The Canada Region young professionals (YPs) had a great finish to 2016, including welcoming some new members to the organizing committee. Incoming Canada Region YP Lead Marcelina Labaj is joined by Daniel Wennerstrom, Jillian Berling-MacKenzie and Zennon Weleschuk, who is returning from the previous year.
There are many members actively seeking work, but the unfortunate reality is that there are slim pickings out there. But, the Canada Region YP leadership is striving to keep everyone positive. The focus in the final months of 2016 was to get members access to motivational talks and continue to build relationships with other professional societies by collaborating on more events. This allowed all societies involved to consolidate resources and work more efficiently towards shared common goals.
The Region had three events in Calgary late last year. In a joint effort with the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the group hosted about 45 YPs and students for its first speaker series in November. Two speakers were invited to give their personal perspectives on the industry: retired professional geologist Wayne Dwyer and junior geophysicist Matthew Lennon. Wayne talked us through his more than 35-year career, covering the great downturn of the ‘80s and the 20-percent mortgage interest rates incurred at the time. Matthew shared his enthusiasm for volunteering and how he’s always trying to learn something new. Both speakers, while at opposite ends of their careers, gave a similar message to the audience:
- Get out there and start networking! Whether it’s for a coffee once a week with a different connection, or simply sending out a check-in note to someone in your network, maintaining your presence in the industry is critical.
- Stay busy through volunteering. This ensures little to no gaps on your résumé and, helps to develop your professional skills and builds your network.
- Never burn your bridges. Keep that network as large as you can, and always leave a position on a positive note, no matter the circumstances.
In early December, several YP volunteers assisted the Calgary Food Bank with food collection and sorting. This is the second time the group has volunteered with the Food Bank. The event was a great way to help the local community while having a bit of fun.
To end 2016, AAPG teamed up with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Young Professionals in Energy for the SPE’s Annual Holiday Social. This event was a huge success, drawing 135 attendees for a night of fun involving ugly sweaters and bowling. This is the second year in a row members of the above societies made a point of getting together to discuss ways of maximizing our resources. The partnership was formed to bridge the gap between disciplines and create networking and exposure opportunities for all young professionals involved.
The Canada Region YP organizing committee is busy planning activities for 2017. Follow @aapg_canada_yp on Twitter for all the latest information on upcoming events. Looking for additional information on AAPG YP events worldwide? Visit the YP SIG online at aapg.org/youngpros, like us on Facebook at AAPG Young Professionals Special Interest Group, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @aapgypsig or join us on LinkedIn at AAPG Young Professionals.
On a more personal note, I would like to thank AAPG for all the opportunities I have received over the last few years. Richard Ball, Denise Cox, Bill Houston and Carol McGowen were all instrumental in motivating and inspiring me to get more involved with AAPG at Leadership Days in Tulsa in 2010. A big thank you to the headquarters staff as well. They contribute greatly to our Region’s planning and support.