For the fourth consecutive year, the Young Professionals Leadership Summit (YPLS) was organized prior to AAPG Leadership Days, which this year was held recently in Tulsa.
This year’s event brought together 22 YPs from various Sections and Regions – and from a variety of companies – to discuss the way forward for YP initiatives in AAPG.
At the core of the YPLS program were the breakout sessions, in which the YPs discussed, with great enthusiasm, topics such as “AAPG’s value proposition” and the “Young Professionals Committee mission, vision and goals.”
The results of these were then carried forward as an answer to a question posed to the Young Professionals Committee by President Lee Krystinik at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition earlier this year in Pittsburgh, when he petitioned the YPs to identify key issues they would like him to address.
The issues identified by the YPLS attendees were:
♦ The Association needs to improve its marketing strategy and keep abreast of new technology in order to stay relevant.
As AAPG Executive Director David Curtiss, commented, “Ensuring that AAPG remains relevant is our primary focus, and the productive results from the YP Leadership Summit will help the Association do just that.”
Providing targeted and consolidated email about AAPG events and services will help optimize information exchange.
♦ We currently do not have the tools for the job. We are struggling with our website – which, fortunately, is in the process of being upgraded – and we need a more effective means of communicating with the membership.
♦ Most importantly, if we want to attract new members to AAPG and promote member status, we need to increase the value of membership and differentiate between Members and Associates.
Cooperation and Interpersonal Skills
To promote better alignment within the Sections and Regions, the young professionals and the students attending the Student Chapter Leadership Summit (SCLS) worked with Section and Region leadership in a joint session dedicated to identifying issues specific to each geographic area – and brainstorming ideas on how these could be resolved.
YPLS and SCLS attendees also participated in an insightful seminar with the SCLS attendees on personality types, and how these affect our relationships both at work and at home. The session was facilitated by Marla Sanchez from Spectrum Temperament Development Inc., and sponsored by Anadarko.
This was followed by another opportunity to interact with the students – and during an hour-long Q&A session, the YPs opened the floor for questions the students might have regarding early careers in the industry.
The YPs’ efforts succeeded in making the transition into industry appear a little less daunting. As Joe Whearty of San Diego State University pointed out:
“As a student, it is intimidating when trying to figure out how to break into the industry,” Whearty said, “but the YPs did a great job providing an example to follow and imparting valuable knowledge and advice.”
A session on influence skills by Oklahoma State University professor Andrew Urich gave inspiration on how to establish and maintain a productive working relationship with both outside clients and among individuals within an organization.
These recently acquired skills were immediately put to good use during the Leadership Days activities.
For example, YPLS attendees actively contributed to the discussions around “Strategic Thinking for AAPG’s Second Century.”
President Krystinik put it this way: “One of the great highlights of Leadership Days for me was the pleasure of having the YPs involved. Their input markedly improved the outcome of Leadership Days, and their enthusiasm and dedication give me great confidence in a bright future for AAPG as we head toward our second century.”
Want to become more involved with the YPs in your Section or Region? Visit our website at aapg.org/youngpros, and contact your Section or Region representative.
Nick Lagrilliére, chair of the Young Professionals Committee, is a geoscientist on the exploration department’s Maersk Oil Angola team based in Copenhagen, Denmark.