One of four 2020 graduates from the Babson baseball program back on campus this fall, Kingston, Mass., native William Gallagher made the decision over the summer to further his education while using his final year of eligibility on the diamond. Gallagher recently started classes in the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program and is slated to earn his degree in May 2021. Babson Athletics recently sat down with him to talk about his decision-making process.
Babson Athletics (BA): What was your mindset and how were you were feeling when last season was canceled and you were forced to finish your senior spring at home?
Will Gallagher (WG): It was a very abrupt and unfortunate ending to the young season, however I understood that this situation was so much bigger than just baseball.
BA: Why and how did grad school become an option you started to think about?
WG: Grad school was always an attractive opportunity for after graduation but was definitely a big investment and unrealistic financially (back in March). Between COVID hitting and destroying the job market and Babson offering a generous 40% off to returning 2020 graduates, this opportunity became more realistic and ultimately is the direction I decided to go.
BA: Did you pass up a job to return to school?
WG: I was in the midst of interview processes, one of them in the third of four phases before hiring, before companies all closed these positions.
BA: When weighing your decision, did you talk with parents, coaches and teammates, or was there someone else who was influential in helping you reach your decision?
WG: My parents and I were on the same page about grad school, it was an unbelievable opportunity and probably the best time in my life to go through it. The baseball coaches were very welcoming to have us back but they also wanted to make sure that we definitely understood that baseball was not the priority in this decision, it was the cherry on top.
BA: When the season was abruptly canceled last March I'm sure you thought your collegiate playing career was over. Returning to play as a grad student in some ways gives you a second chance so what is your mentality in planning for the 2021 season?
WG: It definitely does feel like a second chance. As a pitcher, your arm goes through so much wear and tear throughout the season. With the extra time off, I have been able to give my arm a rest from the intense pitching regimen, while also building up arm strength and more mobility in my shoulders. I am looking to come back with my arm as strong as ever.
BA: As a senior I know it had to be hard to find closure back in the spring. Will attending grad school and hopefully playing in the spring give you closure for your time at Babson?
WG: As a team, we did a great job of doing a lot of activities together during the craziness of last spring that I feel like we were able to find that necessary closure. I definitely feel lucky having the opportunity to come back and play again, though, and none of us will take the season for granted.