Michael Moise was raised near Atlanta, Georgia and studied Information Management Technology at Syracuse University. He successfully completed the FAIT Fellowship program and is now a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist. You can view this interview on video here.
Thinking of overall FAIT Fellowship program experience over the past 2 years, can you describe how the program has affected you either personally or professionally?
It’s changed my life. I don’t think I would have gotten to travel as much, or at all really, had I not gotten this Fellowship. We’re doing great work and we’re impacting the world. It’s amazing to be around people that are doing great things professionally.
What did you value most from your internship in Washington, D.C.?
The thing I valued the most was my internship in Washington, D.C. I met the people who I would need to be in contact with when things went wrong at post. So I kind of got to put names with faces in organizations that I would need later on. And I got to meet people that would be in the field too, because there are Foreign Service officers in D.C. as well, so I got to meet some of my future peers and colleagues.
Where was your internship abroad, and what was your most memorable experience?
My internship abroad was in Lisbon, Portugal. [To say] what the most memorable experience I had is really hard, because I had a lot. But probably my number one was my boss taking me to a part of Portugal called Sesimbra, where I tried octopus and snail for the first time in my life, so that was really cool. The second time was a work thing. We had to do something at the ambassador’s house. It was really cool to walk around the house and feel like ‘wow, I’m in an Ambassador’s house fixing something.’
Would you have any closing words of advice that you’d like to share with a student who is thinking about applying to the program?
Understand that while you are going to be traveling and having fun you are representing the U.S. government. You will take an oath, so take that very seriously, as I and others do. So just keep that in mind when you’re traveling.
What advice would give to a student applying for the program?
Make sure you know the 12 dimensions of the Foreign Service [12 Dimensions of a Successful Foreign Service Specialist Candidate]. They’re really important there and they are mentioned many times during the application process. Also, make sure that you’re aware that you will be overseas most of the time. You’re going to be away from home and experiencing new things that you’re not used to.