North Central College - Naperville, IL

T.J. Simmons


“I was a confident person before, but being successful in forensics has made my confidence soar,” says T.J.

In addition to being on the forensics team and a forward on the soccer team, T.J. works full time as showroom manager of a marketing company at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. He routinely speaks with vendors and vice presidents, using skills he’s developed through forensics. “I know what I want to say, how to present and come across.”

On campus, T.J. enjoys the flexibility North Central offers to pursue both forensics and soccer. During soccer season, he participates in fewer forensic tournaments. During off-season, he expands his forensics involvement, traveling and competing in individual events he enjoys, such as rhetorical criticism and informative, persuasive, prose, after-dinner and public address speeches.

“In forensics, it’s not about not making mistakes. It’s your enthusiasm ... tone, volume, pace, emphasis on specific parts of the speech that make it so intriguing and so very challenging to do.”