Hello! I am Mahesh Gowda, a senior at the University of Cincinnati and an alumni of Cincinnati State. I am currently a Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) fellow working with the Department of State. I have previously worked at the Cincinnati Insurance companies, and have been involved in other volunteer opportunities. I am the treasuruer of the IT Students Association, and have previously served in that role for the Association of Computing Machinery university chapter. I am also involved in planning a yearly hackathon on campus as a RevolutionUC organizer.

Let's start with the big question that everyone has - what is FAIT, and how did you get to work in State? The FAIT Fellowship is an exclusive path for committed and skilled IT specialists to enter the Foreign Service - with two awesome internships (domestic and international) as well as stipends and tuition payments to welcome them in. I feel like this position this combines my skills and interest with the passion I have to make a difference.

I am quite passionate about software, technology, and data analytics - in fact, my first experience with the field of computing was when I was 4, and ever since then I haven't stopped exploring what makes it all tick. In addition, I am a big transportation enthusiast, with a particular focus on public transit. I also like contributing to wikis (such as Wikipedia and others) and open source projects (including my own), especially when my other interests are involved. An example of this would be constructing a chatbot that updated people on the status of Lufthansa flights using their open API.

There are several strengths that I have and that I am proud of - I am very motivated, responsible, kind, and a team player. My values play a huge role in my life. I am quite committed to social justice, equality and doing the right thing at the right time.

As I become a global citizen scholar through the UC Honors program, I plan to use my newfound opportunities to expand on and practice my passions and values and explore more of my strengths.