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Why Do I Volunteer?

Published
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

I was recently asked what motivates me to volunteer for the AAPG. At first, I thought of the many benefits the AAPG has to offer. Is it the access to renowned literature and technical resources? Perhaps. Is it the chance to network and grow in a community of like-minded individuals? Definitely a deciding factor. But the more I thought about it, I realized I volunteer to make an impact. I want to ensure that I have the chance to impact students and young professional's lives the way mine has been by the AAPG, and the many members it comprises. To really understand this, I’d like to tell you the story of my introduction to the AAPG.

In 2013, without any real previous knowledge of the AAPG or the petroleum industry in general, I decided to take part in the Imperial Barrel Award. Upon beginning the project (with zero presentation or networking skills), I instantly became enthralled by the science, the way of thinking, and the entire industry. Fast forward to the Canada Region Competition, low and behold, our team won! I not only gained valuable presentation skills but discovered the value in networking and the relationships it could foster. That summer, our team was sent to the AAPG ACE in Pittsburgh. This experience allowed me to grow that very network I had begun in Calgary and meet some industry professionals and students, many of whom I still look to for advice today.

Later that summer, I got invited to the AAPG SCLS and AAPG Leadership Days in Tulsa. It was here that I encountered a woman who invoked the greatest impact on me and who I like to call my inspiration for volunteering. One night at dinner, I met an amazing woman who, at the time, was the president of the AWG. Her passion and priceless advice and guidance, given freely to a student she had just met, ignited my flame and set me on the path that led me where I am today. I immediately went back to my university, began volunteering with my student chapter, and eventually became president. Through the following years as a student and young professional, the AAPG has provided me with opportunities to build my professional network, complete meaningful research through financial support with a Grant-in-Aid, and endless possibilities to grow as a geoscientist.

Fast forward to the fall of 2018, I attended the Student Chapter/Young Professional Leadership Summit as the Canada Region Student Chapter Liaison. Here I met then president Denise Cox who, as a complete shock to me, remembered the timid, young girl she had met 5 years prior. I was thrilled to be able to tell her my story and to thank her for inspiring me to grow within the organization. Her devotion to the association and passion for empowering its members reminded me of what drew me to the AAPG in the first place; not just the science or the ever-evolving industry, but the people. The amazing group of like-minded individuals working together to advance our science, foster research, and empower one another. So, why do I volunteer with the AAPG? To make an impact and to show students just how much this organization has to offer.

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