SVA Alumni Participates in Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship
Matias Ayala, Marine Corps veteran and Fordham University student, is one of 15 individuals selected nationwide for the prestigious Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship program in 2021.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, this two-year fellowship is dedicated to empowering the next generation of technology leaders in the U.S. Foreign Service. This fellowship is for students who are interested in pursuing careers as Foreign Service Information Management Specialists.
Ayala is pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity. He previously served as the president of the SVA chapter at Fordham University-Lincoln Center.
“The most significant way this fellowship will help me is the work experience,” said Ayala. “We get two summer internships with the IT departments at the U.S. Dept of State. After that, we are committed to working [in the Foreign Service].”
Ayala also credits networking as a skill that will also be invaluable during the fellowship. “This fellowship will guarantee that I will gain experience and mentorship to make sure I am successful,” said Ayala.
The FAIT Fellowship provides up to $75,000 in academic funds over the two-year program, two summer internships (with stipends), professional development and mentorship. This fellowship is a direct path to a career in the Foreign Service. Upon completion of the two-year fellowship and the State Department requirements, fellows receive an appointment as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist.
As a two-year cohort model, the FAIT Fellowship requires that students be starting their junior year in an undergraduate IT-related degree program or starting a two-year IT-related master’s degree program, at the beginning of the cohort year.
For example, for the 2022 cohort, students must be starting their junior year or a two-year master’s degree program in fall 2022. Applications for the 2022 cohort are now being accepted through January 31, 2022. The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC), which administers the program for the State Department, manages the application process. To learn more about the FAIT Fellowship program and how to apply, go to the FAIT Fellowship website at FAITFellowship.org.
Student Veterans of America (SVA) will hosts a one-hour webinar featuring speakers from the U.S. Department of State and the Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship program.
The FAIT Fellowship program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center (TWC). The Washington Center provides immersive internships and academic seminars to students from hundreds of colleges and universities and young professionals from across the U.S. and more than twenty-five countries.