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Interview with Benja, Course Director at Dressel Divers Punta Cana

Benjamin, or Benja to friends, is a young but experienced Dive Instructor from Almeria, Spain. He currently works as Course Director at Dressel Divers Punta Cana, on his return to work for Dressel.

Recently, we visited him in Punta Cana to interview him and for you to get to know him a little better. Benja has told us about his other hobbies, about his best experiences diving and he has also given us some nice scuba tips. Don’t miss it!

1. At what age did you start diving?

My first dive was in Almeria, Spain when I was 19 years old.

2. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

The most amazing dive I ever did was in Sharm el-sheik Egypt, a couple of months ago.

It is an amazing wreck dive and the name is Thislegorm. It’s a wreck from the 2 world war, filled with motorbikes, tanks and a couple of locomotives that went far from the boat when the plane drop the bombs that sink the Thislegorm.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

Well, the truth is that I had never given any thought to becoming a dive professional until I did my first dive. From the moment I went out from the water, with the biggest smile you can have, I realized that this activity was full of possibilities, with a never-ending training scope to keep improving, and scuba diving became my passion and my business altogether.

 4. Where did you do your Instructor Course?

My IDC was in Spain, in October of 2010, with one of the oldest Course Directors from Argentina, Fernando Orri.

After, the same year, I did my instructor exam in Marbella.

5. What qualities do you think a Dive Instructor needs to be successful?

Well, there are a lot of qualities that are really important in this activity, but the most important ones for the instructors I believe are the next ones:

A. – Maintain good communication skills,

A successful teacher is one that is able to build a rapport with his /her students, one that can easily connect with his learners and feel their needs as individuals. Open and clear communication is the key to develop a healthy friendly learning atmosphere inside your class.

B. – Give room to individualized learning

Not all students are equal in their comprehensive power. Students learn in different ways, some students are slow learners and others are quick, some are kinaesthetic ( learn by experience or doing ) others are auditory or visual. Keep these considerations in your mind and do your best to tend to every kind of learner you might have in your class.

C. – Love your subject/ job

The best way to get students interested in your subject is to love it so much that your passion for the field shows in your attitude. Students positively respond to authenticity. And as Abraham Lincoln once said, ” Love the job you do and you will never have to work a day “.

6. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Never be afraid to ask your guide or instructor questions, no matter how silly they might seem. Remember, everyone started as a beginner once, and it’s better to dive with confidence instead of confusion.

7. What is your most memorable moment with students?

The most amazing experience was participating in an IDC (Instructor Development Course),

When I have a senior 70 years old, and I will never forget the joy of him when he finished the course, and then he completed the exam positively, I have never seen so much joy in my life, and that made me understand that is never too late to realize your dreams.

 8. Why would you recommend Dressel Divers to new students?

Safety should be your number one concern when choosing a dive school.

A safe dive school maintains a low student-to-instructor ratio and communicates clearly with its students and I believe that we are really exceptional in those areas.

Getting your open water certificate takes three full days of training or longer, so you’ll want to be somewhere both comfortable and memorable.

9. How long have you been in Dressel Divers?

I have been working in Dressel Divers on 3 different occasions.

The first time was in 2013 in Dressel Divers Punta Cana, and I remain working here for 9 months, and then I wanted to see new places so I decided to change the country to new horizons.

Then in 2017, I came back to Dressel Divers Punta Cana, and after a few months, I was transferred to Dressel Divers Bayahibe, where I became Dive Boss.

So I will say that I have worked with Dressel for 3 years more or less.

 

10. What features and opportunities made you choose to work with this company in particular?

Well, as in every business, you always want to work with the biggest companies. They are more reliable, and also in terms of security and maintaining the PADI standard, this last one is the most important working as Dive Instructor.

 11. Which Dressel Divers dive center would you like to go next if the opportunity arises?

I’d love to visit Mexico, special Cozumel because I would like to have the experience of working on the island, and have the opportunity to visit the country. Mexico and its culture are on my bucket list of countries to visit.

12. What is the best advice you would give to someone who wants to make a living with scuba diving?

Well by my own experience, I will say that you should look for a place where you can work all year with the same flow of costumer, and try to avoid cold places, because they are more expensive to realize the activity, in terms of equipment.

13. What are your other hobbies? What do you do on your day off here in Punta Cana?

I am a quiet person, in my day here in Punta Cana, I normally do the groceries for the week and maybe go to the cinema or to the beach.

My other hobby will be photography, I study this when I was in school, and I like to practice sometime.

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