City’s Journalism alumna Miki Garcia (International Journalism, 1998) has pursued a successful and fascinating career in the sector, having utilised her time as a student at City to ensure that she takes away all she could from the course. Miki interned at Reuters and persistently carved out her spot in the industry. Having already written about humanitarian topics before starting her course in City, Miki had more than enough experience and passion to follow her professional dreams – this saw her living in locations all around the world. In time Miki developed into an academic researcher and a freelance consultant, dealing with topics like Brexit, world wars, cancer immunotherapy etc.
She has written and published several books relating to the Irish Diaspora as Irish history is her lifelong passion. The Caribbean Irish: How the Slave Myth was Made is one of the products of this passion. The latest in Miki’s collection of 6 publications Caribbean Irish explores the little known fact that the Irish were amongst the earliest settlers in the Caribbean and poses the question, were the Irish people there slaves?
Find out more about Miki and how she came to publish this thoroughly researched historical gem below:
Can you tell me about your time at City?
If my life was a book, the year at City would be one of the most exciting and gripping chapters. I enjoyed and learned immensely. Some of the highlights were that I did my internship at the Reuters’ equities desk/Alertnet and the Independent’s foreign desk. I am so grateful for all the support I received from my classmates and lecturers, and especially I feel privileged to have known late Colin Bickler – Reuter’s veteran war correspondent and human rights advocate – and to call him my mentor. I still vividly remember one of his lectures about abuses of power in real-world contexts. I kept in touch with him and he continued to give me career advice. He was such an inspiration to me.
What happened after you graduated?
I stayed at Alertnet for a while. They had just launched this relief news website. Before I went to City, I had already been writing about human rights issues in Rwanda, Myanmar and the Philippines, so Alertnet was a great place to be. But my dream was to work as a foreign correspondent so I went to work for local newspapers and magazines in Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan and the US. I currently work as a freelance consultant and an academic researcher. I still research, interview people and write – so basically what I am doing is still the same but a bit more in-depth research and I absolutely love it. I also write books.
How did your latest book come about?
I’ve been writing on the Irish Diaspora for many years and have published several books about it. Before City, I did some volunteer work for street workers and people in the Kings Cross area. There were lots of Irish people sleeping rough in the 1990s and the IRA was bombing all over England. To clear so many whys, I immersed myself in Irish history, language and all the rest of it. The Irish Diaspora is truly unique because it was not a one-time event in history but it occurred across centuries and continents involving diverse individuals. I have a lifelong passion for Irish history.
When I started out as a journalist, the internet wasn’t ubiquitous yet. The internet has eventually destroyed the traditional newspaper business/journalism practices. But of course, the internet has lots of advantages. The most rewarding experience (as a journalist/author) is that I receive thank you messages online from all across the world. This truly makes my life worth living. Also, I love talking to people and I feel so privileged to meet notable historical figures and brave individuals – from Henry Kissinger and Gerry Adams to wives of the Taliban and displaced people across the globe.
What has been the most challenging experience?
I had to be immune to rejection.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Attending a course is a brilliant idea. City opened so many doors of opportunity for me. Also, I always bump into City-grad journalists in all corners of the world. But just like Steve Jobs said, the most important thing in life is: ‘you’ve got to find what you love’.
Thank you to Miki for sharing her story!