Andrew Mayo, Class of 2008
I am an attorney in Dallas, Texas, where I practice commercial litigation. I chose to be a lawyer so I could use my skills in writing and critical thinking to find creative solutions to the problems faced by my clients. My current firm, DLA Piper LLP, is one of the largest firms in the world, with offices and clients based all over the world.
While at Southwestern, I double majored in French and Political Science. At an early point in my undergraduate career, my professors in the French department constantly encouraged me to take full advantage of all the opportunities available. My junior year, I studied abroad for a semester in Paris, France. This was a highlight of my undergraduate experience and gave me the travel bug for the rest of my life. Upon my return, I worked as a French tutor for the department and developed my own capstone project on the differing voices in the literature of North African immigrants in France.
Although my practice does not require that I speak French daily, majoring in French was immensely valuable for my academic and personal growth. Of course, learning a second language only helps to develop one’s overall abilities in writing and critical thinking. But true immersion in another culture also helps you better understand the world and your place in it. After my time in Paris and graduating with a degree in French, I turned from someone who had never left the U.S, to the resident expert and tour guide of choice for my family and friends visiting Europe. I am a better, more interesting person because of my study abroad program and major in French. My time in the program was invaluable and I am still grateful for the great faculty and resources provided to me.