Dear Overly Anxious Applicant

Dear Overly Anxious Applicant,

Let’s start from the very beginning. Imagine for me if you will, a girl, she’s just graduated with a fine art degree, wanting to be an artist but with no prospects of having a stable income. Couple that with having to move home and help with the family business. Let’s just say an overwhelming fear set in; that I’d never find the freedom I truly wanted.

As someone that was in full-time education for most of my life, I had a desire to do something completely different. Gaining my scuba qualifications in Hong Kong at the ripe age of ten, and having had a seven-year hiatus from diving, I could hear the siren call of scuba enticing me on a new adventure. I’d spend my evenings trawling the internet in search of a divemaster internship, somewhere far far away.

Having no clue where to begin, I sought the help of blogs. By the cover of night, I would sit on my window sill reading and re-reading ‘Cubicle Throwdown’, an honest and down to earth recount of Rika Royale’s decision to follow her dream of being free from the chains of a 9-5 desk job. I was almost convinced at this point that this is exactly what I had to do.

I’d been searching for about a year, an idle nag in the back of my mind telling me to get a move on. About a week before my birthday Facebook gave me the golden ticket I’d been looking for:

“Paradise Interns is looking for qualified candidates to live in paradise, gain invaluable marketing experience and dive every damn day.”

It almost sounded too good to be true. Hesitant as I was, I filled in the application and waited anxiously. Here goes nothing, but absolutely everything, all at the same time.

My anxiety was quelled during one of my endless scrolls through my Facebook news feed. Lo, and behold I found that Rika from Cubicle Throwdown shared the advert I had originally seen from Paradise Interns. Coincidence? I think not! Turns out Anna, the founder of Paradise Interns had helped Rika start her career as a digital nomad and dive master in Roatan. My decision was now set in stone. I wanted this more than anything.

With the relaxed way in which you go through the application process, set up meetings with Anna and within days receiving your intern onboarding brochure, it’s normal to want to question what exactly you just got yourself into. But have no fear, I promise it’s all worth it. As hard as it sounds, just go with the flow, listen to the advice given and stick to your guns. Once you’re here you’ll be wondering what there was to even worry about in the first place.

Based in Canggu, month one of the internship entails a whole lotta learning and immersing yourself in this new environment that is Indonesia. The way of life is different, the people are different, the transport is different, everything is entirely different and I was loving every minute of it. The marketing side of things is an informative course, if you pay attention and make your struggles known, you’ll be just fine.

Don’t get me wrong, adjusting to the realisation that you will be representing a real live brand, is kind of daunting. Being the sole caretaker of their image and reaching out to their potential audience is a lot of responsibility. You’re the internet gatekeeper of a dive shop that relies heavily on their web presence to gain recognition and an influx of potential customers.

That being said, it’s important to remember to have fun with it. You aren’t working for a big corporation, you can allow your own voice to shine through. After all, that’s why Anna selects us for these individual shops. Just remember to immerse yourself in the process, learn what you can and most importantly have fun.

Fast forward and I’m now three months into my internship and I’ve already learnt a helluva lot. I’ve met everyone that works at my dive shop, I understand how it all functions, and I have a clear idea of the kind of people they are, meaning that nailing their brand voice is a million times easier than I first thought it would be.

Every day is slightly different here in Komodo. It’s a mixture of diving, constantly engaging with new customers and spending time with the people at my dive shop. Ensuring you meet Anna’s social media targets and your own dive master studies is a carefully fine-tuned balancing act. Scrap that; I work when I can, I study when I can so that I can dive when I want. It’s all a matter of time management and knowing just how much you want to do a good job in all aspects of the internship and divemaster course. As much work as it is, I still get a bit of time for myself. I keep up with painting, my drawing and I explore the local colour as much as I can. All in all, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to jump ship and travel halfway across the globe to do this.

I know that to many, including my family, this may have seemed like a ridiculous decision; and I’m pretty sure they’re still not entirely sanguine about it. But for myself, I know I’ve found a path that I’m excited to follow.  In terms of the marketing knowledge that I’ve gained while being under Anna’s wing, I know that I’m going to be able to use this for my portfolio in the future to gain potential employment with other companies. Even though I’m only a short way through my divemaster course, I’m pretty convinced that I’ll keep going with the diving, get my IDC done and be able to teach; this was always the goal in the back of my mind.

Who knew that thanks to social media, I would be here interning on this tropical island and diving some of the best dive sites in the world. Finding paradise interns was an amalgamation of both sheer luck and some pretty amazing Facebook targeting on Anna’s part. I’ve only really just begun, but I already know that being on this internship has opened a lot of doors for me.


Your Not-So-Anxious-Anymore-Intern; Dawn