Social networking companies employ people from all backgrounds and walks of life, not just technology and engineering majors. Rembert Browne, creative lead, brand and voice at Twitter, certainly fits that bill.
“I wanted to be the mayor of Atlanta until I was 22,” Browne said. “I still kind of do.”
The Atlanta native graduated from Dartmouth University in 2009, earning a Bachelor of Arts after studying sociology, geography and public policy. After finding that “there were no jobs anywhere,” he started graduate school at Columbia University, studying urban planning.
Browne said columns he wrote on student life at Dartmouth “ended up being a thing,” and his blog was noticed by people at an early iteration of Grantland, where he ended up working until the now-defunct sports and pop culture blog’s last day in October 2015. “Because everything, in the right light, is a blog post,” he added.
Browne decided he “didn’t want another election to go by without being in the mix,” and he became a writer at large for New York magazine with a focus on politics, calling 2016 “an unforgettable time to be on the trail.”
Browne left New York in March 2017, saying he was “beginning to have that feeling that there’s other stuff I wanted to work on.” When the Twitter opportunity emerged, he was freelancing and contributing to outlets including Bon Appétit, Bleacher Report, The Fader, The New York Times, The Ringer and Time.
He started at Twitter last September, and thus far, it has been a great fit.
“Twitter is a company built on words, and to me, words matter,” Browne said. “And as a company, we want to make sure—internally and externally—we are talking with a consistent voice.”
Browne said he had been considered part of Black Twitter for years, adding, “I wouldn’t be working at Twitter had Twitter not been so complementary to what was happening in my writing career. I wouldn’t have the colleagues I have without Twitter.”
He concluded: “It’s funny that I’m working at Twitter because I’ve had amazing highs and amazing lows on the platform. It’s exciting to be able to really have a good number of black folks that come from similar places trying to fix things internally and externally so that it doesn’t feel like there’s one person having to speak up. That’s a moment I don’t take lightly every single day.”
“I used to tell myself that having a growing platform and having growing eyes on you was not threatening. As I look back, it definitely was,” Browne said.
“A lot of professional stuff would have gone a lot better if I started to work that out. That’s the time when you need to talk out things instead of keeping them in your head,” he advised.
How He Got the Gig
A friend who worked at Twitter was asking about someone with a similar background, and, “I was like, ‘Hey, what about me?’” Browne recalled.
“Twitter is really important for people who are isolated,” Browne said. “I got to connect with people who work in the newsroom and live in the big city.”
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