Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mrs. Marshmallow now has a blog!

Wanted to share the exciting news that Ashley, a.k.a. Mrs. Marshmallow, has decided to start up a blog of her own! She had been talking about starting a blog since well before I started mine - so it's nice to see her ideas coming to fruition!

Among other things, she will be sharing her thoughts on life as an expat in Lausanne, an IMD partner and a new mom. She already has a great post about how complicated (and expensive!) dealing with trash can be in Lausanne. Here's the link to her blog, be sure to leave her lots of comments!

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Pics from a sunny weekend in Lausanne

This past weekend we were fortunate to have some beautiful weather in Lausanne (which has since been replaced with a lot of rain!). So on Sunday Ashley and I went out for a walk down by the IMD campus and the lakefront in Ouchy. Thought I would share some of our pictures:

Soon I will be walking down Chemin de Bellerive every day

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Marshmallow featured on

Something very cool happened recently -, a wonderful resource for MBA applicants, reached out to me and asked me a few questions about my decision to come to IMD and my experience during the MBA application process. I was more than happy to answer, and the article was posted this weekend. Check out the entry in their blog:

Aiming for IMD? An Admitted Student Shares His Story and Advice

I was thrilled when approached me, hopefully it will prove to be helpful for future applicants and others who are interested in applying to IMD or an European MBA!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I've been invited to be an official IMD blogger!

This week IMD announced their selection for the blogging team for the class of 2014... and I am excited to be one of them! Here is the announcement from Suzy, the blog coordinator at IMD.

I will join a team including a couple of very interesting and insightful folks: Ashley, who will also be IMD's video blogger and has already posted a fantastic introductory entry, and Andras, who has been keeping an excellent wine-themed blog that I am a big fan of: Wines and Treks. I look forward to finally meeting and working together soon!

When I was applying to IMD I remember reading the IMD blogs quite diligently, looking for a clearer picture of life as an IMD student. Then I started this blog, looking to share a bit about my experience and hoping to help others who are also interested in pursuing their MBA at IMD. It feels great that IMD is willing give me this opportunity and endorse my insights!

The official IMD 2014 blog goes live when the program starts, on January 9th. Here's the link. Until then I plan to continue posting about my Swiss MBA adventure here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tips and tidbits - what we've learned so far

Ashley and I have been in Lausanne for less than one month - so we are by no means experts - but during this time we've had to figure out a lot of different things, and I thought it might be useful to share some of what we learned during our initial efforts to settle in. Hopefully it will help paint a picture of what's been keeping us busy, and maybe help others who may be coming to Lausanne!

  • Get the 1/2 off rail card

    This is a very nice deal that we didn't know existed before got here. For an up-front fee of CHF 175 you can purchase a pass which saves you 50% on every rail trip you take (it also gives you some savings on the buses/metro, but not always 1/2 off). The price seems a bit steep at first, but it pays for itself ridiculously quickly (for us, with our weekend trips, it's already made it worthwhile!).

  • Get the Migros cumulus card

    I'm a sucker for discounts, coupons and finding the lowest price. Some may call it cheapness, I call it being resourceful! I found out that Migros, one of the main grocery store chains, has a membership discount card. It's free and it just takes filling out a form. The harder part for me was to ask about the existence of such form in French! The benefit is that you get CHF 5 for every 500 points accumulated (at the rate of CHF 1 per point I believe, with some items that may have special multipliers). And you also get some nice coupons on the mail. Even if the discounts are small, I figure it never hurts! I also understand the Coop, the other major grocery chain, has a similar card. I am looking into signing up for that one as well.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weekend getaways

Knowing how busy things will be next year - with the combination of IMD kicking my butt, and Little Marshmallow keeping us up every night - Ashley and I decided to take advantage of our relatively slower schedule, and treat ourselves to a couple of weekend getaways.

At this point, we've taken care of most of the basic arrival requirements: We've submitted all the paperwork to register with the Canton, we've opened our bank account, we've gotten our phone lines, and have figured out the doctor/hospital situation for whenever Little Marshmallow decides to join us. There are still a few things for us to do, but the biggest ones - namely the nursery - will require us to be in our permanent apartment, which we won't move into until later this week.

So we said to ourselves - let's go travel!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lausanne: first impressions

Ashley and I have been in Lausanne for about 10 days now, so I thought it would be interesting to write down some of our first impressions as we start to make it our new home. Of course, there are a few things that will take some figuring out and some getting used to. But overall we are very happy to be here, and have had a nice experience so far!

Here are some things we've noticed:

  • Everything is closed on Sundays (and apparently it will be worse come Christmas!)

    When we made our travel plans, we never considered how complicated it would be for us to arrive on a Sunday. As it turns out, *everything* is closed here on Sundays. Grocery store, pharmacy, everything. We had to buzz the security guard at a deserted IMD to pick up the key to our apartment. We didn't have any bed linens, and there was nowhere that we could go to buy any, not even in Geneva! Thankfully we happened to know someone in Lausanne who graciously agreed to lend us pillows and a comforter. Lifesaver!

  • When in doubt, go to the Gare

    If you made the same mistake we did, and found yourself with no food on a Sunday, head over to the Gare (the main train station). There are a couple stores that are open, where you can find some food and basic necessities to get you to Monday morning.