For the second consecutive year, AAPG’s Young Professionals (YP) Committee has conducted a survey to poll members on their perception of YP initiatives – and once again, it has allowed us to gauge our progress over the past year while providing a better understanding of our activities’ impact.
Some of the key observations are summarized in this article – and the information will give direction to the committee for the coming year.
The most encouraging conclusion was that answers to almost all questions improved dramatically, with an average year-on-year increase of nearly 30 percent. This is a testament to the hard work of YPs at all levels of the organization.
The questions that have seen the greatest positive change were all featured in our EXPLORER columns. These articles, which mainly cover the global organization of the Young Professionals and the role they play in the Association, have thus proven to be a valuable communication tool.
There is a clear demand for grassroots activities – and, judging by the survey results, these will be crucial for membership retention. We will continue to focus the committee’s efforts on this issue in the coming year by expanding our network of YP Chapters and by increasing our presence at Section/Region events.
People clearly are looking to the AAPG YPs for career advancement and networking opportunities. Our aim is to try and provide these where possible, such as at the ACE and ICE meetings.
Unfortunately, all of the results are not totally positive.
There is a powerful signal in the data that the value proposition of AAPG membership is not clear, nor is the classification transition from Student to Member.
It also became evident that our future focus needs to remain on the Sections/Regions – we need to make it more apparent how they are part of our global structure, because this is not currently understood.
Since the value proposition of AAPG membership is an issue that affects the Association membership as a whole, our findings will be conveyed to AAPG leadership. We hope to be able to highlight the benefits of membership more clearly in the near future.
To be sure, the transition from Student to Member is relatively straightforward. After graduation, the “Student-YP bridge” allows new graduates to continue paying student dues of $10 for an additional two years. By then, the one-year work experience required to upgrade to Member should have been accumulated.
Prospective Members also require three sponsors, two of which must be Members themselves.
As mentioned in previous EXPLORER articles, the Young Professionals Committee has representatives from all Sections and Regions. Here is their contact information or post to the AAPG Young Professionals Facebook page.
As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.
Best wishes for 2013 from the Young Professionals Committee!