Whitecaps FC players who are continuing their studies while living their pro soccer dream.
In July 2015, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) became Major League Soccer’s “exclusive education partner,” an arrangement that encouraged and assisted players to pursue their higher education.
David Ousted didn’t need much convincing.
The 31-year-old Dane, who is rarely seen without a book by his side, is currently working towards a bachelor of finance degree through SNHU’s online courses.
“You decide how you want to do it,” Ousted told whitecapsfc.com. “You can take up to three courses at a time, which is a really high workload. Or you can also just take one, which is more manageable with the MLS travel and all that.”
“I’m doing one course at a time as it is right now. I might speed it up a bit in the offseason when I have more time. It’s going to take me a while, but it’s nice to get started.”
Ousted wasn’t able to transfer many of the credits he earned from his Danish schooling, which has a different structure than here in North America, so he’s pretty much starting from scratch.
So far, he has taken a Human Relations class and is now taking English.
“I’m still in the early stages,” Ousted said. “Later on, I’ll get started on the classes I’m really looking forward to, finances, accounting, investment, and that sort of stuff.”
The key, according to Ousted, is managing his time effectively.
His main focuses are soccer and family (he has three kids running around at home), which doesn’t leave a lot of time for school work. Fortunately, though, it’s something he enjoys. A lot of the time, Ousted said he’ll catch up on his reading and assignments at airports during road trips.
Good chance he’ll have some time the next few weeks, as the ‘Caps embark on a 10-day trip that will see them travel to Columbus, Kansas City, and eventually Seattle before returning home.
Ousted always used to read anyway – only now it’s for school rather than leisure.
“I’m really enjoying it,” Ousted said. “It’s kind of nice getting back to school … it’s a different mindset and different thinking than when you’re on the soccer field.”
Ousted, who has an investment portfolio with his brother and dad, said finance and business has always been an interest of his. So when this opportunity came up, it was a no-brainer.
“It’s opening up my possibilities, which was the whole idea with it,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after soccer, if I’m going to stay in the soccer world or branch out, but I think a bachelor degree in finance is going to open up a lot of possibilities.”
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