The first-ever Young Professionals (YPs) workshop in Latin America, at LACPEC 2007, drew professionals from all parts of the oil industry and students from international petroleum engineering institutes. The event took place from 15–18 April in Buenos Aires. SPE President Abdul-Jaleel Al-Khalifa spoke on the theme of “Energy Future—World Vision.” Some of the issues he addressed were peak oil; natural gas, the fastest-growing fuel in the world; alternative energy sources; and career options. At the Petro Bowl event, rather than following the usual protocol, the teams were divided randomly at roundtables. It proved a good way to break the ice and engage in peer-group networking.
The workshop was unique in several ways. Rarely do the timetables of students and professionals intersect, and even if they do, the availability of an international arena is even rarer. This event provided highly professional interaction and lent valuable insight into the future. YPs looked beyond their world and students beyond theirs. The event showed that the industry is addressing the expectations of the coming generation in an effort to realize the potential of those who will soon join the workforce. Students had the opportunity to get to know their prospective employers beyond the “brochure” level and got a taste of life after college.