Working Internship Program
The ‘Working Internship Program’ or Crystal ‘WIP’ as it is fondly referred to at Crystal Dive is a 10-14 day program aimed at allowing a newly qualified PADI Divemaster to complete a real work placement. This program pretty much covers everything a diving professional is expected to know and all the duties a dive professional is expected to be able to carry out at a busy PADI dive centre.
From conducting diving programs and activities (independently of Instructor supervision), to learning the systems, logistics and operations of the dive centre, you really are ‘let off the leash’. No longer a trainee, it’s time to put into practice everything I have learnt over the past 6 weeks or so.
It was now time to demonstrate I am a PADI Professional.
Let’s Get To Work
After a few days enjoying Koh Tao, I hadn’t realized how little of this beautiful island I had actually seen. So it was time for a few days off, fun diving with my fellow newly certified PADI Divemaster class mates, before refocusing on the task at hand; making myself as employable as possible.
Crystal Dive’s Working Internship Program is a great way to do this. On day one I felt like a newly certified PADI Divemaster, two weeks later I felt like a scuba diving professional. Confident in my knowledge, ability and skills to work independently as a PADI Divemaster and assured in my understanding of the inner workings of a busy PADI Dive centre to work as part of a highly motivated team.
I felt like I was now the complete PADI Professional, confident to work anywhere within the international scuba diving industry.
Keeping It Real..!!
The program is divided into several sections, all relevant to working within a full service PADI dive centre. I was required to complete each component, first under a staff member’s supervision, then independently. The independent tasks where completed under the direction of the Operations Manager, Neil Davidson.
Neil oversees the entire program and conducted daily feedback sessions with me which I found incredibly beneficial. He also employs the best candidates that complete the Working Internship Program onto his Divemaster team. ‘I must impress this guy’ I thought after Neil had conducted the WIP Orientation the evening before I started.
The diving components are all very straight forward. Conducting a PADI Scuba Review, leading certified divers on fun dives, and shadowing surface cover (boat management) where all modules I had completed during the PADI Divemaster course. I have to admit, conducting these duties the second time around, without direct supervision was really cool. I felt others trusted my ability. I was really starting to feel like a dive professional.
However the WIP wasn’t all about repetition and polishing off existing skills and abilities. Customer service duties in the office where both fun and challenging. Being shown how to use and operate the computerized system was interesting. Equipment maintenance and compressor operations where new to me so it was great to learn new cool stuff. I was now starting to feel like a real scuba diving professional.
Getting Paid Doing Something You Love
After the working Internship program I picked up some freelance work immediately. Neil had praised my performance and encouraged me to stay around until a full time working opportunity arose.
In the meantime he offered me some freelance work on a day to day basis. A bit like zero hours contracts in the UK…..but with a better backdrop and most certainly a better working environment!
I absolutely loved this. Finally, I reached my goal of becoming a PADI Pro. I was now earning money doing a job I loved!
Working for a DIY store in wet and windy Stoke on Trent seemed a lifetime away.
The Next Step
I decided pretty much after completing the working internship program that I would enroll on the next PADI Instructor Development Course which started in a week. There was an opportunity to take a position in the Divemaster team coming up and I felt it would be best, if I completed the PADI IDC, followed by the Instructor Internship to become a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer before taking up a full time position.
Almost all the Senior Instructors at Crystal had spent some time in the Divemaster team. The Operations Manager had been part of this team for 18 months. If it was good enough for him it was good enough for me. As a member of the Divemaster team at Crystal Dive, you get the opportunity to teach PADI courses regularly, as well as doing lots of other cool stuff which keeps the job varied.
Out came the books again. It was time to resume studying after a month of relaxing, diving and working.
It was time to become a PADI Instructor!
Author: Andy McEvoy (PADI MSDT)