Alessandra Sicilia is the manager of TGI Diving, with three PADI Dive Centers in Egypt and a total of 12 around the world. PADI Regional Mananger Jonas Samuelsson interviewed her in the run up to the PADI Women’s Dive Day…
I always felt attracted by the diving world, but because of an earlier surgery, I was told I would never be able to equalize. However in 2001 thanks to the passion of a PADI Instructor and a second opinion from a MD who was specialized in diving I was good to go. I had not problems to equalize and I was feeling more free than with my feet on the ground. I never stopped since that day. PADI Open Water Diver led to Advanced Open Water Diver and within 5 months I was a PADI Divemaster. Diving became my life, part of my soul. That first confined dive was truly life changing for me.
Current position in diving?
I am the Area, Technical and Training Manager for TGI Diving Red Sea. My professional diving level is PADI Master Instructor.
Tips to someone who is thinking about a career in diving?
Well knowing how to dive is not enough to be successful. You need to have many other trades like a good understanding of logistics, accounting, customer care, updated and a great understanding of the importance of protecting our environment and its ecosystem.
Favourite part of working in diving?
From my point of view is to see colleagues and students grow under my management. To be able to be in charge of a company that touches the heart of so many people. To see previous Open Water Divers grow and become employed in the same shop as a diving instructor where they learned how to dive – its priceless.
Any dream dive you aspire to?
A lot actually! From the South African Sardine Run, to the Malaysian Borneo, but my biggest dream is to bump into a humpback whale passing by during a dive…
What would the next course in diving be?
For several years I have been dreaming about becoming a PADI Course Director, but due to work commitments and daily management I did not have a chance yet, but 2016 is my year! To be able to change someone’s life by teaching them to become a diving instructor and give the person a career in the most amazing industry on the planet is my next goal.
In addition of being blonde, Italian and pretty cool you mean? I had to be very committed to my career to be successful. Keep yourself updated, take new courses and be pretty firm. Attitude is the most important part of an instructors attributes however. You need to remember how it was the first time you went SCUBA and to show empathy and patience during each course. Make sure that each course you teach is the best one you ever taught and build a rapport with your student during the training.
What is the next step in your career?
PADI CDTC (Course Director Training Course) during 2016 and to establish Professional courses in both our shop in Marsa Alam and in El Gouna. I am dreaming of making TGI into a PADI CDC Center. This is an ambitious goal but with the team I work with all around the Red Sea area I am certain we will reach there in the near future.
My best moments in diving is when I go diving with my husband Lollo. Lollo and I work together and we share the love for diving. Each chance we get we go for a dive together. How many people can say that when they go with their family on a holiday they do exactly the same thing during their holidays as when they work. I consider myself so lucky to choose this path. Choose to work with something you love and you never work another day in your life.
Thank you Alessandra for taking the time by answering a few questions. You are an inspiration for divers all around the world.
Thank you Jonas!