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From Corporate Climber to Content Creator, DeAndre Brown Shares His Journey to TikTok Fame

Self-proclaimed corporate baddie DeAndre Brown shares how he reinvented himself through the power of social media in an interview with The Quintessential Gentleman.

Chicago native DeAndre Brown's academic career began with attending Morehouse College for his undergraduate degree. During the summer of his freshmen year, he interned at the Supreme Court in New York City. After gaining some experience in the working world, he discovered this path didn't suit him and decided to major in business marketing and minor in sales.

From there, Brown took the plunge and participated in several internships that focused on business marketing and digital marketing. In his junior year, these endeavors led to him landing a game-changing internship at Citi Bank. Upon graduating, he was offered a full-time position as a consumer banker and ultimately began his career in Corporate America.

Like countless others, Brown worked from home during the pandemic before transitioning to a hybrid work environment. He traveled to New York, occasionally, to work on projects with his team that were based there. With a team in New York and Brown based in Dallas, he mainly worked remotely from home. Being isolated in a new city caused Brown to miss interacting with others.

After having opportunities to meet new people and share advice on how to become successful in Corporate America, Brown reflects on what would be the start of something greater.

"I have released a whole article about how I did it," DeAndre said on navigating Corporate America. "Because so many people always inquire about it. Well, I can probably start to profit and monetize off of that."

Speaking to a few close friends on Instagram caused Brown to rethink the course of his corporate career and consider new possibilities. Feeling inspired, he decided to start sharing content about his experiences working in Corporate America on social media.

When his TikTok videos garnered praise from past employers of college internships and company colleagues, the positive feedback reaffirmed that Brown was on the right path.

Despite creating videos featuring the ups and downs of Corporate America, he confirms that there weren't any restrictions on the content displayed on his social media platform.

"There wasn't really anyone saying you can't post anything or stuff like that," DeAndre stated about if his current employer minded what he posted. "But I was very cognizant of the social media guidelines and posts while at work and things of that nature. However, I think the issue was when I was leaving Corporate America, and I was ready to put in my two weeks and stuff like that. It became a whole conversation with HR."

Balancing two demanding careers left Brown with little personal time. Financial stability wasn't an issue, so he was able to leave his job at Citi Bank and focus on being a full-time social media influencer.

Unique challenges arise when one has an occupation that involves being in the public eye, and for Brown, this has proven to be true.

"I'm realizing from social media, specifically, that everyone doesn't want to see you happy," DeAndre admits. "And with that comes a lot of haters and a lot of people that have negative comments and are going to pick at every little thing about your life."

Despite this, he continues to see the upside and acknowledges that coming to terms with every aspect of being a social media influencer is a process.

For Brown having a work-life balance has never been a problem. He stands apart from others in his field by not creating content based on the day-to-day events of his life and focusing on corporate work culture.

He admits that no longer being a part of Corporate America can be a challenge when developing content for videos.

"I don't stay in touch, but I use LinkedIn," DeAndre shares on staying up to date on what’s happening in Corporate America. “I look at it as a very valuable source because you get to see what other people are doing, what other people are talking about and the conversations that are around the corporate workspace. Also reading articles about trends within Corporate America keeps you up to date. And just looking at other TikToks of people who work in these corporate spaces that are sharing their experience."

The videos posted on Brown's platform feature themes such as quiet firing and how the older generation's perspectives differ from Gen Z. Although internships helped prepare Brown for the corporate world, he still wishes he was more knowledgeable about working with people. He believes there are communication barriers between the younger and older generations.

As a social media influencer and former corporate employee, he embraces a sense of responsibility when offering advice to those who might pursue either of these paths as a career option.

"Even when I worked in corporate, I felt a responsibility to help people, specifically minorities, to get access to spaces because it's so hard for us to, and we don't have the same resources that a lot of others are gifted with," he said.

Even with so much accomplished, Brown still has new projects on the horizon.

"I'm working on a lot of fun and exciting projects that are going to take some time," he stated. "Not only am I working on a book, but I'm also working on merchandise. And just a lot of other things as well, really stepping into several different roles, like more consulting, which I wanted to do all along."

Check out the 2023 Power Issue.

Photo Credit: Darnell Brown Stylist: Christina Corso


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