Johnny Grave

Johnny Grave

Nationality: British
Executive MBA, 2015
Commercial Director, Professional Cricket Association, London, UK
CEO, Cricket West Indies, West Indies, Antigua and Barbuda
Current industry: Education / Not for Profit
Transitions made: Function, Location

Why did you choose the Cass Executive MBA?

I considered doing an MBA five years before actually doing one – I knew it would really help to progress my career and personal development. I wanted to go to a business school that was well respected and achieve the best MBA I could. When I finally took the decision to do it, I chose Cass Business School as it is highly respected and well ranked. Its Executive MBA enabled me to balance family and a busy job in the most convenient way. Plus, as I was working at the Oval cricket ground, as the Commercial Director for the Professional Cricket Association (PCA), the Aldersgate location was very convenient.

Working around my role at the PCA was a big challenge. And, coincidently, I began the EMBA programme a week after my second child was born so there was a lot to juggle! But in the end, you find the rhythm and work extremely hard to make it all come together.

What were the benefits of the programme?

The quality of the teaching was first class. One of the things that appealed to me at Cass was the fact you spend a lot of time working as part of a team. There are very few jobs where you work solely as an individual. So, working with lots of different people – dealing with different team dynamics and skill sets – and bringing them all together for a project, was probably one of the greatest things I learned from my time there.

The international electives were really valuable. I went to Chile at the end of my first year, consulting for a local company. It's a great way to apply the theory in a real-life situation, where you pull together everything you’ve learned in your first year to fulfil a project in a fairly short space of time.

The Dubai elective was also fantastic. I got to spend time with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and meet so many senior executives at major companies. It was fascinating to find out more about the region and listen to business leaders talk about their companies and strategies.

Tell us about the careers and professional development programme

The personal development programme at Cass really sets the school apart. It was a really important part of what I took out of the MBA. In particular, the Achieving Your Potential weekend was brilliant – since I started my role in the PCA, I hadn't really stopped to think about my career. It gave me a clear framework to identify opportunities for my next career step. Also, the media training was very useful, as I’m constantly having to do live TV and radio interviews in my role.

A year after completing the EMBA, I was approached by a headhunting firm in Barbados for a role with Cricket West Indies. I reached out to the Cass Careers Team and they helped me put together a covering letter and CV, and helped me with some mock interviews. I’m now CEO of the organisation and based in Antigua. I couldn’t be happier.

The EMBA at Cass was a fantastic experience and one I’m very grateful for. It certainly delivered everything I hoped it would and more!