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From IBM Consultant to multiple business owner in Costa Rica by 25. Meet Simrat Chhabra!

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing a former classmate from Schulich, Simrat Chhabra. She was working at IBM in consulting after graduation and recently I saw that she had moved to Costa Rica to start multiple businesses with her then fiancee, now husband! This is definitely a very unusual path for the students who studied at Schulich and I had to know more about her journey and what made her make that BIG LEAP to move to a tropical destination. It is something we have all dreamed about at some point in our lives! So read on to learn more about her and her journey to live the life she has always dreamed about!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

At the moment, I don’t really know how to answer this question. Six months ago I would have described myself as an emerging consultant working for IBM, travelling the world and living the dream that I had built for myself while I was at Schulich. I would have also told you that I worked long hours, didn’t get much time to spend with (let alone see) my family and vacations meant having my work phone and laptop with me at all times. I would tell you that I had two to three close friends, loved to play sports, a huge Leafs fan and an avid traveller whenever I had the time.

Becoming a consultant was my ideal career, no doubt, and I love being a consultant but I always knew deep down that it was not a sustainable profession. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the ONLY one in the world who was busy. My best friend is an accountant and she works longer hours and even harder than I do. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel I was just merely existing and I wanted to change that.

Now, I would describe myself as a gringo living in Costa Rica, learning Spanish, drinking way too much fresh coconut water, running multiple businesses and I couldn’t be happier. It’s not the standard or recommended path for a Schulich School of Business grad, nor was this in any roadmap I had forseen. This has been the result of spontaneously embracing life and the adventures it has in store for me.

For everyone that knows me, the one thing constantly on my mind is food. Naturally, I decided to open a restaurant  in Costa Rica with the second location on its way. Opening up a restaurant wasn’t just about cooking delicious food for others to enjoy. I cannot tell you how much of a pleasure it is to be able to hire people and make a difference in their lives. My team is made up of talented people looking for someone to give them an opportunity to succeed.

working in costa rica

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