It’s been a good year for outgoing chair Nick Lagrilliere and his team of AAPG Young Professionals, who made their focus finding ways to grow YP chapters in industry hubs around the world.
They have made great strides in involving the up and coming generation in the decision making process, Lagrilliere says.
And in return for their efforts the YPs have successfully strengthened their relationship with the AAPG Executive Committee, the House of Delegates, the Divisions and many other standing committees.
Lagrilliere assures that this is just the beginning; the YPs now are brainstorming ways to retain students and young professionals in the AAPG organization post graduation.
“Every year we lose a huge percentage of our student membership after they graduate,” said Lagrilliere, whose day job is with Maersk Oil in Copenhagen, Denmark. “In addition to that, a large proportion of the members that we do retain end up in the Associate category even though they have the required one year of work experience and a geosciences degree.”
Although many factors could be to blame for this pattern, Lagrilliere has his own opinion on the causes.
“To some extent I’m sure it is simply a matter of people choosing to pursue a career outside the oil industry after graduation,” he said, “and, of course, there is an element of people not realizing the importance of being part of a professional organization early on in their careers.”
Lagrilliere believes there is something AAPG can do about ensuring better retention rates among young members: “The YPs have begun brainstorming ways to show their existing members the benefit of full membership,” he said.
The first incentive, “Student/YP Bridge,” allows YPs to pay the student membership dues rate for up to two years after their graduation.
“We hope this will encourage them to maintain their membership during those first years in the industry,” Lagrilliere said.
“YP is a great way to meet people and expand your network, pick up skills, gain a better understanding of what’s available to you in AAPG, and, of course have fun while doing all that,” Lagrilliere said.
“Joining the industry can be a quite daunting experience,” he added, “and we hope to kick-start people’s careers by easing the transition from student to industry professional.”