Shy and introverted as a youngster, Monica never could have anticipated that her life’s work would involve the decidedly intense, customer-facing challenges she undertakes every day as a skydiving videographer. That said: She’s a superstar! Her work is truly beautiful, and our customers give Monica rave reviews every day she graces us with her talent. Here’s a little peek at the inner life of this beloved member of our team here at Skydive Orange.
“I never expected I would be working as a tandem videographer–and, now, a skydiving coach. Originally, I had planned on majoring in Biology and going into the medical field. I have since switched my gears. I’m currently pursuing a degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Development and Multimedia at George Mason University. I have been able to maintain my position on the Dean’s List at GMU for the last three semesters, so I am working hard to hold onto that. I’m also a part-time instructor at [indoor skydiving center] iFLY Loudoun, where I’m focusing on developing my flying skills.”
“My aunt Gigi has been a skydiver ever since I can remember, and my mom and I would always come down to the dropzone to visit her. When I was in high school, I got a job working at the Manifest desk at Skydive Orange. Since I had been visiting the dropzone from when I was little, it was like a second home to me. I always loved visiting my aunt and becoming friends with the instructors and the other skydivers that were around.
I did that until I could do my first tandem at 18. Once I landed from my first jump, I did not think I was going to go through the progression to get my license. It was an awesome experience, but with my shyness and introverted personality, I never thought I would do something as extreme as skydiving! But sure enough, a year later I began the journey to get my license.
“I was drawn to teaching because I always aspired to work alongside the instructors that taught me. I’ve known a lot of them from when I was running around the dropzone as a little kid, so I thought it would be great to pass on what I learned from them to others. It makes me really happy when I go over a dive flow with a student, and then they nail it when they’re in the air! I can see it when they know they’ve accomplished a new skill, and it makes me feel good knowing that I helped them achieve that.”
“As a skydiving student, I lacked a lot of confidence. I remember especially struggling with my exits and turns. However, with the instruction I received from multiple instructors, I was able to get everything signed off. The day I got my license was such a proud day.”
“Interacting with the tandem students is the most challenging part of my job. Especially because of how reserved and quiet I am, it requires me to step outside my comfort zone to do tandem videos. However, it is incredibly rewarding to capture these memories for students to hold on to forever. It’s hard to describe, but it is an amazing feeling when a nervous tandem student on the ground turns into an exhilarated tandem student falling through the sky.
In order to combat my shyness, I try to make the experience entirely about the student. I do that by asking them questions and trying to learn what I can about them. Some days are easier than others, but I relish the opportunity to grow, and I treasure the connections that I make.”
“As of right now, my main goal in skydiving is to develop my free-flying skills so that I’m at a high enough level to join the incredibly talented freefly groups at different skydiving events around the country. I am also looking to get my AFF rating so that I can take the knowledge that was passed on to me and pass that on to rising students”
“I feel extremely fortunate to call Skydive Orange my home. The people I have met here and befriended will always hold a place in my heart. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Skydive Orange, and I can’t wait to see what the future will hold.”
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.