Here are the stories of 3 PADI Pros who were once in your shoes, sitting behind a desk and excelling in corporate life. They made the decision to swap their office suit for a wetsuit, and literally dived into life as a PADI pro! Read on to find out more….
(from the PADI Blog)
I was working as in-house general counsel and treasurer for a New York City based real estate developer in the 1980’s. We built a high-rise in NY City and hundreds of single-family homes in the suburbs. I was working six days per week twelve hours per day.
I recognized that I needed better balance in my life and returned to California where I became a director of finance for a global wireless telecom for seven years. Again, I was working six days a week, failing at achieving the work/life balance I was hoping for. I transferred to an assignment based in Tokyo. Same workload, only more so, often seven days a week staring at a computer screen. At the end of the assignment, I knew it was time to finally get myself some sequential life balance.
At this point I was an Open Water Diver with very extensive dive experience.
Let’s become a Divemaster… it’ll be fun…
Eight months later – Divemaster…
Eight weeks later – Instructor…
Five months later – MSDT…
One month later – IDC Staff Instructor…
Soon thereafter – Master Instructor…
Now – Course Director.
Now, almost twenty years later, I teach people to teach people to have more fun. I have contracts with several PADI 5Star IDCs. I am a traveling Course Director. When I get on a plane to a tropical destination I smirk as I identify I am traveling for business.
I haven’t worn a business suit and tie since my corporate career ended; the only suit I wear is a wet or dry suit. The only time I set an alarm is to get to a plane or go to a dive site.
I’ve changed my avocation to my vocation and know that every dive is a fun dive, some are recreational and some are training – BUT ALL FUN.
My name is Pía Oyarzún and I studied Journalism in Chile. While I was in University I was very troubled because I knew it wasn’t the career for me and I couldn’t imagine myself being a journalist for the rest of my life.
When I graduated I got a job as Social Media Manager for an airline company. My daily routine was to reach work at 8 a.m. and start reading complaints and writing down reports. I would spend 10 hours seated everyday with just a white wall as background. I knew that wasn’t for me, so while I was working in the office through the week, on the weekends I started freelancing for a local dive shop in exchange for PADI courses. I got my PADI Advanced Open Water and I kept going, all of the way through to PADI Instructor.
Once I became an Instructor I quit my white-wall job and took the first flight to Brazil to start working as a PADI Instructor in one of the most amazing places in the world: Fernando de Noronha Island. While working as an instructor, I soon discovered a love for underwater photography and that is where my life became complete and I knew I found my passion and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. You’ll find me now, underwater with my camera – no more white walls!
My first breath underwater was back in 1992 but since then I became caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city and corporate life. It was in October 2015 that I went for a trip south of Egypt on the Red Sea and made a dive, then another, and then a night dive! I kept diving for a couple of days and then it finally struck me that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. So I started to plan! I went back to Cairo where I met with a very close friend of mine, who was also a very good PADI Instructor, to get to know what it takes to turn professional.
I took my Rescue Diver course as I was only Advanced Open Water certified at the time. But, at that time I was heading the Digital Department in one of the leading Digital companies in Egypt, before that I was consulting for Vodafone Egypt and leading the Social Media department in one of the Digital companies owned by Vodafone Egypt. My whole life up to this point had always been in the marketing and advertising industries. I had become a partner in one of Egypt’s most successful digital marketing companies but that wasn’t what I wanted to keep doing for the rest of my life.
In 2016 I finished my PADI Divemaster and one thing led to another… In 2018 I partnered with Mahmoud Eldeeb and we acquired a dive center that belonged to our Course Director – the one and only Mohamed Elshafie and before we knew it we had one of the leading PADI Dive Centers in Egypt and the only 5 Star IDC Center in Cairo!