Conducting PADI Divemaster Internships on Koh Tao, Thailand

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao
PADI Divemaster Skills workshop in the Buddha View pool, Koh Tao Thailand

My father once said, “if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.” I think this was the best advice I could have ever received, and I used it as a catalyst in finding my dream job as a dive instructor in paradise. Now working with students hoping to enter the professional world, just as I once had, I hope to inspire and help lead the way. Running the Dive Master program in one of the busiest dive schools in Thailand, has been an amazing experience so far. It definitely keeps me busy and there is never a dull moment.

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster Beach Clean up on Koh Tao, Thailand

My days are usually filled with workshops or lectures on diving theory. This allows me to have constant variety in my schedule, and the flexibility to try new things. Since I’m constantly working with divers of such a diverse background, I can easily adapt and change things to meet their needs. For example, if I know they have completed the workshop before, or have more experience under their belt, I can add new skills to challenge them. I always enjoy coming up with new ways to make my workshops as beneficial as possible for my candidates.

PADi Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster Skin Diving Workshop Koh Tao Thailand

Allowing myself to keep learning as well, definitely gives me an advantage in my own teachings. I was very excited to complete my Tech40 & Side mount course. Even though I’m teaching within a recreational scope, I can incorporate these skills in my workshops to make my candidates more knowledgeable and well-rounded. In Tech40, a large amount of time was given to dive planning. We calculated our own personal surface air consumption rate, then used a more conservative SAC rate, to figure out exactly how much gas we would need for each stage of our dive. Every single ascent and stop was planned in advance, and we were taught to follow it diligently. It was great to apply this concept to the Deep Dive Scenario workshop. I had the candidates collect data on their dive to calculate their own SAC rate, then use it to plan the second dive. Supervising the workshop in side mount configuration, allowed me to also act as an emergency drop tank, where my candidates could simulate emergency decompression, breathing out of my long hose. ( A great tip a I learned from my Tech Instructor Julien Fortin). The point is that the more we learn, the more we can pass down as teachers. Even if it doesn’t directly apply to you and what your are doing at that time, it will allow you to have a better understanding and respect for your trade.

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster certification Buddha View, Koh Tao Thailand

I hope to keep my candidates excited about diving, and allow them to continue to grow as I do. It’s an amazing feeling, to see how much someone can accomplish in such a short time. I remember how it felt to lead my first dive, and the pride that came with being a leader. I can see that feeling evolve in my own students, and I am glad to be a part of it.

Everyday I get to wake up and go to a job I love, in an office that constantly amazes me. Thanks for the great advice dad!

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster celebration at Buddha View Koh Tao, Thailand

Andrea’s Scubapro Equipment Training Expereience

SCUBAPRO PROSALES TRAINING

Scubapro equipment training
Andrea’s Scubapro Equipment Pro Sales certificate.

Living life as a professional diving Instructor, has allowed me to do some amazing things. The Scubapro Equipment Training Course, took me on an exciting adventure to the other side of Thailand. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned, not only now, but to everyone who is joining me in this amazing Industry.

Scubapro Equipment training
John and Andrea modeling the new Scubapro Hydros BCD

As a instructor, it is part of the job to help your students find the equipment that best suits them. This can a daunting task for most brand new instructors. I know myself felt the same way coming out of my own Instructor Course. The idea of selling, made me feel like a used car salesman. This is the exact stigma that we want to get away from.
Once completing the Scubapro Pro Training Course, I was certified as a Professional Equipment Advisor. This has given me the self-assurance to be truly confident in the equipment I’m recommending for my students.
The course was broken up into individual pieces of equipment over the span of four days. Not only did we go through the interworking’s of each piece, we also went through techniques on how to comfortably asses our customer’s needs. It was all about listening to what the customer really wanted, and finding the piece that benefitted them best. Since we had spent so much time looking at all the features and characteristics of the equipment, I found it incredibly easy to take each feature, and personally connect it to a variety of customers and students.

Scubapro Equipment training
John Seddon presenting Scubapro regulators

I think what we can really take from this course, is that you are never really selling if you understand and believe in your product. I was excited about the equipment line myself, and could see how so many pieces benefitted me as a professional diver. My biggest mistake when purchasing my own personal equipment, was not understanding what I needed, and what I could need in the future. I limited myself to equipment that suited me at that moment, and did not grow with me as I continued to move forward. I now know, I will not make that mistake again, and will not allow this to happen to my students.

Scubapro Equipment training
Scubapro Equipment catalogue

What is great, is Dive-Careers, will now be offering this seminar on every Instructor Development Course. I am optimistic that all new diving professionals will enjoy it the same way I have. It will hopefully allow them to have more confidence in the future, while advising new students. As divers, it is our responsibility to keeping growing and learning every single day. I can not wait to continue to work with Scubapro, and learn more about the equipment that will help me grow into the diving professional I truly want to be.

Laura Becoming an Instructor on Koh Tao

Another day, another dive… another day of pinching myself to see if this is all some crazy dream!
Arriving in Koh Tao 6 months ago I couldn’t have dreamed that by now I’d be a fully fledged PADI instructor embarking on my MSDT internship. This is me living the dream with my first open water student!

The buzz of getting someone from zero to diver is awesome! Beginning the practical aspect of my MSDT was great thanks to Jesper who let me observe him so I could fine tune my academics and see a master at work, learnt some of his famous dive jokes too… shamefully I now use them with my students!

Working with the DMTs on their workshops has been a blast. Andrea Warren, once my Divemaster Trainer, has shown me the ropes and I now feel confident taking the team out on my own. A great bunch of people who love diving just as much as I do! Here’s some of the gang after their snorkeling and skin diving workshop. Led by me!

laura blog ie

When I contacted Dive-Careers about coming to do the Divemaster course I thought it sounded too good to be true… I can dive as much as I want? I can assist instructors if and when I feel like it? I can come to any lectures or workshops when it suits me? What?… there had to be a catch… nope, it was for real and I ended up extending my trip because I was having so much fun and my diving was getting better and better.

Four months down the line I was ready for another challenge, I heard Mark Soworka was back in town for the IDC so I went for it! The course was busy and exciting. Most days we laughed til we cried, our team was awesome. Here we are celebrating, having smashed our instructor exams.

laura blog pool idc

The logical next step for me was to begin my MSDT Internship so that I could continue diving with Buddha View, attend lectures and specialty workshops with Bas van Riemsdyk and Marie-Lise Roux and ultimately increase my employability by being able to teach specialties. So far it’s been awesome, combining freelancing and learning with the full support of the Dive-Careers and Buddha View teams. Absolutely living the dream and loving every minute!