#OnTheUpside: Fatmatta’s Story


I love it when something good comes from a bad situation. In fact, I think most people try to search for silver linings after a setback to somehow make sense of it all or give it purpose. I’ve been through similar situations, one even related directly to Spark+Mettle.

I graduated in July 2014. When the autumn came around, I started to panic. Almost everyone around me started to get jobs, one by one. I felt like I was being left behind, that I would seem lazy and that my hard work wasn’t paying off. I worked really hard searching for jobs. I’d wake up every morning, searching every corner of the web and crafting application after application.

I’d wake up morning after morning to rejection emails. I was fed up and I was bored.

I saw an internship role at a cool-looking organisation called ‘Spark+Mettle’. The deadline was in just a two days and within those days I started to really want the role. I didn’t know a great deal about what they do but what I did know, I liked.

I applied. And then I got rejected.

However, I was also offered a place at the assessment day for their Star Track Fellowship Programme. My initial reaction was to sigh and close the email. At the time, I was more interested in a job, money and references. Character strengths and soft skills were the least of my worries. But I read it again and then really started to read up on the Star Track Fellowship Programme and thought, why not? It did seem really interesting. And everyone could benefit with brushing these things up. That day I had a really long think and came round to the idea.

I’m so glad I did.

I’ve met some really nice and talented people. I really enjoy the weekly hangouts. I get to watch and discuss some really interesting Ted talks without seeming like a nerd. I like writing weekly on my blog. They help us think about ourselves and our life paths in a way that hardly anyone else has time for. I get to have an hour-long conversation with a career coach every month. Free of charge! And because of an opportunity presented by Spark+Mettle, I’ve started a great paid internship at Q5. Things have sort of come full circle and Star Track isn’t even over yet!

Not being offered to intern for Spark+Mettle wasn’t a tragedy but it was disappointing. But on the upside, if I hadn’t applied, I wouldn’t have known about this great programme. Who knows what I’d be up to right now without it?


Written by Fatmatta Sesay

Fatmatta is a co-creator on the 2014-15 Star Track Fellowship Programme