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My Swat Story: Will Gilchrist ’19

Will Gilchrist

Major: Engineering
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.

His Postgrad Plans Include the Navy

“After I graduate, I'll go to Officer Candidate School, which is like basic training for officers, after which point I'll do a sea tour. I'm going to be a surface warfare officer, which means I'm going to be on an aircraft carrier. I'll then go to Navy Nuclear Power School, which is, from what I hear, a very, very intensive school where you learn the basics of nuclear physics, nuclear science, and nuclear power plant operation. After that point, I'll run a nuclear prototype for about six months, then I'm running actual nuclear power plants aboard U.S. aircraft carriers.”

He Believes in the Potential of Nuclear Energy

“I always thought nuclear physics and the idea of a nuclear power plant was very cool. It's almost like magic—you're just pulling energy out of nothing—and I also always thought it was very misunderstood. People tend to have a lot of fear of it and it's not unjustified, given some of the nuclear disasters that have happened, but if done right, it has a lot of potential to change the world, especially with a lot of the issues we're facing today with regard to renewable energy sources and green energy.”

The Men’s Soccer Team Is Like His Family

“They're people that you can depend on for something no matter what. For example, one time I was coming back from break. My train got in late and my phone died and I couldn't get a taxi, so I just texted the group and said, ‘Hey, can someone pick me up from 30th Street?’ Someone was there.

“That's sort of an arbitrary example, but always having that kind of circle to rely on is really invaluable. You get to know each other really well being here for preseason two weeks before the rest of the student body, and going through that very taxing physical experience really brings you together.”