Life as an Intern in Sodwana Bay- Part 1
You have now made the decision that you want to become a Dive master or maybe even an Instructor. You have done your research and decided that carrying out an internship is the best way to go about it. This is great, but now let me tell you what an internship in diving at Adventure Mania is really all about.
An internship is an opportunity to gain work experience in an organization and have a real life experience to understanding how the operation actually runs. With the diving industry it is exactly the same. Yes, the main focus is to go through all your dive courses and successfully meet all the requirements to become an instructor but it is not just that. The diving operation is not just about the ocean dives. Have you ever asked yourself where does all the gear, boat, tractor, etc. go at the end of the day? Have you ever wondered what a normal day of the staff looks like? Do you know where and how the cylinders you used on your dives have been filled? There is so much behind the scenes of just the simple launch at the beach. As an intern you will very soon come to know all the answers to these questions.
Diving is clearly the main reason why you decided to do an internship and Sodwana Bay is very well known for the stunning and incredible reef it has. But it’s not just about the reef. The conditions in Sodwana Bay are for the majority very good. North to south current, great visibility and short boat rides. It is as incredible as it can become challenging. As part of your internship you will learn to dive in different conditions that will prepare you for any type of conditions following your experience here. I personally experienced this myself. I went back to Italy for a while and worked in a dive centre. The operations are completely different but in numerous occasions I realized how my experience here at Adventure Mania prepared me to handle different situations. I was once complimented on my navigation skills and my abilities to read the current and plan accordingly in the moment. I then realized that Sodwana is a challenging dive site. There are days where you have swell, surge, and reverse current, different currents at the surface compared to the bottom. The training for the DM’s here, prepares you to comfortably and safely be able to lead a dive in any weather condition.
Adventure Mania has very high teaching and quality standards. Whether you are a customer wanting to do simply a Try Scuba Diving or you want to get your instructors’ certification, the same effort, passion and time will be put into your learning. Throughout your courses you will be given classes and have course material to study. There is no fixed time for studying. Every day is different from another. There will be days where you won’t get a chance to work on your academics and maybe a week where you are just going to have class time. No worries though, you will arrive at your ITC incredibly prepared. You will feel up to the very end that you are not ready but then realize that you actually know much more than what you think. You will realize that for most topics you will study, you have real life experience to associate it with.
Class and diving are not everything. You will also gain experience in the shop. You will learn more about customer service, selling techniques, billing, transfers etc. You will see your personality change. You will be the face of Adventure Mania the whole time. You will deal with incredible people as well as difficult customers. Your problem solving skills will improve. You will be empowered to take responsibilities and actions.
As I mentioned previously you will be an all-rounder meaning that you will be taught to fill cylinders, drive the tractor, and drive all the business cars, fix equipment, paint, and build material needed for the business. Everything you will do serves a purpose, which you might not quite grasp the utility or benefit then, but one day it will all be clear. Sodwana is located in a remote area. It is not easy to replace broken things or also simple things like go grocery shopping. “MAKE A PLAN” will become your motto for situations where the solution is not simply around the corner. You will grow in every single aspect and you will have the chance to see the results of your hard work.
So where is all the fun? Adventure Mania is a small business the long working hours make it become your second home. No worries, we love braais, day trips and team building activities. Furthermore, you can’t really complain when your work place is the beach. The team is growing and each member has his own personality. We love new people and since day 1 we will make sure that you know what is happening and make you feel welcome. “We are all in the same boat”.
This is not just an internship. This is a new beginning.
“When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself” – Jacques Yves Cousteau