B-School Alumnus Cycles Shanghai to London to Help Children Smile

PARIS, December 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/— A business school alumnus has cycled over 16,000 km from Shanghai to London, to raise money for a children’s charity.

Matthieu Liard, a graduate of the CEMS Master’s in International Management programme and HEC Alumnus began the mammoth journey in March this year. Along with friend Oli Goulden, he cycled through 16 countries, four deserts and three mountain ranges.

The money they raised was in support of Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity which provides reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lips and palates.

The pair finally reached the finish line in London, on 26th November. So far, they have raised enough money for 100 operations.

Matthieu says,

“For me, a human without a smile would be like a lion without a roar. We want to help kids smile so they are empowered by the most effective social artillery of them all.”

As well as making stops to participate in other charity projects along the way, Matthieu also brought his positive message to several of CEMS’ member universities en route including; Koç University in Turkey, Università Bocconi in Italy , and HEC Paris.

Matthieu stressed the skills he learned through CEMS, including the importance of cultural awareness and acceptance of others, while “putting sense in what you’re doing”, was applicable both in a career and in cycling through 19 countries for charity. To see a video of his speech from HEC, click here.

At Koç University, Matthieu inspired CEMS Club Istanbul students to create a social responsibility project, leveraging an awareness campaign in collaboration with the School of Medicine and surgeon Prof Reha Yavuzer, whose successful operations on children with cleft lips/palates are well known both in Turkey and in developing countries.

At Bocconi, CEMS student, Giovanni Viganò, said,

“Everyone should follow Matthieu’s footsteps and learn from his experiences. Doing something substantial like this for a good cause and self-improvement reflects the values of the CEMS program.”

About CEMS

CEMS is the global alliance of 29 leading business schools, 61 multinational companies and 4 social partners awarding the CEMS Master’s in International Management to over 1000 students from 67 countries.

For more information, contact Kerry Gill at BlueSky PR – kerry@bluesky-pr.net or +44(0)1582 790701



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Road of Smiles
Operation Smile
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