Telemachos “Telly” Manos is a geologist at ExxonMobil in Houston currently working in unconventional business development. He received his bachelor’s in geosciences from Virginia Tech and his master’s in geology from Texas A&M University. He is also a geologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers where he helps complete infrastructure assessments and base camp planning.
Juan Carlos Quinto is a petroleum geologist based in Lima, Peru. He received his bachelor’s in geological engineering from San Marcos Major National University and his master’s in petroleum geoscience from the University of Stavanger. He has been a representative and global vice chair of the AAPG Young Professionals in Peru in AAPG’s Latin America and Caribbean Region.
Beginning with the new fiscal year in July, the AAPG Young Professionals Special Interest Group bid farewell to its previous leadership, Robynn Dicks and Ryan Lemiski, and ushered in the new global co-chairs Juan Carlos Quinto and Telemachos “Telly” Manos.
From 2017 to 2020, Robynn and Ryan worked hard rebranding what it meant to be a young professional member of the AAPG. They made gigantic efforts to keep the interest group active through the downturn industry of the last five years, maintaining enthusiasm and promoting volunteering as a fundamental activity among young professionals globally.
Some of their major achievements include:
- Established the regional co-chairs as representatives for local YP chapters to the global organization
- Created greater visualization of the most important events of the YP SIG through AAPG N.E.T.
- Revived the ProTracks column of the Explorer into YP Connect – a print column for each YP chapter to share the latest news and updates of their region
- Led the Young Professionals Leadership Summit in October 2018. Despite the difficult times in the industry with budget cuts, this summit was held by the direct support of Denise Cox, who understood the YP SIG to be a fundamental part of the Association.
The YP SIG deeply appreciates both Robynn and Ryan for their years of dedication and commitment to the YP SIG. We wish them the best in their professional and personal goals!
Continuing into the 2020-21 fiscal year, the global YP organization will be led by co-chairs Juan Carlos Quinto and Telemachos (Telly) Manos, Vice Chair Martin Oviedo and AAPG programs team leads Heather Hodges and Susie Nolan.
Each region and section YPs will be represented by the following representatives:
- David Eastwell - Europe Region
- Philip Ajaebili - Africa Region
- Sankhadip Bhattacharya and Dwandari Ralanarko - Asia-Pacific Region
- Ryan Taylor - Canada Region Lead
- Amrit Cooblal - Latin America and Caribbean Region Lead
- Hala Alwagdani - Middle East Region Lead
- Vacant (currently stewarded by Andrew Smith) - Eastern Section Lead
- Jonathan Fry and Martin Schwed - Gulf Coast Section Lead
- Will Cains - Mid-Continent Section Lead
- Erica Rubino - Pacific Section Lead
- Nico Kernan and Maggie Silvertooth - Rocky Mountain Section Lead
- Lauren Dietzel - Southwest Section Lead
Adapting to the Future
Many YPs are pessimistic about future energy careers due to recent new hire cuts and the decline of entry-level recruitment. Over the next year, we’re hoping to pivot efforts to help maintain YP involvement and keep their professional networks relevant. These initiatives include:
• Increasing our presence on social media platforms: Many YPs get their news and communicate primarily through social media platforms such as Facebook and Linkedin, especially when they’ve recently been laid off and lost access to their work email. We want these platforms to be active communities in which YP members get pertinent information, share ideas and expand their networks. Over the next few months, we’re going to increase our activity on these platforms to remain transparent about upcoming events and reach the largest audience possible.
• Opening applications for YPs to participate as Visiting Geoscientists as Associate Members: Until recently, the VGP was restricted to experienced members with at least 10 years’ experience. We recognize that many YPs are pushing the limits of technology in their field through data science and machine-learning and have plenty of value to mentor more senior members within the geoscience community. This also presents an opportunity for YPs to visit student chapters to share success stories and business wins, encouraging student members who might feel recently disenfranchised with the energy industry (See Ryan Lemiski’s recent EXPLORER article on brand fatigue and AAPG sustainability).
• Emphasizing recruiting efforts at the student-to-YP transition point: Many students graduate from university and find it difficult to continue their network post-academia. Either they weren’t offered a full-time role before graduating or there’s not an active society for them to get plugged into. We want to increase involvement with student chapters to demonstrate that AAPG is a valuable asset post-graduation and can help provide professional development to stay relevant.
• Facilitating YPs to become involved as IBA facilitators and advisers: The Imperial Barrel Award competition has significantly increased AAPG participation at the student-chapter level and provides an excellent avenue for YPs to mentor student chapters as industry advisers. Many YPs remember their own experiences as recent competitors and are able to guide teams in a way that is relevant to current industry expectations. We’ll help connect YPs with participating teams, either local or virtual, to provide the mentorship they need to succeed.
• Encouraging YPs to publish through AAPG: There’s an abundance of graduate thesis knowledge stored in university archives, most of which won’t get exposure outside the graduate student’s immediate committee. Many YPs experienced the “time crunch” as they started their first role and couldn’t commit to publishing their work. Now that rig activity has decreased and many YPs are looking for ways to stay relevant, we want to encourage YPs to take this time to polish their submitted work and receive proper recognition for their original ideas.
• Diversifying our message to a broader range of energy professionals: Technology efficiencies and energy diversification will cut away at the number of traditional geoscience jobs available to future generations. Instead of being upset at the rapid rate of change, we should embrace this opportunity to learn new skills and stay relevant in our future careers. The YP organization wants to embrace data science, commercial analysis and GIS as hot topics to give YPs a competitive edge and contribute value, both in hydrocarbons and alternate forms of energy.
It’s difficult to maintain membership and actively recruit new members during a struggling economy in which many YPs feel disenfranchised at the lack of opportunity. During the 2018 YP Leadership Conference, we established that a shrinking job market, competition from parallel organizations and limits to professional development led to a lack of perceived value for maintaining AAPG membership. The COVID-driven demand collapse has not helped these issues improve, and instead we find ourselves in an intensified version of the same scenario of problems we faced before.
We look to the section and region-level leadership to help tailor our initiatives to support local chapters and increase participation from the global YPs. This industry is cyclical, and those who were once YPs long ago recognize that downturn-pessimism in nothing new. We will always need more energy, cheaper energy and sustainable energy. When demand recovers we’ll need a trained, competent, relevant workforce ready to seize the initiative.
If you’re interested in participating more within the YP organization, please contact your regional representative to volunteer. Remember that AAPG offers significantly discounted memberships for two years during your student to associate-level transition. You can stay up to date with the latest YP news at our Facebook page at Facebook.com/AAPGYPs and our LinkedIn page.