She looks forward to being a part of the world of Navy pilots.
“I think every community in the Navy has its own character or personality that sticks out,” she said. “I really liked the passion that I saw in all of the aviators I met … for what they were doing on a day-to-day basis, and it seemed like a very interesting day-to-day type of job.”
“UVA stood out to me as a great spot to get a really good liberal arts education as well as being able to do the Navy training in tandem with that,” she said
Killian is focusing on her work for the Navy at this point, though she believes the discipline of a getting a degree in chemistry will help her in the future.
“Especially with some of the more challenging major-required courses, I learned a lot about good study habits and perseverance and grit in those classes that I think will serve me well, even though I will be learning a different subject material,” she said.
And while she is going to Pensacola for her flight training, she is not planning long-term.
“I am going into it with a really open mind, taking it day-by-day and year-by-year,” she said. “There are so many opportunities in the Navy right now that once I get past my first few tours or even post-Navy – I am taking it day-by-day and looking forward to what comes down the road.”
In heading to Florida, Killian is taking many happy memories of UVA with her.
“One of my favorite nights was in my second year when we won the national championships for basketball,” she said. “That is one that is going to stick in my mind for a long time – the celebration and the school spirit that came from that. That was a really incredible experience and I am glad to have gotten it, a chance to be here in town.”
Killian is also thankful for experiences with her fellow students.
“I think the chance to get plugged into different close-knit communities and those memories are going to stick with me for a long time,” she said. “I learned how to relate to people who are different from me and people who come from different backgrounds, and getting my mind opened in those different ways as well.”
Her role in ROTC leadership, part of a triad of upper-class midshipmen who run the battalion, also helped shape her.
“My job as battalion commander was to be the main liaison between the rest of the battalion and our unit staff members,” she said. “I had the opportunity to work very closely with our executive officer in connection with the commanding officer throughout the course of the fall – looking at big-picture semester training plans, making sure we were accounting for the training evolutions that we would be doing that semester, and translating those into actual practice as far as the daily and weekly battalion schedule went.”