Life After High School: Interview with Christopher Richard Gillman

Chris Gillman with lobster

We continue my ongoing blog-to-book project: Life After High School: Secrets To A Successful Life By Those Who Have Had Twenty Years To Think About It (or) What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School with an interview featuring Christopher Gillman. If you missed the last post, click here, otherwise, you can start at the beginning here.

Christopher Richard Gillman

Burlington, Vermont

My Life In High School

Christoper Gillman AHS 1996

Who were you in High School and how did you feel about it?

I was the smart guy who was pretty good at sports but wished he was better.

What did you think your life would become when you graduated?

I thought I’d go to college but didn’t really think about much past that.

My Life After High School

Chris Gillman with lobster

What happened in your life to you, for you, and by you in the last twenty years (how have you used your time and who have you become)?

I went to the University of Washington and majored in Mechanical Engineering. I got a job offer from IBM in Burlington Vermont upon graduation. There were no job offers in Seattle at the time because Boeing had laid off engineers.

I got married to my wife Brooke shortly after graduation, and we’ve been living in Burlington Vermont ever since, even though we thought we’d only be there for five years when we first moved.

I was with IBM for 15 years until last year when my division was sold to Globalfoundries. 

Brooke and I traveled a lot in the first 10 years of marriage with highlights being trips to New Zealand, Australia, and Italy. We’ve recently had two children, Grant and Grace who are currently 2 1/2 and six months old respectively.

I’m currently a Director with Globalfoundries responsible for all of the IT and industrial engineering for the factory here in Burlington, where we make chips for cell phones and networking.

Chris Gillman and Brooke

My Life Lessons

What were the major life lessons and wisdom that you gained during your journey over the last 20 years?

Treat people with respect, you can be successful and a good person at the same time. Hard work pays off if you don’t take any shortcuts.

Letter To My High School Self

If you could write your 18-year-old self (or however old you were when you graduated) a letter, and send it back in time, what would you say? What lessons, wisdom, encouragement, or warnings would you give yourself?

Learn everything you can, not just what you need to. Life is about learning new things and having new experiences.

In the next post, I will venture into my college years.

Are you from Generation X? I want to hear what you think! Please comment below and participate in the conversation about What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. What do you wish someone told you when you were eighteen?


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