My participation in AAPG activities has always been a source of wonderful memories.
My involvement with AAPG began in July 2013 when I was asked to help organize a talk by Robert Shoup for the Young Professionals of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event was wildly successful. There were 40 participants in attendance for Shoup’s presentation of “10 habits of a successful geoscientist.”
Prior to AAPG, I was involved in committees for various major oil and gas conferences held in Kuala Lumpur. However, back in those days, social networking events were mostly restricted to management and few events catered to YPs. After witnessing the wonderful turnout by students and YPs to Shoup’s talk, I decided to form the AAPG KL YP Chapter in July 2013. I thought it would be a good platform for geoscience students and YPs from various oil companies in KL to mingle and network.
Once the Chapter was formed, technical talks were held almost every month. Thanks to our AAPG connection, we’ve been extremely lucky to invite Visiting Geoscientists from all around the world to present.
Due to the activity of the KL YP chapter, I was very fortunate to be selected to represent the Asia Pacific Region at the 2014 Young Professionals Leadership Summit in scenic Snowbird, Utah. In the workshop, it was inspiring to be surrounded by highly motivated and like-minded YP representatives from the Regions and Sections debating various ideas on how to improve AAPG’s connection with the students and YPs.
In late 2014, I was ecstatic to receive news that I had won the prestigious Chevening Scholarship offered by the government of the United Kingdom and a partial South East Asia Petroleum Exploration Society (SEAPEX) Dick Murphy Scholarship Award to pursue a master’s in petroleum geoscience in Royal Holloway, University of London. To this day, I strongly believe that my active involvement in AAPG YP Chapter leadership was the key to obtaining these scholarships and advancing my geoscience studies.
While pursuing my master’s, I was fortunate to be selected to represent my university in the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition. It was a memorable and challenging experience. My teammates and I spent many long nights in the lab, working on our technical evaluation and putting together the presentation while simultaneously juggling coursework. Our hard work finally paid off when we managed to win the Europe Region competition and, ultimately, first place at the IBA Finals held at the 2015 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver, Colo. Keith Gerdes, president of AAPG Europe Region, was extremely delighted with our achievement since we were the first UK team to win the IBA Award in eight years.
Back to Kuala Lumpur
After graduating with my master’s degree, I returned to Kuala Lumpur and presented my technical paper, “Structural Evolution of Deepwater Thrust Foldbelts, Offshore Sabah, Malaysia,” at the Asia-Pacific Geoscience Conference in October 2015. Thanks to rigorous training and countless presentations for AAPG IBA, I was surprisingly calm and confident presenting my paper to a full crowd inside the conference hall. Participating in the AAPG IBA competition definitely helped me hone my technical preparation and presentation skills.
Currently, I have resumed my post as president of the AAPG YP KL Chapter after a year-long absence to pursue my master’s. While I was away, committee members Chin Soon Mun, Jeen Ching and Nuraman Nusral managed to collaborate with the Indonesian Association of Geologists KL Chapter to organize a joint technical talk on full tensor gravity by Colm Murphy for students and YPs.
Lately, the AAPG YP KL Chapter has been very active. We recently organized two technical talks given by Howard Johnson and Bala Kunjan during November and December 2015, respectively. Howard Johnson from Imperial College, London, gave a very interesting talk on “Plio-Pleistocene fluvial depositional systems in SE Asia” and Bala Kunjan from Melbourne touched on the hot topic of “Addressing the concerns of young professionals and students during the ups and downs of the industry.”
Both technical talks were tremendously well-attended, with more than 50 participants each, thanks in part to the use of social media.
Back in October, we began to reach out to geoscience students and YPs using our brand new Facebook page to post information on upcoming events. Since students and YPs are very active users of social media, this allows us to get in touch with more potential participants who are not on our original mailing list, and to spread the word to those who are not yet AAPG members.
To date, we have received a lot of positive feedback from event participants regarding our Facebook posts. In addition, we already have our lineup of speakers invited for monthly technical talks through February 2017. We welcome both potential speakers and out-of-town YPs to participate in these events.
My participation in AAPG has been an excellent learning experience. The AAPG YP KL Chapter continues to grow and has been successful thanks in part to constant support from the AAPG Young Professionals Committee and the Asia Pacific Region. Hopefully, sharing my experience and encounters with AAPG will encourage more geoscience students and YPs to join the Association and realize the benefits of staying AAPG members throughout their careers.