The AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) in Pittsburgh is just around the corner – and whether this is your first convention or your 20th, I urge you to consider participating in the YP Meet-N-Greet.
This year’s event will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center – adjacent to the site of this year’s Imperial Barrel Award celebration and the convention’s opening session.
This year’s event also marks the fifth year the Meet-N-Greet has taken place, and it has proven to be a valuable experience for all who attend.
At the Meet-N-Greet, Young Professionals – mentees – are grouped with experienced AAPG attendee mentors, who serve as guides to convention newcomers. Participants are then encouraged to attend both the opening session and Icebreaker as a group, with mentors introducing their mentees to other AAPG members and their colleagues.
Clearly, mentees benefit from the opportunity to speak with mentors outside of their school or company.
AAPG elected Secretary Denise Cox, who has participated as a mentor at both ACE and International Conference and Exhibition events, mentioned that many of her past mentees made comments like, “I really appreciate you being straight with me. No one else was giving me the information I needed.”
The Meet-N-Greet also is a great way to get the inside scoop on the industry and AAPG from experienced professionals, as well as meet AAPG leadership in a relaxed atmosphere before the convention program begins.
Many mentees have seen their relationship with their mentors last well beyond the Meet-N-Greet – and even beyond the convention. Spencer Rolfs, a student at California State University, Fresno, contacts his mentor, past AAPG president Scott Tinker, whenever he needs advice on academic or career goals.
“To have access to such an influential person has been great, to say the least,” Rolfs said, “and on more than one occasion he has helped me out tremendously.”
Tinker, who has participated as a mentor at the Meet-N-Greet for several years, said “YPs are the future of AAPG, and that is a future I am committed to.”
The YP Meet-N-Greet is not only beneficial for the mentees – past mentors also have expressed how rewarding it was to connect with the future of the industry and AAPG.
Cox, for example, finds it very rewarding to follow students from academia to industry to leadership positions in AAPG.
“As a small independent, they help me stay connected with a global oil and gas industry,” she said. “As an AAPG member, they make me proud.”
Whether as a mentee or a mentor, past participants agree the YP Meet-N-Greet is a fantastic experience that helps to make the convention less intimidating and overwhelming to new attendees. It helps to put a face on AAPG, and it’s an opportunity for students and YPs to interact with industry and Association leaders – and for our organization’s leaders to get energized by the next generation.
Take the opportunity to participate in the Meet-N-Greet and you will be amazed at how rewarding and valuable connections and friendships made at ACE will last your entire career.
See you in Pittsburgh!
Jonathan Allen is Pacific Section lead of AAPG’s Young Professionals Committee.