How a Portfolio School for Black Creatives Helped Me Land My Dream Copywriting Job

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Palace Jones

Photo courtesy of Squarespace.

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Fairygodboss
April 21, 2024 at 8:51AM UTC

Squarespace is an employer of choice for me because I get to flex my creative skills and learn new approaches to creative problems from some really awesome teammates and leaders,” says Palace Jones, a copywriter at the company.

At Squarespace, Jones shares that her work is always unique and interesting, and she’s been part of a variety of projects — some more copy-heavy than others — which allow her to grow her creative direction skills.

“The fact that I’m on the brand side of advertising has really afforded me the chance to build my skill set in an accepting environment,” she adds. “All of the leads are willing to teach and push me to think out of the box. I feel like I’ve already learned so much and built relationships internally.”

As for how she wound up at Squarespace, an important step in Jones’ journey was the One School — an accelerated virtual ad school for Black creatives seeking exposure into the creative advertising space.

“One School’s goal is to combat the lack of Black faces in the advertising spaces,” Jones explains. “My experience during the program, and after I finished, has been a constant learning one. Since completing the program, I have gained a group of peers to whom I can vent to, bounce ideas off of and catch up with. It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything else. It led me to Squarespace!”

Jones landed her role at Squarespace after graduating from One School, and since then has continued to find herself surrounded by a supportive community. For instance, joining the Black at Squarespace Employee Resource Group helped make Jones feel welcome at the company, offering her a sense of belonging.

We touched base with Jones to learn more about her interest in copywriting, her path to becoming a copywriter through One School and what working at Squarespace as a copywriter looks like for her now. Here’s what she had to say about it all — plus her best advice for other One School students who are looking to move into the tech industry. 

When did you know that you wanted to be a copywriter and what was your path to becoming a Copywriter?

When I started college, I studied political science with the hopes to become a lawyer, but, during my freshman year, I became a part of my school’s SGA, and I learned that I loved creative problem solving. I switched majors to Mass Communication and experienced internships in social media, graphic design and production. I then took a Business of Advertising class, led by one of my favorite professors, and was exposed to the world of creative advertising. There was one project where we had to create a product, build a brand around it and develop an advertising launch campaign. The best part about it? We got to present our progress and final pieces to an actual advertising agency. I enjoyed every minute of it and built connections at the agency, eventually leading to a studio internship. 

Through that internship, I was exposed to art directors and copywriters who amazed me! I knew I wanted to be a copywriter, and that I needed to go to Ad School. 

When I first applied to the One School, I didn’t get in, so I participated in the mentorship program, graduated college and moved to New York for an ad tech job — but this experience lacked the creativity for which I yearned. I applied to the One School again, and I got in, starting my journey as a copywriter. 

How did the One School prepare you for your experience at Squarespace?

One School taught me how to think outside of the box and come up with ideas that may be unconventional. While not all these ideas may be hits, this prepared me to constantly pump out ideas both inside and outside of the workspace. And, because Squarespace is an innovative and creative company, it has really afforded me the chance to flex those creative skills of mine.

What advice would you give to new One School students who are looking to move into the tech industry?

I would tell them to ask questions! In the tech industry, people and projects move fast. There have been times where people rattled off acronyms and shorthand that I didn’t know, and I had to stop them and ask for an explanation. At first, I was very apprehensive about doing this because I didn’t want to be seen as underqualified or incapable of doing my job, but a lack of understanding can lead you to bigger issues — like the inability to complete tasks, a lack of clear direction and discomfort.

At Squarespace, people are very understanding and excited to share what they know with you. They want to ensure that you’re set up for success. If you don’t know, you don’t know, and that’s completely okay; make it a learning experience.

How did you come to know about Squarespace, and how does the One School partner with Squarespace? And how did you join Squarespace yourself?

Squarespace has been a sponsor of the One School since it opened its doors in 2020 and provides One School students with free Squarespace websites to host their creative portfolios. The hope is that, by providing comped sites to One School, students will give them access to easy-to-use tools to establish their professional presence in the industry. 

One of the briefs we worked on in the One School was a conceptual brief referencing Squarespace, and, honestly, it was one of my more difficult briefs. I enjoyed the challenge!

Close to the time of graduating from the One School, I was surprised and excited to receive an email from a Squarespace recruiter to interview with the company. Through the interview process, I met members of the Creative team and immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I like to think that, now that I’m a copywriter at Squarespace, I’m answering that same brief in a different way — with more experience and insider knowledge.

Finally, how does Squarespace support you as a professional woman?

As a woman, Squarespace has supported me by creating an environment where I am comfortable and confident enough to provide my input on ideas, projects, pitches and more. I’ve never felt that my gender was an obstacle for me to get over since I’ve been here. I was hired because of my creative thinking and problem solving, and it’s a good feeling when the only obstacle you’ll have to battle at work is how to solve a creative brief.



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