You’ve finished your Divemaster training, so now what? You have been assisting on courses, taken workshops, skill circuits, and been out diving with other DMT’s, but are you really ready to be out there on your own to lead customers or to conduct scuba reviews? Do you actually know what else is going on in a dive shop and what is expected of you as a full time Divemaster other than being in the water?
This is where the Divemaster internship comes in handy. Here’s why….
Fundivers and Scuba Reviews
During your internship you will take customers out in the water under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor or divemaster.
The main task as a divemaster will be taking customers out in the open water. Either you will lead them on a fundive or you will be conducting scuba reviews. During your divemaster training you might have simulated taking customers out with your fellow divemaster trainees. Maybe you solved a few assigned “problems” left or right. But in the end you have always been diving with “good” divers.
In the real world customers can be really unpredictable. Think about a customer that wants to keep diving after he/she reached 50 bar and simply refuses to go up. Think about a customer that freaks out every time he/she has to do a mask skill. Or even worse, panics every time he/she sees a 2cm big cleaner wrasse (this is a true story!).
During your internship you get to deal with such customers. In case you have a hard time handling the situation there will be an experienced instructor or divemaster nearby to assist you. Hopefully they don’t have to assist, but even then these instructors or divemaster can give you valuable feedback on how you handled the situation and how you might have done it differently!
During your internship you will yet again assist on another open water course and a rescue course. As a certified divemaster you are now qualified to demonstrate every skill done in these courses, rather than just sitting there and watching how an instructor does all the work or being used as the victim for a rescue scenario.
Did you master all your skills yet?? It is very convenient to have an experienced instructor by your side to help you when a customer looks clueless after your (not so) perfect demonstration. And yet again the instructors can give you valuable feedback on how you demonstrate your skills.
You will also assist on a EFR course. Are you interested in talking about medical stuff? This is your moment to find out.
The EFR course is the only non-diving related course that every dive pro has to do. Therefor it is possible to become an EFR instructor without becoming a diving instructor. As an EFR instructor you will be a great added value to a divecentre because you can take the pressure of other instructors in busy periods.
During your internship you will spend a day with one of the full time divemasters to clean equipment.
A good divecentre looks after its rental equipment. All gear will be washed after a daysof diving. But it is hard to clean diving equipment from the inside. Most divecentres will therefore periodically wash all equipment themselves. Most likely you as a divemaster will be responsible for this. During this cleaning process the gear will be partially disassembled so it can be inspected and cleaned from the inside in places that are normally hard to reach.
Also during your training to become a divemaster you will most likely have noticed that a lot of rental equipment has minor failures (small bubbles leaking from somewhere?!?). If not looked after this might cause a major problem. During your internship you will spend a day with one of the shops equipment technicians to see how they repair gear. This does not only give you a better inside in how diving equipment works, but maybe you might actually like tinkering with equipment.
If you do like tinkering with equipment you might look at doing your Equipment Specialist Course. Doing this course will be a major career boost! After this course you will much more valuable for a divecentre, because you can now repair and maintain the equipment!
During your internship you will work in the office for a day. Most divemasters like to be in the water and don’t want to worry about paperwork. But unfortunately with diving comes a lot of paperwork.
If you work in a big divecentre most likely there will be a fulltime member of staff to handle most of the administration for you. If you work at a smaller divecentre, most likely you will have to do the paperwork yourself. Either way it is good to know how the administration is done. Or you will have to do it yourself or you know how to help your co-workers in the office as efficiently as possible. It’s always good to be loved by the office people, in the end they make your schedule and they pay your salary!
During your internship you will spend half a day to see how social media works at a professional level and how this can get more customers into you divecentre.
These days social media is the most powerful tool to get customers to you divecentre. These days 99% of the customers will look at google, tripadvisor, facebook, twitter etc., before they walk into a divecentre. If you are not on there and your neighbour is, guess what divecentre they will walk in first. Therefore understanding social media is very useful for you as a divemaster.
If you are interested in social media or have some experience with using it, this may add value your CV over that of another CV because you know how to get the customers into the shop!
During your internship you will organize a clean-up day. This can either be a beach clean-up or a dive clean-up.
There are many articles already written about conservation, but it can’t be said enough, ocean pollution is a major issue! For some of us it’s hard to imagine, but in most countries in the world waste is either burned locally or being flooded into the ocean by streams and rivers. Plastic and glass especially are a major problem since it takes nature 100-1000 years to break these products down into reusable material.
You might not be able to solve this issue by yourself, but if you are aware of it, you can make the people around you and your customers aware of it. And then hopefully one day we can solve this problem together!!
My conclusion? A Divemaster Internship is a great way to extend your experience as a divemaster while getting useful feedback from experienced instructors and divemasters. Beside it gives you a good overview of what is expected of you when you start working as a fulltime divemaster.
Last but not least, it’s a great added value to your (still empty) CV as a new Divemaster!