From TCK to PR Pro: How the Immigrant Journey Supercharges a Tech Communications Skill Set


I used to hate the “What’s your hometown?” question on social media because the answer was everywhere and nowhere at once. 

Born in Bahrain to an Irish mother (by way of London) and a Scottish father, my experiences aren’t always relatable. I played among date trees in Bahrain, lived in Dubai when it was primarily desert, spent 12 years in Dundee, Scotland (known only in the U.S. as the birthplace of Logan Roy), and lost a boot in the snow in Chicago when we lived there. Then, I ended up in New Jersey (of all places) at 16. I had (and still have) no identifiable accent, and when I became a U.S. Citizen in 2022, most of my friends didn’t even know I was an immigrant.

I’m what’s called a “third-culture kid” (TCK), someone who has spent a significant part of their developmental years outside their parents’ culture, integrating elements from various cultures into their identity.

For a long time, I resented being a TCK. But as my career progressed, I began to see it as a superpower. Growing up with a blended cultural perspective, distinct from my parents’ culture and the cultures I was raised in, has profoundly shaped my abilities. 

Here’s what I learned from being a TCK, and why a more global and adaptable perspective matters in today’s diverse and interconnected world.

Navigating Global Clients and Journalists 

A number of positive characteristics are often attributed to TCKs, such as international experience, open-mindedness, empathy, and flexibility. These are crucial to thrive in global industries like technology. (Fun fact: 55 percent of U.S. startups valued at $1B or greater have at least one immigrant founder.) These traits enable TCKs like me to navigate diverse environments that require worldwide collaboration and cultural sensitivity.

My experience has helped me understand my clients’ cultures when writing content for them, including how that might shape the way they look at tech. Importantly, it’s also let me foster real connections by just being myself—whether that’s bonding over baked beans or sports teams.

Embracing your global experiences can help build genuine connections and heighten your understanding of the diverse perspectives in your professional network: Authenticity is your strongest asset.

Turning Cultural Challenges into Strengths

I used to dislike the word “resilience,” but now it’s a testament to my ability to learn and adapt to new cultures and environments quickly, which allows me (and many others in tech) to grasp new concepts fast. This has enabled me to adapt to everything from plus-size fashion and tuna fish to cybersecurity, data encryption, and streaming graphs.

Being willing and able to quickly learn and apply new concepts makes you a versatile and valuable asset in any industry—but especially tech, where new technologies and ideas are constantly emerging. 

The Power of Cultural Intelligence in Public Relations

The cultural awareness I gained as a TCK helps me create messages that truly connect with diverse audiences, which is crucial in PR. It also makes empathizing—and therefore building solid relationships—with clients and stakeholders come naturally.

Anyone can draw on their unique life experiences to facilitate creative problem-solving, storytelling, and relationship-building.

Living the American Dream

As a first-generation immigrant and a TCK, I am incredibly proud to be living the American Dream: the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree, go on to get a master’s degree, and become a U.S. citizen.

I am deeply grateful for these diverse experiences, which not only enrich my life, but allow me to tell the stories of countless others—founders, thought leaders, and other professionals—who, like me, are embracing diversity, pursuing their dreams in tech and changing the world.