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Chorvelle Johnson: Proof of success

Published:Friday | October 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Chorvelle Johnson

Proven CEO Chorvelle Johnson is off to the classroom once again. She is the recipient of the International Women's Forum (IWF) Fellowship at the prestigious Harvard University in Boston.

But why would a CEO want to go back to school? "Being at the top is relative. There are always skills you can learn to be strategic, become a better mentor, bring something new to the table," she told Flair before jetting off two weeks ago.

Johnson told Flair that she heard about the fellowship programme through president of IWF Jamaica, Minna Israel, and Pat Ramsay. Her interest was piqued and she applied.

"I was interested in it for development of my leadership skills to impact my team and Jamaica in the long run," she stated.




But it wasn't quite as simple as that. Choosing 34 applicants from the IWF global network is no easy task. Johnson did a local interview, which she passed. Her information was then sent to the organisation's global arm, which took her through another process which required her to write five essays in the space of a month, focusing on varying topics, such as what she would do with the fellowship.

The year-long programme will see the well seasoned CEO commuting back and forth between Jamaica and the United States, and also includes a two to three-week stint in France. While brushing up on her French, Johnson is excited about this new journey and is looking forward to networking with 33 others from various parts of the world. She will also be getting a mentor who will be her guide for the duration of the programme and who may visit Jamaica to see how she operates.

Any reservations? "One thing I'm worried about is the cold. Boston is cold," she said with a 'tropical' chuckle.

Juggling a demanding job with school is nothing new for Johnson, who has always worked and studied. In addition, "I have a very strong senior management team, which is a necessity for any CEO, and if I can't be in and out and the team runs well, then it means I'm not doing a good job. We are also global and Internet is within reach."

Her advice to anyone who might want to follow in her footsteps: "Be positive. In life, you are always going to face criticism. Take it in a constructive manner and treat everyone with respect. Never forget the lessons learnt from the mistakes; that's what they are there for - for you to learn from."