AAPG has had a long-standing commitment to gaining and retaining members, but until the early 2000s there was little representation of the newest geoscience professionals.
The creation of the AAPG Young Professionals (YP) Committee addressed this need, and the committee began the effort to help bridge the critical gap from Student to professional membership, as well as finding ways to represent early career geoscientists.
With 39 percent of new AAPG members over the last 12 months being under the age of 30, this demographic is as important as ever.
After a hiatus in YP activity, the committee reformed in 2008 under the leadership of Natasha Rigg, with the goal of substantially building on the progress of the early committee efforts. Her first task was to assemble a new committee of dedicated and enthusiastic YPs and formulate a fresh YP mission to:
- Foster a challenging and successful career in the energy business for recent college graduates and early career geoscientists.
- Build an understanding of the value of a lasting relationship between AAPG and young professional members.
Accomplishing this mission requires:
- Open communication with students about careers in earth science and the petroleum industry.
- Identifying and serving early career needs of young geoscientists.
- Offering opportunities for networking, career guidance, learning and enhancing professional competence.
Early committee successes include the establishment of regional YP representation in the United States to complement the AAPG Regional Sections; executing a well-received student “Meet ‘n’ Greet” at the 2009 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver; and development of ambitious plans for the future.
Going Global …
A major part of fulfilling the YP’s mission vision will include a rapidly growing pool of international YPs.
An innovative outreach program includes multimedia exposure via Facebook, YouTube and the AAPG Web page to tap into the extended network of YPs. The reward is an increased voice of YPs and students across the United States and beyond.
With new YP committee members already involved in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the future looks bright.
But what are the specific, tangible goals for a fledgling global network?
… Working Local
With a boots-on-the-ground approach in the represented regions, the YPs are primed to make a difference.
In addition to guiding graduating students as they negotiate their way to professional membership, and offering local networking opportunities and career guidance, the YPs are going beyond the basics.
AAPGers are working with other societies and associations to organize local recreational activities, attend sporting events and perform community service – a model of collaboration that has worked well and continues to grow.
YPs with English as a second language will benefit from planned technical writing courses, and implementation of a local speaker series is under way for well-needed outreach to the non-geoscience community.
The Road Ahead: ACE 2010
Some of the best places to see the YP Committee in action are the AAPG conventions, exhibitions and student expos – and after our successful presence at the 2009 ACE in Denver and the recent Student Expo in Houston, the YPs have much planned for New Orleans this month.
Notably, the second annual Student and Professional Meet ‘n’ Greet will be held Sunday, April 11, at the New Orleans ACE – an exciting event offering a networking opportunity for students and professionals.
Let’s face it – a student’s first convention can be rather daunting. We hope to provide a venue for students to meet professionals from all corners of the petroleum industry and foster professional relationships that last through the convention and beyond.
The Meet ‘n’ Greet will take place in two parts:
- Before the opening session, at 2 p.m., all participants will meet in room 352 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (one floor above the La Nouvelle Orleans ballroom – look for signage). From there, we’ll head down as a group to the 4 p.m. opening session.
- After the opening session we’ll meet in the Exhibit Hall at the Student/YP hub, where we’ll be mingling and raffling off great prizes.
This event is open to students, young professional and industry professionals. We’ll be e-mailing the sign-up details soon.
Please plan on attending one or all of these great networking opportunities.
Watch for new bios at the YP Committee’s Web linkand look for the YPs at the AAPG convention this month in New Orleans.