1. What’s your name? Thomson Gilles
2. Where do you live? Los Angeles, CA
3. What was your major? International Relations & History
4. What is your current job? Management Consultant at a specialist global risk consultancy.
5. When did you row? Fall 2009 – Spring 2013
6. Why did you row? After swimming competitively all throughout High School, a teammate at the time (who went on to row for Oregon State) suggested I give rowing a try.
7. Port or Starboard? Starboard
8. How do you define success? Success is different for everyone. Personally, I think it fits somewhere in-between achieving your goals, accomplishing things that you didn’t think were possible, and being happy with who you are as a person.
9. What is your greatest rowing achievement? That’s tough, a few come to mind. I would have to go with edging out UCSD at the Crew Classic by .3 seconds and advancing to the Grand Final in the JV 8 (2012). On Sunday morning, we lined up against Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, and two Cal boats. We got smoked, but were more than happy to be there.
10. What is your greatest achievement outside of rowing? My Eagle Scout Award or my Master’s Degree.
11. What advice do you have for current rowers? Like a lot of other things in life, Rowing can really suck at times. We had 60 novices show up on the first day, and 5 of us (plus one cox) got our 4-year oar. By sticking with it you’ll be rewarded with lifelong relationships and a greater sense of self-worth.
12. What is one way you have contributed to the team? I typically attend all the Southern California races and Alumni day with a few of the other Los Angeles alums. I also volunteer on the FODR Board of Directors.
13. What did you learn from crew that you apply to your current work/life? Easy: Time Management. Being able to balance sleep, school, rowing and a part time job makes you use every part of the day efficiently. It’s always something that employers look for, and even if people aren’t very familiar with rowing, most understand the management and organization skills involved.
14. What’s your favorite UCD Crew memory? I’ve been concussed, had water freeze on the gunnels during practice, and seen some “interesting” weight-cutting techniques. I will never forget however, sitting on the plane as a novice heading out to nationals as the spare. During our headcount at the gate, we realized we were one short and deduced that Robbie Bachelor from the JV8+ had slept though his alarm. We all boarded the plane, and he ended up making the flight seconds before the door closed. Everyone cheered when he took his seat, and we both exhaled a huge sigh of relief (I definitely wasn’t ready to row in the JV). I think that boat went on to take 3rd (Spring 2010)
15. How do you stay connected with UCD Crew today? It’s a bit harder not being local, but I do my best to support the team at races and introduce myself to members of the team. I’m always happy to help with career, grad school or life advice. We have 3 UC Davis Alums in our Los Angeles office, so if anyone is interested in a possible internship (LA, DC, NYC), please don’t hesitate reach out!