Santiago Puente Davila (Class of 2022)

photo of Santiago Puente Davila

  • sophomore pre-law student with an International Studies and Political Science double major
  • minor in Chinese
  • from Mexico City, Mexico
  • member of Miami Mock Trial and the China-America Business Organization
  • studied intensive Chinese in Tianjin, China (Summer 2019); studying abroad in Luxembourg (Spring 2020)
"Being open-minded is very important. Being flexible to trying things that you've never even heard about while also being considerate of your time is crucial. It all comes down to being thoughtful and conscious of your decisions while always keeping that open mind."

Why Miami?

"I chose Miami because I feel like the faculty here really become engaged with their undergraduate students. I also feel that Miami has a very consolidated pre-law program, and the advisors are incredibly helpful.

"I made my decision to come to Miami around 3 days before the deadline. I was split between Miami and another university, but I realized that Miami's faculty and advisors really care about helping students get wherever they need to go. I didn't really see that at other universities."

Best Miami Experiences

Santiago Puente Davila riding the Tianjin subway with local students

"My favorite experience as a Miami student has probably been competing in Miami Mock Trial and going to various tournaments located all around the country, from Columbus to Washington D.C. It's an organization that's not only provided me with a lot of useful skills for the classroom, but it's where I've made my best friends!

"In the summer of 2019, I studied abroad in Tianjin, China through Miami's faculty-led intensive Chinese summer program, led by professor of Chinese Liang Shi. We were hosted by the Tianjin Foreign Studies University for 6 weeks, where I took Chinese 401 and 402 as well as a Chinese culture class. We also did some traveling within China, going to Xinjiang and Beijing. Dr. Shi was fantastic in providing us an immersive and unique experience that combined cultural and academic learning to a great depth.

"I am currently studying abroad in Luxembourg for the spring of 2020. My classes here are focusing heavily on European politics and culture and international economics. I hope that this experience will be helpful in my pursuit of a career in international economic law. My experience of studying in the European Union and East Asia will certainly help me!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"What I love the most about the liberal arts is receiving a strong and versatile interdisciplinary education. This is what led me to my two majors in international studies and political science. Political science has given me the opportunity to study international relations and comparative politics, which are both very global and well-rounded. And my international studies major allows me to study geography, economics, history, and much more through an international lens.

"As technology moves forward, we're certainly living in a much more interconnected world. This is why I think getting an interdisciplinary global education at Miami is providing me with a crucial skillset throughout my career. I eventually would like to work outside the United States, so my liberal arts education will be the key to unlocking that door."

A Rigorous Commitment to Miami Mock Trial

Santiago Puente Davila (pink shirt) poses with Mock Trial teammates.

"Miami Mock Trial entered our 2018-2019 season as the defending national champion and ranked #1 in the country. During my freshman year, our team went to the regional tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, which was probably the highlight of all my Miami extracurriculars. It was a great opportunity to represent Miami and compete amongst my friends at something that I really enjoyed doing.

"Mock Trial is of a very competitive nature that is a lot different from studying in a classroom, but this still allows me to utilize many similar skills. Expectations are high in our team, especially considering our national prominence. Hard work and full effort are required from every member, and we have 3-hour evening practice sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. There is certainly some pressure when you're representing the university, but this also makes everything more fun.

"We do a good amount of traveling in the program. I've had the opportunity to travel within the state of Ohio going to competitions in Columbus and Cleveland, as I've also attended tournaments that are as far away as Iowa City and Washington D.C.

"My experiences with Miami Mock Trial fit well with my plans to go to law school after Miami. I am very interested in diplomacy and international law. Regardless of where my career takes me, however, I know that I want to go to law school soon after my undergraduate studies."

Advice to Students

"Being open-minded is very important. Being flexible to trying things that you've never even heard about while also being considerate of your time is crucial. It all comes down to being thoughtful and conscious of your decisions while always keeping that open mind.

"I also believe that students should be active in their communities — this is the key to enjoying them. Try to be proactive and aware in class while always keeping a positive and welcoming attitude."

[January 2020]