Not only does the cadet bring a unique, good-natured perspective to the series at large, but she's also showed us what it's like for a junior officer to serve aboard an extraordinary Federation vessel like Discovery.
STREAM: Full Episodes Of Star Trek: Discovery On CBS All Access
Let's take a look at Tilly's guide to surviving Starfleet.
Set goals for yourself.
It never hurts to look ahead! Tilly may be a cadet, but she already has big plans for her career in Starfleet; the young Discovery crew member hopes to sit in the captain's chair one day. To do that, though, she needs some help—and that's where Michael Burnham ( Sonequa Martin-Green) comes in.
Learn more about Tilly's aspirations in Episode 3, "Context is for Kings."
It's all about who you know.
While Burnham has been labeled a Starfleet traitor by her peers, it doesn't take Tilly long to see her roommate for the brilliant officer she really is. As a result, Tilly asks Burnham to be her mentor, and the pair become fast friends—thanks in part to their mutual living situation.
Witness Tilly and Burnham's first meeting in Episode 3, "Context is for Kings."
Always look out for those closest to you.
While Burnham acts as Tilly's unofficial coach, Tilly, too, offers moral support to Burnham in times of need. For example, when Burnham receives the last will and testament of her late captain, Philippa Georgiou ( Michelle Yeoh), the specialist is reluctant to open it; however, Tilly gives her a nudge in the right direction, with words of encouragement.
Find out if Burnham takes Tilly's suggestion to heart in Episode 4, "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For The Lamb's Cry."
Be ready for anything.
Whether it's a faulty spore-drive jump or an oversized Tardigrade to contend with, Tilly knows all too well the surprises and dangers that come with being part of the Discovery crew. Luckily, this Starfleet officer is ever alert.
See how Tilly spots an enemy before anyone else in Episode 3, "Context is for Kings."
You do you.
As Tilly learns firsthand from Burnham, there are a million ways to get to the captain's chair; the key is to find the path that's right for you—and sometimes that involves sneaking a little salsa into your nutrient-filled burrito.
Did the computer add salsa? Find out in Episode 6, "Lethe."
Go with the flow.
In Starfleet, you've got to know how to roll with the punches. When it comes to Discovery's encounter with Harry Mudd ( Rainn Wilson), Tilly goes from playing wingwoman for Burnham at a party to helping her examine a Gormagander as part of an intricate plan to save the crew.
Watch Tilly get down to business in Episode 7, "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad."
When in doubt, talk it out.
If there's one thing Tilly loves, it's talking! Look at the time Burnham had to telepathically reach out to her adoptive father Sarek ( James Frain) in order to rescue him. While Burnham was struggling to come to terms with the situation, Tilly was there to talk things through with her good friend.
See Tilly's communication skills in action in Episode 6, "Lethe."
Stream the entire first season of Star Trek: Discovery, exclusively on CBS All Access.