The AAPG Young Professionals Leadership Summit (YPLS) was held in Snowbird, Utah in August in conjunction with the 34th annual AAPG Leadership Days, and was chaired by Jonathan Allen and Meredith Faber.
I was absolutely thrilled to be invited and selected by the AAPG YP committee to be part of the AAPG YPLS event with the other 18 young professionals from other Regions and Sections. In fact, it was my first time attending an AAPG related organised event outside my country, let alone travelling 20 hours all the way to Snowbird, Utah to attend this highly prestigious AAPG event!
The YPLS two-day event mainly consisted of group discussions and mini workshops. The first day, Jonathan and Meredith conducted a mini workshop for the participants. They gave a very detailed explanation from everything related to AAPG Young Professionals in terms of YP handbooks, AAPG values, website and budget overview, which was really helpful for us, AAPG YP leaders, to have a better understanding of how to run the organization.
The second day, the workshop continued and was followed by more frequent discussion sessions among the participants. Some of the excellent topics for the discussion group were: How to retain students for AAPG after their graduation and also challenges faced by AAPG YP running events from respective Regions and Sections. Besides, it was really great that head representatives of the Regions sat down and had a mentoring session with all the YP participants to work on the challenges faced in different Regions.
The third day, the 34th annual AAPG Leadership Days officially kicked off. The AAPG YP participants were invited to join the main event with the main delegates as well. AAPG President Randi Martinsen gave an excellent welcoming speech. Jay Barney, professor from the School of Business at University of Utah, gave a wonderful talk on a business study case. All participants attended the pre-field trip lecture overview by Ron Harris about the geology of Albion. After the lecture, we set off on a hiking field trip to Albion Canyon. It was an excellent hike, with amazing scenery on top of the mountain. That evening we had a stargazing lecture from Katie Densley. We were very lucky on that night as we got to observe the full moon and stargazing using the powerful telescope provided by Katie.
The final day of the event, the AAPG YP participants were invited to attend the overview of all the report updates from various committees such as the House of Delegates report, headquarters report, as well as update reports for student chapters and young professionals.
Overall, it was an eye-opening experience for me and most of AAPG YP participants, as I believe most were attending the YPLS event for the very first time. The major outcome of the YPLS event is that I managed to understand the processes and key persons in AAPG headquarters much better and also got to network with other young professionals from various Regions and Sections around the world. The YPLS certainly helped and provided me a lot of guidance to run AAPG events for my local YP chapter in Kuala Lumpur in the future. Many thanks to Reetu Ragini, Asia Pacific YP coordinator, and Adrienne Pereira for supporting the KL YP chapter.