- First of all, how are you and how are you dealing with the lockdown?
I am very good and getting fat hahaha, thank you………The lockdown? The best opportunity to put my passionate soul into many many hobbies and actually the time is passing faster than expected. Every day I have a thought for all those are not so fortunate like me, for all those who have lost beloved ones, for all the companies and freelances which have been affected from the lockdown.
- When did you first visit Skydive Spain and what did you do?
It was on 29th of June 2015, the day of my birthday, I arrived from Italy and I spent five days jumping with a Spanish friend of mine. I visited the Natural Park of Doñana, going out with the staff members and of course I visited Seville city.
- What would you say that caught your attention the most about Skydive Spain the first time you went to the dropzone?
Friendly, multicultural, safety, I felt like I was at home, and lots of beers 😉
- What did you do before working on the skydiving industry?
I started to work when I was 14 years old, because I wanted to be economically independent, and at the same time, I was going to school. The first dream I remember I had in my life was to be one of the first woman to be in the Italian Army, and guess what I wanted to become? A skydiver hahaha, actually in the Army they call it “Paratrooper”, it took three years of my life to understand that my freedom is worth more than money and I quit. Since then on I did many small jobs like cashier in a supermarket, hostess for events, shop assistant, just the last I mentioned caught my attention and I worked hard to become the manager of a shop for a big company “United Colors of Benetton”, I got it… but I was still feeling I’m not free to express myself naturally, I quit from this job and I started to pack in a small DZ in Sicily… from then on you know already my passionate story with skydiving.
- When did you start working at Skydive Spain and how did you decide to apply for your position?
One day I was unsatisfied about my work life and I decide to have a new challenge in my beloved skydiving world, desire to change my life, therefore I decided to apply my CV at Skydive Spain because of my beautiful memories as a customer and meanwhile I fell in love with our amazing and professional rigger.
Since the first time I stepped in the DZ, I said to myself: “I want to work here sooner or later”. After two years I got it, I remember the day like it was yesterday, the 27th November 2018 I started my training to acquire the basic administration tasks and from then on I never stopped to improve tasks and learn new ones till I started to run our Shop and deal with the manifest; now it’s one year and half working at SDS and I really love everything I do.
- How is a day like for Valentina at Skydive Spain?
My work day is a challenge to give the best experience to all of our beloved guests and staff members…….I arrive at the DZ office still sleeping hahaha but when it arrives the time to open the door I am ready to smile and receive everybody. From then on, every day is so different, it depends on which type of activity we have. If it’s a slow day I can jump too and recharge my batteries, agreeing with the office team. If it’s a busy day, I run run run and run till the end of the day; we have telephone, face-to-face and email service, but the best moment is when I can go up in the sky or a tandem customer come back into the office to hug me because I gave them a good advice, which is: “GO TO 15.000 ft/4.600mt”. What we want it’s just to offer them the best experience ever.
What do you like the most about your job?
Sharing my passion, laughing with people, give advice, hearing the aircraft going up and down, watching the smiles of everybody just after landing, talking all the languages I know, connecting with people, especially with my colleagues which are the ones I want be positive to, we all know it’s not always the best but at least we all try to be good to each other and I really like the mood in my workplace, thanks colleagues J
- If you had to give one piece of advice to skydivers that would ease the operational side of manifest, what would it be?
Keep calm and be patient please! We want you all in the sky as soon as possible and we work hard to run as smooth an operation as possible.
- What question do you receive most often and what’s the answer?
“Will the parachute open?”. I put a bigger smile than ever on my face and replay: “yes, but no worries, we even give you two parachutes” and being funny I do a small talk (I give further info) about the experience of our tandem instructors and the importance we give to the safety side of the activity in our DZ which is one of the most high level I found during the last eleven years, since I started working and jumping around DZ’s.
- What’s your hometown in Italy and what do you miss the most about it?
The beautiful Catania in Sicily, I miss my Mum, the sea and the view of the volcano Etna from my balcony, for the rest I am a citizen of the world, it’s my goal to feel happy everywhere, especially if I’m doing something I like, I know I will realize my dreams sooner or later.
- How was adapting to the Spanish lifestyle in Bollullos and what do you like the most about Spain?
Spanish and Italian are cousins…..hahaha…..from the south of Italy to the south of Spain, almost nothing changes. I can say I’m in love with Spain and the most I love, in this part of Andalucía, the long daylight, the days are so long that seems like I live two days in one, you can do so many things in a day, it’s just amazing.
- What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
Eating and drinking hahaha…..I’m kidding! It’s a long list: cooking, reading, physical activity, sewing, chat with friends and my family, meditating……and whatever makes me happy and relaxed. I am curious, therefore I don’t want to stop because the world is full of information.
- Can you share a secret that most people don’t know about yourself?
I am Wonder Woman, I just hid the tiara hahaha… I love you all but especially I deeply love my Mum, thank you for always being present in my life!!!
And thanks to all the people who trusted in me and helped me in many different ways to achieve my dreams.
- You mentioned you will realise what your dream is at some point, are you looking for it or do you have it on target already?
Yes, I mentioned I will realise my dreams sooner or later, one of them was to work at Skydive Spain. I have a few more which I’m working on… it is to grow my own small ecological garden, marry on the beach and bring my Mum to live close to me… and there are many others… I need to have a dream to work on every day, the more I have the more I’m going to be busy trying to achieve them.
Thank you Valentina!