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@work with Daquan Oliver of WeThrive


As part of our Style Your Success series with WeWork and LinkedIn, we’re talking to and getting inspired by a few entrepreneurs across the country. Here, Daquan Oliver—founder and executive director of WeThrive and member of WeWork in NYC—tells us about minimalist fashion, video games, the importance of working with underserved communities and what he’s “in it” for.

WHAT YOU DO:
I founded and run an organization named WeThrive, an entrepreneurial apprenticeship program for middle-school students in underresourced communities. All our youth participants create companies of their own and real revenue for their products and services.

YOUR WORK STYLE IN THREE WORDS:
Hustle, efficient, competitive.

HOW YOU DRESS FOR WORK:
Superminimal. I want to feel my freshest and that I look good, without needing to focus on it.

FIRST JOB:
Technically, this one. I founded WeThrive right out of college.

COFFEE ORDER:
Always iced coffee. It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside—I cannot do warm coffee. It literally will lull me to sleep. And I get white mocha—I like the sweetness.



WHAT YOU'RE "IN IT" FOR:
No one can truly thrive when so many continue to struggle. Coming from a community that resembles the youth we serve, I’m ready to go through, around, under or over everything in our path to make it happen. With still so much left to be done to achieve our vision of an equitable society, it’s not an option to be
“out of it.”
THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB:
Definitely that I can give 300 percent to this thing that I love to do. I feel like I’m a kid again playing video games. If you game, you might be up until 8am, but no one ever asks if you’re stressed from playing. And that’s the way I feel now—it’s the same exact feeling. I’m doing what I love for a community that I love.

ULTIMATE WORK JAM:
I would say Drake—rap Drake, to be specific—is what gets me hyped. There are so many lines that are applicable to crushing work. There are business lessons in Drake's songs!

EARLY RISER OR NIGHT OWL:
Night owl. I only rise because I have to. But you know, sometimes you have meetings at 8am. I do a lot of life-hack challenges to remind myself how much of life is mental. I take only cold showers, eat only protein, meditate every day. Once I realized my companies grew most when I grew, I decided I’m just going to go in on growing myself.

WHAT YOU WEAR TO A BIG CLIENT MEETING:
It’s actually our WeThrive shirt with a black blazer over it. And our logo looks pretty dope too, so that’s what I wear.

THE BEST THING ABOUT THE WEWORK COMMUNITY:
The culture. Every WeWork has a vibe of hustle, intertwined with support and collaboration. It's a rare air that, as an start-up, we thrive on.

Photograph by Mei Tao.

Meet more of our friends from WeWork here.
Learn more about LinkedIn’s “In It Together” campaign here.

Shop all of our @work stories here.


TAGS: mens, style, at work, wework, linkedin
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