Africa Region YPs Find Collaboration Works

The benefits and impact of effective collaboration were easily evident at the AAPG Young Professionals’ booth at the 2012 Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) conference, held Nov. 11-15 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Young Professionals (YPs), under the sponsorship of NAPE-AAPG YP, had a successful outing at the conference. The post-conference reflection exercise conducted by organizers and positive feedback received at the event demonstrated the strength of collaboration.

With AAPG present in many countries/regions and affiliated with strong regional societies, close collaboration is key to success – especially with the emergence of the Young Professional initiative, whose target audience is a major subset of AAPG’s focus.

Collaboration started in the early planning for the NAPE conference, allowing various competing programs with the same target audience to coexist.

The NAPE-AAPG YP focused on delivering quality programs and ensuring maximum participation from the conference attendees. This focus helped define the planning strategy for the program.

An inclusive agenda of activities was initially drawn, and then activities with similar objectives were eliminated or refined as necessary.

The culmination of this effort was a YP program that actively engaged students and young industry professionals while maintaining their interest and excitement.

This process delivered the much talked about Young Professional & Student Program at the NAPE conference, which included:

The YP Career Mentoring Session, which focused on delivering motivating speech sessions to students.

The session was intended for a broad audience and focused on themes such as careers with oil and gas operating companies and service companies, financial aid for further study, job hunting, interviewing tips and entrepreneurship.

The YP NAPE basin evaluation competition, which was designed to help university students utilize provided data sets to showcase their understanding of oil and gas field development activities.

The Barrel Odyssey activity ensured that the YPs and students enjoyed the process of networking by engaging various pre-selected company representatives at each booth.

This activity allowed participants to experience first-hand knowledge of the companies in attendance, understand how each company or organization fits into the oil and gas industry value-chain and, above all, experience a more rewarding and engaging conference.

The YP Meet-N-Greet event was well-attended, bringing together industry mentors and mentees to initiate and build relationships in an informal atmosphere. The mentors’ wealth of experience and knowledge was willingly shared with eager mentees in one-on-one or group discussions.

Judging by the participants’ feedback, the continuation of these events is warranted. The conference experience demonstrated not only the willingness and availability of YPs and students to participate in positive professional engagements, but also the generosity and commitment of more experienced geoscience professionals to share knowledge and develop mentoring relationships.

Given this outcome, the question that arises is whether all the YP- and student-targeted activities would have been possible with different organizing committees planning various events with similar themes in an already hectic conference schedule?

The answer: Probably not.

Success is what quality driven by collaboration ensures, and that we achieved for YPs and students at the NAPE conference.

To become a part of the YP in Africa, email Tunbosun Afolayan or visit the YP Committee page to contact your Region/Section representative.

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