In 2015, while I was a student in the University, I made a resolution to myself that the first time I was going to ever board a plane would be by invitation to attend a business program, seminar or conference or whatever. I was never going to board my first flight on my own expenses. So even when I had to travel one end of Nigeria to another I would journey the long trip by road… I could have easily taken a domestic flight to any of the destination airport but I never did. I just didn’t want to give up on my resolution. I knew that the day would come when all my travel arrangements would be made for me and all I needed do was just pack my bags and board my flight.

Plane in the sky horizon

In Dec 17, 2017, I applied for Atlas Corps Fellowship. That day also happened to be the closing date of the application. I had heard about Atlas Corps from a YALI Ibadan Alumni seminar and from my best friend Tojola Bolaji who encouraged me to apply that very night. I could remember vividly how hurridly I put in my application; racing against the closing deadline, Laptop battery was low as there was no electricity or fuel to power up the generator. I think I submitted my application at the last minute to the deadline or so.

Anyways, I was expectant of good news but wasn’t sure how that was going happen knowing that I had rushed my application on the night of the deadline… well I just kept at being positive.

Omitogun Abolaji #AtlascorpsClass34

A month later to my surprise I was invited to submit the second part of my application. Yeah!!! This time around I had enough time of go all out for my application… Reviews upon reviews from my friend Bolaji & Jumoke.

By Jan 30th I submitted my application peacefully.

One, two, three months after, all I got was a defeating silence from the other end. I thought this was the end to my application until July 3rd at about 6pm when a mail from Atlas corps dropped and the title read “IMPORTANT- YOU ARE INVITED FOR AN ATLAS CORPS SKYPE INTERVIEW”

Mhen I ran momentarily mad… Yes I did… My resolution, my dream for my first flight non self paid felt close. On the 8th of July, I had my Skype interview… Wow oh wow… I was tensed AF but never showed it during the whole process. All that was in my head was “dude, calm down and have a simple chat”.

On the 4th of September, it was another congratulatory message, by now I was a semi finalist… Mhen… “This long journey to the promise Land isn’t easy.” I thought to myself. I still had the final interview to go. Gosh another interview! I was happy but scared, “what if it goes wrong, what if I mess up, what if I say the wrong thing. Nope!!! nothing will go wrong afterall I passed the semi final interview.”

December 11, 2018… Final interview, the last stage…an interview with MAKING CENTS INTERNATIONAL. “This is it! I can’t afford to go wrong. Not even my village witches will stop me from having a successful Interview.” Well they came around… They block my laptop and network started misbehaving. Thank God I had a back up, my holy Grail “SAMSUNG A3 2017” never disappointing. Ok!

The interview was smooth, smoother than I ever could have imagined. The questions kept on coming and lord lord!!! the angels got my back like I was baby Jesus.

By Dec 12th, it was all good news onward… I was offered an official offer and in their words

“Congratulations!! This is an incredible accomplishment and it really speaks to your skills and experience.”

Baby I made it!.. Flight arrangement was to be made, accommodation sorted and yes I got my Visa too (expedited). It was and is gonna be a Rosy 2019 from here on.

Fellas I am happy to officially share with you that I was among the 20 finalist from over 5000 applicants selected for the ATLAS CORPS fellowship for Global change makers to serve with MAKING CENT INTERNATIONAL in the Washington DC. There I will be learning and gaining experience in the areas of global leadership, management, Enterprise building and fund raising skill that will be useful in shaping my immediate communities.

If only you believe in yourself, you can achieve greater things. Be intentional, be resilient never give up and keep believing.