Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road - take it!”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

If you are not fa­mil­iar with the leg­endary quotes of Yogi Berra, you must be se­ri­ously won­der­ing what this head­line means. A uniquely suc­cess­ful base­ball catcher with the New York Yan­kees for al­most two decades, elected to the Base­ball Hall of Fame in 1972, Yogi Berra also be­came known as the most quoted sports fig­ure in history. Why? Was he a great speaker? No. In fact, he was just the op­po­site: he pro­duced short il­log­i­cal phrases of a self-con­tra­dic­tory na­ture. They would nor­mally leave lis­ten­ers shak­ing their heads in be­wil­der­ment, yet some­how get the point across. One of his clas­si­cal quotes is: “You’ve got to be very care­ful if you don’t know where you are go­ing, be­cause you might not get there.”

As for the “fork in the road” quote, it evolved into an in­spi­ra­tional state­ment, and has been used by many speak­ers as a com­mence­ment ad­dress to univer­sity grad­u­ates. Yogi Berra gave his own ex­pla­na­tion, in 2007, when he spoke at the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony of Saint Louis Univer­sity in the US:

In the pre-cri­sis op­ti­mism of 2007 it sounded en­cour­ag­ing. To­day un­for­tu­nately we live in a to­tally dif­fer­ent eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment. Re­cent univer­sity grad­u­ates are look­ing around with con­sid­er­able pes­simism. They are en­ter­ing a de­pressed and at the same time highly com­pet­i­tive job mar­ket. For many pro­fes­sions, in both pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor, the mar­ket is al­ready sat­u­rated. Many of those choices and op­por­tu­ni­ties which ex­isted in the pre-cri­sis econ­omy for young univer­sity grad­u­ates are not avail­able any more. The sit­u­a­tion with youth un­em­ploy­ment in Europe is really dra­matic. Em­ploy­ers th­ese days want peo­ple with work ex­pe­ri­ence and, con­ve­niently for them, the sup­ply of such can­di­dates in the job mar­ket has been grow­ing. Mean­while, re­cent univer­sity grad­u­ates stand lit­tle chance. What can one do th­ese days to get a proper ca­reer start?

One pos­si­ble so­lu­tion is to seek an in­tern­ship. The idea of a three to six months un­paid work, pro­vided that the com­pany-host in­volves the stu­dent in an im­por­tant and mean­ing­ful project, is noth­ing un­usual in the US and Ger­many, but here in Cyprus it is a rather rare phe­nom­e­non. Peo­ple think: why should I work for free? Think about it the other way. You get a chance to ac­quire valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence which will put you ahead of other job can­di­dates. You may want to con­sider en­rolling in a post­grad­u­ate man­age­ment pro­gramme, such as Mas­ter of Science in Man­age­ment at CIIM. The Pro­gramme will of­fer you sev­eral fea­si­ble ad­van­tages that will place you on a steady ca­reer path. Firstly, the MSc Man­age­ment of­fers an op­tional in­tern­ship – so that you could ac­quire valu­able work ex­pe­ri­ence to im­prove your skills and en­rich your CV. Se­condly, the MSc Man­age­ment pro­gramme at CIIM will equip you with busi­ness knowl­edge that is highly prac­ti­cal and rel­e­vant to the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment. Prac­ti­cal as­pect is es­sen­tial be­cause as Yogi Berra said, “In the­ory there is no dif­fer­ence be­tween the­ory and prac­tice. In prac­tice there is.” Fi­nally, your CIIM ex­pe­ri­ence will en­able you to dis­cover many new op­por­tu­ni­ties for your fu­ture ca­reer and meet peo­ple in the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

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