10 Days. 5 continents. Day 5

Ever wondered what the greatest degree on Earth might look like? I have, and I’m on a mission to find out! Follow me on my journey as I meet some amazing people working for amazing brands, plus check out some great places to study. Day 5 began in Montreux, Switzerland.

We woke at 3am to check out of Milan and make our way to Switzerland. The plane was a tiny one and we flew only 1 hour to Zurich.

We had a meeting booked with Rosie Cogill, Senior PR Manager, EMEA at Evernote. We showed up to their office with our suitcases feeling a little frazzled from the early flight. Rosie was wonderful, she made us both coffee and showed us around the office. It was a really cool office space with great views over Zurich and floor to ceiling whiteboard walls. It was very modern and open plan with loads of sunlight drenching the space.

Rosie introduced us to Manuel who is the Customer Success Manager, and Pierre, the Marketing Manager. They took me under their wing and showed me what Evernote has been currently working on. They had run a focus group of users to determine what the focus group had loved about their programs, and what they felt needed improvement. They took me through their process of evaluating the results and prioritising some of the feedback.I was genuinely engrossed in their session and asked a lot of questions. They were very open and willing to share their knowledge and make it a real learning experience. Next they took me into the boardroom to whiteboard their marketing and sales functions and explain in detail how the teams work together.I had geared myself up for snow in Switzerland, and yet it was sunny and very comfortable temperature!

We made our way to Glion, a hotel management school in the hills of Montreux. It is a beautiful campus with great facilities including a student training restaurant overlooking Lake Geneva, a huge gym, student bar and student accommodation.

Glenda gave us a great campus tour, she explained that there are 93 nationalities at campus right now.

Glenda introduced us to Marc Herbin, F&B Faculty Leader who gave us a private demonstration on how to open a bottle of champagne with a sabre. This was extraordinary. I’ve seen it done before, but not like this. Marc opened the classroom door and with one swift flick of the wrist he had the bottle top and cork flying out the door. It looked so easy! He showed us the trick to making this work and now I can’t wait to host a dinner party to give this trick a shot. I should mention that Marc was particular about collecting the sliced off bottle top and cork from the outside garden. Marc also showed and explained to us the chalky soil in which the grapes are grown. It really was just like the white chalk in which you would use on a blackboard. A very inspiring and passionate teacher, we had a great time with Marc.

We also interviewed a student who is very impressive and mature beyond his years. Loic Pinilla is from Brazil and speaks 4 languages. His goal is to make it up the ranks in the hospitality world and one day run a hotel. His dream is to have a world of no barriers where language is no problem. And so his goal is to learn Chinese next in order to open up his world to billions of more networking opportunities.

The campus overlooks the beautiful Lake Geneva and so we were hoping to film a beautiful sunset from the balcony at the end of our day, however alas the skies were overcast and cloudy so that was not to be. Nevertheless we saw amazing scenery.

That evening I explored the city streets. A Christmas village was in the making, with locals building wooden houses in which to set up shop next week to sell items like gingerbread, mulled wine and more tasty wintery treats.

I stopped into a bar called Funky Claude’s, a jazz bar where they pay tribute to the town’s rich Jazz history. I loved Funky Claude’s and enjoyed “the best burger in town” coupled with great service and a beautiful wine. View more of my photos on Facebook.