When Mohamed Baatote enters the office, you can always count on three things: a huge smile, a stylish outfit, and dessert. Affectionately nicknamed "GQ" by his colleagues due to his seemingly endless collection of shoes, scarves and sweaters, the sharp-dressed accountant is known for bringing pumpkin pies, muffins, doughnuts and more to satisfy the sweet tooths of his appreciative co-workers.
Mohamed began his career with the Commonwealth in 2018 as a Financial Programs Trainee in PennDOT's Bureau of Fiscal Management (BFM). Now serving as an Accountant 2 with BFM, he handles purchase order invoice reconciliation for Central Office bureaus.
One of Mohamed's favorite things about working for PennDOT is the people. Over the past five years, he has had the opportunity to make many friends throughout the department. He loves the feeling of comradery as well as the ability to interact with other Commonwealth contacts, including those at Office of the Budget and Department of Treasury.
While Mohamed notes that there is a common misconception regarding the work ethic of state employees, he loves being among those who prove the stereotype wrong. "I have met many people from various agencies, and there are a lot of hard-working employees here."
Prior to working for PennDOT, Mohamed worked a variety of jobs, from bookkeeping and retail quality control to managing a distribution center in New York. It was while living in New York that he met his now-wife Amanda. The two married in 2001.
That same year, Mohamed made a trip from New York to Harrisburg to visit his cousins. He and Amanda decided to stay and raise a family here. They share two daughters – Sophia, a sixth-grader, and Nora, a high school senior soon to start college.
Despite living in the Northeastern United States for the past two decades, Mohamed spent the earlier years of his life far from here. He was born in Morocco as one of the middle children of four. He received an Associate's degree in Political Science from the Hassan II University of Casablanca in 1995. He then moved to France to complete his Bachelor's degree.
After graduation, Mohamed's passion for travel took hold. He came to the United States on a Visa in the late '90s in hopes of meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and realizing the American dream. Now 26 years later, he feels fortunate to be married to the love of his life, surrounded by great family and friends, successful in his career, and living within 5 miles of a Chik-fil-A.
Mohamed continued to pursue his education while in the United States, receiving an Associate's degree in Business Administration from Harrisburg Area Community College in 2014 and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Penn State Harrisburg in 2017.
In the office, Mohamed's current focus is preparing the Federal Highway Administration 500 Series report. This vital annual report directly affects the amount of federal funding the department receives.
Outside of the office, Mohamed loves traveling with his family. They have been to California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Florida, to name a few. They also travel back to Morocco when possible to visit his parents and allow his daughters to experience life there.
Aside from travel, Mohamed also enjoys shopping (to maintain his impressive wardrobe), hiking, playing soccer, going to the beach, watching history documentaries, and reading murder mysteries. He also spends time volunteering, including working at a local food bank, helping with tax preparation for low-income individuals, and coaching his daughter's soccer team.
Currently, Mohamed is eagerly awaiting his family's June 2024 trip back to Morocco. They plan to have a Eid al-Adha celebration with his parents and also visit Spain for a week.