Joe Hooper






Public Administration


Sep 2016 - May 2018

By Joe Hooper

It ain’t over till it’s over

Yoggi Berra’s words are in my mind as we wrap up Module 9 of the Oxford EMBA. There is a chance I am thinking about this phrase as I am moving to New York in seven days for a new job, and one of my classmates has done the unimaginable and scored us tickets to the Yankees and Mets game on my first night in town.

But more likely I am thinking about his words as we just wrapped up Module 9 and the pace and amount of work has left the class reeling somewhat; getting through one assignment provides only momentary respite before launching into the next, and the next, and the next… By Friday of the module, more than one classmate had taken to ordering quadruple espressos.

Here is a small ‘tasting’ of the Module. On Monday morning we wrote the Accounting Exam, the afternoon an assignment was issued that was due on Thursday. Through the week classmates worked in groups to develop their entrepreneurship projects and ready a presentation for Module 10 that starts in six weeks. And when possible some managed to begin their Business Finance assignment (due in 30 days), whilst also studying for the Business Finance exam that takes place in Module 10 as well. And interspersed throughout the days were lectures on Business Finance itself. And then work and life kept happening too, which for me meant packing up my life in Nairobi (from afar), and closing out one job and preparing for the next.

Thus, I can say with some confidence that when it comes to the EMBA, it sure ain’t over till it’s over.

There is method to the madness of course. The EMBA imparts a significant amount of learning outside of the classroom, focusing on diligence and persistence, solid time management, teamwork, and application of skills to complex problems, giving you an unfailing sense that whatever the challenge, you can overcome it and even revel in the midst of it. And when I think about Yoggi Berra’s words in this context, their meaning becomes clearer to me.

‘It ain’t over till its over’ is a rallying cry is it not? Those words of defiance spoken by the person or team who seem to be overwhelmed, on the brink of collapse or defeat. The saying of the underdog that gives us reason to cheer, the phrase that says no matter what you throw our way, we can overcome it. And so when I think about the Module we completed, the work that is coming, the turmoil that moving jobs and cities brings, Yoggi Berra’s phrase rings true. Yes the EMBA can test you, but it is meant to do so and as a result you develop a depth and resilience that will set you apart. So as I look ahead, I remember that Berra also said “You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough, in the second half, you have to give what’s left.” Apt words those, and now, time to get back to work.


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