Covering New Ground
Young alumnus forges his own path.
Chris Simmons moved from Ferguson, Missouri, to Mizzou in 2006 with a pioneering spirit, and not just because Columbia was the farthest west he had ever been.
“I remember standing in front of Jesse Hall as my mom and dad drove off,” says Simmons, BA ’11. “It was a sunny day, and I looked up at the sky and thought, whew — this is it. I’m on my own.”
His mother, a teacher, instilled the importance of education and self-motivation. So when journalism didn’t immediately light his fire, he blazed an interdisciplinary trail that focused on marketing and communication.
Now, Simmons is a senior publisher development manager at the social media company LockerDome. It’s a job he landed by literally knocking on the St. Louis business’s door, résumé in hand.
“Back in McCluer High School, I had three jobs at the same time,” says Simmons, who lived in 10 different houses during his childhood. Although his dad was a part of his life, Simmons grew up in a single-parent household with his mom and twin sisters. “I had to grow up quickly.”
As a Mizzou student, in addition to working an internship with Learfield Sports, Simmons started an entertainment company that rented venues for talent shows, dance parties and concerts.
LockerDome began as a sports-themed network and transformed into an interface for a variety of media and topics, but Simmons is familiar with transformation.
“When I graduated, my original plan was to go out West where I have family in California,” says Simmons, who loves the creativity and camaraderie at his job. “At LockerDome, if I have a suggestion for the direction of the team, my voice will be heard — our CEO sits a few feet away.”