Charles Steinmyller, SKEMA alumnus on a 17,000 km bicycle journey to raise funds for saving corals

18 September 2022 Background

On 18 June 2022, Charles Steinmyller, a 29-year-old graduate of SKEMA Business School's Master in Management (Grande Ecole) programme (SKEMA 2017), set off on a 17,000 kilometre journey on a bicycle from Normandy to the Far East, along the legendary Silk Road. This sporting adventure has one objective: to raise funds for saving corals.


"I wanted to go on an adventure to do something different from everyday life," explains Charles Steinmyller. In June, the alumnus decided to take a sabbatical from his position as a brand manager for the Procter & Gamble Group in Geneva, and embark on a journey across Europe and Asia, by bicycle, along the mythical Silk Road. "This journey is an opportunity for me to go back in time, on the Silk Road, a route that goes back to the very origins of trade. For me, it is an extraordinary sporting challenge since it involves going from one ocean to another, from Normandy to Singapore," he says. Currently in Iran, he says he is struck by the warm welcome he has received in this country. "Each village has a special flavour, and this trip is conducive to introspection," he explains.


A globe-trotter from SKEMA


A brilliant student with a promising career path, having worked for Mondelez and currently a brand manager for the Tampax brand of the Procter & Gamble group, Charles Steinmyller still has happily memories of his years at SKEMA, which he spent between the Lille, Raleigh and Belo Horizonte campuses. "I really liked the ease with which the school made it possible for me to explore cultures from across the world. I wanted to see what American-style student life was like," he says with a smile. "I had an easy time finding a job, thanks to the great SKEMA Alumni network. I feel a strong sense of belonging to the school. Today, I am the SKEMA Alumni representative in Switzerland," he adds.


Saving marine wildlife


Charles’ sporting journey is motivated by ecological conservation. During his adventure, the alumnus collects funds for Coral Gardeners, an organisation that breeds corals in the turquoise waters of French Polynesia, on the small island of Mo'orea, the sister island of Tahiti. Since leaving Normandy, he has already raised €5,000. "I wanted to give meaning to this adventure and do something related to environmental issues. I think financing a coral nursery is a good cause," he says.


Expected arrival in November 


Charles plans to arrive in Singapore, his final destination, at the end of November. To get there, he will travel on average between 140 and 150 kilometres per day, with peaks of 260 km. He plans to return to Europe on a container ship, a throwback to his time in the French Navy as a volunteer midshipman.


You can follow Charles’ adventures on his Instagram account @charlessteinmyller.

Follow Charles' journey on the map.