From cowboys and beer to French and wine - one long transition to the IMD MBA in Switzerland.

You just got out of the shower, working from home (Covid pandemic still in full force), and your iPhone rings with a description ‘Switzerland’. This marks the beginning of a five-month transition from living in Calgary (a small city near the Canadian Rockies), to studying in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Calgary, Canada

Life in Calgary, Canada is simple. The city made its mark through Oil & Gas, providing wealth and opportunity for those who put time and effort into developing a career. The entrepreneur mindset and work hard/play hard mentality of the city allowed young individuals to make money, buy a house, and plan for the future. Purchase a house, find a partner, get a dog, and start a family – that was the formula. Although partying and drinking all the beer in cowboy boots during the Calgary Stampede was fun, it was time for change.

Someone once told me that you have to figure out what you want and don’t want. One thing I can for sure say is moving, is something that I don’t want to do too often. What do you do with your furniture when you’re jumping across the pond? How do you pack up your life in a couple of suitcases? Most importantly, how do you manage your anxiety about not knowing what’s next? A friend of mine got a job offer at Apple a couple years ago, and had 1 month to move down to San Francisco. I have 5 months to sit and think (not fun), but at the end of the day, the choice you made is always the best choice because you made it with all the information you had.

Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne Switzerland will be much different. Going back to school to do an MBA at 29-30 years old is going to be much different than any other experience. Being away from family/friends, having no income, and opening myself up to a new life after building one up after university will be eye opening. Am I excited to put my French lessons to the test, oui! Am I excited to switch the beer to Beaujolais and Chablis, yes. But as a planner, as someone who pictured his life completely different than what’s upcoming, and as a person who hasn’t had change in awhile, I am honestly anxious of what is next.

Near Calgary there’s this hike in Lake Louise where the Larches (pine trees that shed their needles) turn orange in the midst of the rockies. Change is inevitable and although I feel like this change in my life was unexpected, it will be good. The French have a saying, ‘mieux vaut tard que jamais’ – which is similar to the english saying ‘better late than never’….

Christian Erana

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