String and Key
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String and Key

The String and Key Crew: John Dorsey

As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet John Dorsey.

Company Role: Copywriter

Most likely to: Space out in a meeting

Secret talent: Mimic accents fairly decently

From improv performer to teacher to barista and more, one of our resident wordsmiths is definitely a jack of all trades. As a kid growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, they always had aspirations to be an artist (which was achieved in a variety of ways) while maintaining that they are, first and foremost, a storyteller. After joining String and Key, they were able to achieve that dream as they’ve been writing and telling stories as a copywriter here at S&K since October 2021.

Let’s get to know a little more about Dorsey (as they prefer to be called).

What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
As a copywriter, I specifically write blogs for our client life insurance company Wyshbox as well as ideate social media posts for our products. A typical workday is a lot of research. When I write, I try to be as accurate as possible because people will look to us as a legitimate source of information. So it’s a lot of reading, then a lot of writing, then more writing.

What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
It’s probably the theater person in me, but I love the collaborative nature of the company. I write about a lot of different topics, and while our projects always have direction, it’s cool that there’s always someone I can reach out to for more information. No one leaves anyone hanging.

What excites you about your job?
Each new thing I write is kind of like a puzzle. Sometimes I have a picture that I’m working towards. Other times it’s like trying to find the right picture, AND THEN I have to solve the puzzle. It’s a different thing each time, so that’s exciting. Problem-solving is something I love doing, and I love it even more when the problem is actually solved.

What do you find most challenging about your role?
Taking industry information and conveying it in a way that’s accessible. At the same time, you don’t want to assume your audience can’t understand what you want to tell them. So it’s a dance to find the sweet spot between those two avenues because there’s a lot of information to get out. Taking it apart and putting it together in new rhythms is a puzzle to beat.

What are the values that drive you?
I’m driven by a desire to embody the world I want to see. Even the most ubiquitous things in the west can be problematic, unfortunately. Whether it’s unintentionally sexist, racist, or homophobic, I try to keep ahead of those things. For example, I don’t use certain words in either my personal use or in my writings. I think by making these changes for myself I can better embody the world I want to see.

How do you stay on top of your game?
I engage with a variety of mediums, from non-fiction history books to arthouse films to random conversations on the street. I think the more you engage with the world in its entirety, the better your skills become, and then you have more things to draw on to make decisions. As for writing specifically, I’m always looking for new ways to explore language and how we communicate. Just being at this job, I can tell I’ve changed a lot.

What drew you to tech and what excites you about the industry?
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t really drawn to tech. I have friends in the industry but the jargon has always made my head spin a little bit. But I like finding new avenues to tell stories and to connect with an audience. Tech is another way of telling unique stories. I’ve learned a lot on this journey, so I’m excited to learn more.

What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
I learned that dinosaurs are split into two groups: “lizard-hipped” and “bird-hipped.” Modern birds aren’t bird-hipped, they’re considered “lizard-hipped.”

If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
Probably Carlos, our Talent Acquisition Specialist. He was the first person I spoke with on my String and Key journey, and he’s the first face for a lot of people (myself included) coming into the company. I would love to swap places and do a bit of recruiting and speaking with potential candidates. I’ve done recruiting before, but I would love to see how Carlos makes it happen for S&K.

What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
The history and importance of Marvel Comics’ Hank Pym, AKA the first Ant-Man (also known as Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket). He’s my favorite superhero and because he’s been given a bad rap I will set the record straight. He’s one of the most consequential characters in the Marvel Universe, and there are so many things they can do with him. Wassup Marvel? If you’re looking for a writer, hit me up!

What keeps you busy outside of work?
My dog, Cleo. She keeps me busy with her many walks. She loves to play too, so she’s always got me doing something when I’m not on my computer. She’s an angel and I’d do anything for her.

Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#BlackHistory #Books #Mythology #Nerd #Writing

Lighting Round:

Talk with the animals or speak all foreign languages?
Speak all foreign languages.

Win the lottery or live twice as long?
Live twice as long.

Without the internet for a week or without your phone?
Without my phone.

Old-school rap or old-school reggae?
Old school reggae.

Be Batman or Superman?
Superman.

Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!

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