Michael Callier ’04
Transforming professional legal experience with Nike into an international career in China
From interning in Nike’s legal department to studying Chinese eight hours a day, Michael Callier ’04 has had a long journey to his current position in China.
Callier is currently based in Nanning, China, where he is director of China operations for Infinitas SA, a business consulting firm. With China’s rapid growth rate and booming economy, Callier felt like it was a place he could make a difference.
“I saw how China was going to impact the rest of the world, (and) in light of its impending influence, decided to come here to better understand this place,” Callier said. “I also have a goal to act as a commercial bridge between the West and China.”
After graduating from Oregon Law and working for a time at Tonkon Torp, Callier took a position with Nike as an Employee Relations Manager. It was during his time at Nike that Callier discovered a draw to China and realized the significance of China as an emerging country.
“China is the fastest growing country in the world, in large part still under-developed, and has already become the second-largest economy in the world,” Callier said.
With his passion to learn and understand, Callier began to independently study Chinese culture in 2008 and also visited China for one-month in 2012. He then won a language scholarship through China’s Confucius Institute and, upon leaving Nike, spent the 2011-2012 school year attending a one-year Mandarin Chinese language program at Suzhou University in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. In the program, he studied Chinese eight hours every day.
Callier’s international law focus led him to his current job at Infinitas SA whose clients include both state-owned and private Chinese companies. Although Infinitas SA is an international company made up of Germans, French, Swiss and Americans, Callier is the only one who speaks Chinese.
“It’s a great job, but not easy, and I’m right in the middle of the action—acting as the bridge that I set out to be,” Callier said.