Mastering our YPOG status

When I first joined Fifth Ring five months ago I was warmly accepted as a YPOG. Although the official term may be ‘young professional in oil and gas’ it has a slightly different definition at Fifth Ring, along the lines of ‘young professionals who work hard and play hard,’ often found in their most natural habitat enjoying a glass of wine during ‘wine-down Friday'.

Although I have held the YPOG status for many months, little did I know it was actually a recognised organisation that arranges bi-annual events for the young professional community in Aberdeen. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend my first official YPOG event and it really was a fantastic evening.

The focus of the seminar was subsea with chief executive of Subsea UK, Neil Gordon presenting. As someone who is still new to the world of oil and gas, I thought the night would involve me slyly using my Google app to search half of Neil’s words but I can confidently say I actually understood it – and even found it quite interesting!

I immediately warmed to Neil as he broke the ice with a joke after starting with some technical issues. He began discussing his personal background as a subsea diver before moving on to give us an insight into Subsea UK. We were then walked through the different subsea components including a subsea Christmas tree, manifolds and ROV operations. All sounding a bit dull? I would’ve thought so too but Neil definitely knew his audience and was skilled at using analogies to better explain the more complicated parts; likening saturation diving to opening a shaken lemonade bottle. Coupled with a few jokes thrown in, Neil had my full attention for the 30-minute presentation.

After the speech, we had time to network with our fellow YPOGs and one thing that struck me was that my Fifth Ring colleagues and I were the only people attending from a communications agency.

We specialise in energy communications, and Thursday was proof that we really are immersed in the industry; attending endless exhibitions, training courses and events surrounded by oil and gas professionals, from engineers at Aker Solutions to geoscientists at Shell.

At Fifth Ring we make this specialism a reality by ‘saying what we’ll do and doing what we say’ and as my colleagues and I jotted down notes quicker than you could say ‘subsea’, the dedication to expanding our knowledge was clear.

I may have entered the room feeling a bit out of place surrounded by up and coming talent in the industry from Shell and BP, however I left with the clarification that we may not be engineers or subsea divers, but at Fifth Ring we are truly dedicated to mastering our subject in the oil and gas industry. I’m already looking forward to my next official YPOG event!