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Plan Ahead! Get Ready to Apply for the Golden Key Award or Scholarship of Your Choice

November 1, 2016


If you are a member of Golden Key and you have not applied for one of the awards or scholarships that we offer, would like to share some important news in today’s post…

December application deadlines for these great awards and scholarships are fast approaching! December 15, 2016 is just around the corner!

That means that now would be a good time to select the scholarships that appeal to you, learn how to apply, then get started early to fill out your online applications. Since 1977, Golden Key has awarded $12.5 million in scholarships and grants to our members. You could be one of them! So, what’s stopping you?

In today’s post, let’s learn how to apply.

First, Review “How to Apply for Golden Key Scholarships & Awards” on the Golden Key Website

You’ll find a comprehensive list of FAQs that give a thorough overview of the program and application procedures.

Second, Visit the Scholarship Listings on the Golden Key Website

You’ll find dozens listed. In addition to reviewing the master list of what is available globally, be sure to use the pull-down menu above the listings to select the country where you reside or study. Additional scholarships could be available to you.

To learn more, click on the name of each scholarship or award that you would like to consider. Please note that there are differences between the scholarships. Many are targeted to different fields of study and different goals. The dollar amounts for the awards vary, as do the application dates and other important details. Please take your time to review these descriptions carefully. Note the supporting documents that you are required to submit and prepare them so you can have them ready when you submit your applications.

Third, Apply for the Scholarships and Awards of Your Choice

Now that you have selected the scholarships you will apply for and you have prepared your supporting documents, it is time to go back to the Scholarship Listings, click on the name of each program you are applying for, and fill out your applications.

Fourth, Wait to Learn If You Have Won

Notifications are sent out 120 days after the application deadline (December 15, 2016).

One Important Detail

Remember, only Golden Key members are eligible for Golden Key awards and grants. If you are not a member yet, CLICK HERE to learn how to apply.


Success Strategies for Job Interviewing

October 26, 2016


With so many applicants on the job market today, it is more important than ever to stand out in job interviews. In today’s post, let’s look at some proven interviewing strategies for becoming the candidate that companies are eager to hire.

Present Yourself Strongly and Professionally in Your Interview

Of course, you will dress like a professional for your job interview. Here are some additional ways to project a professional image:

  • Walk into the room confidently, smile, look your interviewer in the eyes, shake hands, introduce yourself, and say “pleased to meet you.”
  • Carry your resume and supporting materials in your hand when you enter the room, so you don’t have to hunt for them.
  • Display good posture and strong body language, without becoming stiff. One good option? If you are sitting in a chair with armrests, let your arms rest comfortably on them and sit straight, with both your feet on the floor.
  • As the interview is coming to a finish, thank your interviewer, shake hands again, and make a confident exit from the room while maintaining eye contact.

Find One or Two Comfortable Ways to Connect with Your Interviewer on a Personal Level

It is one of the most effective ways to stand out from other applicants and be remembered. Some options:

  • Make a positive connecting statement like, “You must be excited about working here! I am excited to be here.”
  • If your interviewer has personal items on display, use them as a point of connection. If there is a picture of a children’s sports team, for example, you can ask about that. Is there a college diploma? If there is a shelf of books, comment on one of them. Even a song that is playing in the background or a plant on the windowsill can serve as a point of personal connection.
  • Without prying, ask some questions to determine whether you and your interviewer have something in common. Do you live in the same town, root for the same sports team, or even ride the same transit line?

Study the Hiring Company before Your Interview

Your ability to show that you know about the company can go a long way toward making you a preferred applicant of choice. If the company has been in the news recently, you will want to understand why and be ready to talk about it in an informed way. Invest a little time visiting the company’s website and learn the following:

  • The company’s history.
  • What the company makes and does.
  • Where the company and its facilities are located.
  • The company’s mission, values, and charitable activities.
  • Who the company leaders are and what they are like.

Ask Questions – Don’t Just Answer Them

Doing so is an effective way to show your interest in the job, showcase your smarts, and take control of the flow of conversation. Here are some strong questions to ask:

  • “What is the most important trait you are looking for in the people who do this job?”
  • “What is a typical day like on the job?”
  • “Is this a new position?”
  • “How many other employees are currently performing this job; Are you staffing up?”
  • “Who would my supervisor and colleagues be?”
  • “Do you offer training, and what is it like?”
  • “What opportunities are there for advancement?”
  • “Will you be scheduling follow-up interviews… what are my next steps?”

Talk about the Skills, Knowledge and Experience You Bring to the Job

Start by thinking about the traits and experiences that your interviewer is probably looking for. Depending on the position you are applying for, they could include:

  • Experience working as a good team member.
  • The ability to speak a second or third language.
  • Maturity you gained while studying abroad.
  • Specific skills you gained in school that you can use on the job.
  • Honors and achievements, such as your membership in Golden Key.
  • Demonstrated computer or technical skills.
  • Your ability to recover from mistakes or setbacks in the past.

Listen Attentively and Closely

Good listening practices like these demonstrate that you are smart, focused and interested in the position:

  • Sit calmly and focus on what the interviewer is asking, without allowing interrupting thoughts to intrude.
  • Before answering, ask follow-up questions to be sure you have understood what the interviewer is asking.
  • After answering a question, follow up by asking, “Is that what you wanted to know… can I add more?”

Follow Up Strongly

Doing so can make all the difference in whether you get a job offer or not.

  • If you are genuinely interested in the job, say so at the end of the interview. If you don’t say you are interested, how can your interviewer know?
  • Ask what your next steps are in the hiring process.
  • Send a handwritten thank you note to your interviewer. Although that seems formal, it demonstrates your professionalism and strong interest in the job.


Any tips of tricks of your own for job interviews? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Add your experience in the comments below!

Golden Key Elects a New Board Chair

October 18, 2016


New Election to Golden Key International Honour Society’s Board of Directors

ATLANTA, GA – Adnan Bokhari, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, was recently elected Board Chair of Golden Key International Honour Society’s Board of Directors. He has served on the Golden Key Board since 2014 and has been a member of the Finance Committee since 2012. Based in DC, CFED is a national non-profit organization working at the local, state and federal levels to create opportunities in savings, education, entrepreneurship and homeownership.  CFED’s work makes it possible for millions of people to achieve financial security.


“Golden Key is the only collegiate honor society providing such a broad spectrum of valuable services to its members. I am proud to be part of this amazing organization and look forward to advancing our members’ interests in my new role,” said Bokhari.

Golden Key Executive Director, Brad Rainey, stated, “I am excited to have Adnan serve as the Chair of the Golden Key Board of Directors. He has demonstrated steady leadership, extensive expertise and a real commitment to the organization while serving as a member of our Finance Committee and Board of Directors.”

Golden Key’s Board of Directors governs the business, property and affairs of the Society in accordance with the Society’s bylaws. These individuals are a role model of the Society’s values and are chosen to create a balanced representation from the academic, for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The Board is balanced with experienced practitioners who provide guidance and support to Golden Key headquarters.

About Golden Key
Founded in 1977, Golden Key International Honour Society is a global collegiate honor society established to recognize college students for academic excellence.  While membership in Golden Key begins with academic excellence, the Society’s core mission is to enable members to realize their potential through three pillars: academics, leadership and service.  The Society, comprised of over 2 million members, has more than 400 campus-based chapters in eight countries that include Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, The Bahamas and the United States.  For more information about Golden Key, please visit

Networking Your Way to the Top: Five Keys to Success

October 11, 2016


Back when you were in high school, networking was simple. You sat down with someone who worked with your mother or father, or with a member of the clergy at your house of worship, with a local business leader – or maybe with someone who had attended a college that interested you. You asked general questions about your future, your education and your career.

There was value in that kind of networking at the time. But now that you are a college student, a graduate student or a college grad, the stakes are higher. You aren’t just collecting general information. You are at the stage of life when you are making specific plans. That means taking the process of networking to a higher level.

Here are five ways to get the most from networking now that you are “playing for the pros.

Reach out to people in the professions where you would like to work

They should work in the companies or industry that you are targeting, not people who are just important or influential in a general sense. The goal of meeting with them is to ask specific questions, not collect general information. Some examples might include:

  • “Do only communications majors get hired by companies like yours to work in PR, or do you sometimes hire English majors like me?”
  • “I never took any courses in electrical engineering in college. Do I need to add those before I apply for jobs in companies X, Y or Z?”
  • “Which companies in our area are most involved in doing good in the community and helping people?”

Tap individuals who come from communities where you belong, not “anyone who will speak to you”

There are many reasons to do this. First of all, they will be more likely to meet with you. Second, they will have more interest in helping you succeed. Some of these communities might include:

  • Graduates of your college or university.
  • Members of Golden Key or other honor societies to which you belong.
  • Members of professional fraternities or other professional organizations.

Stress that you are asking for an informational interview, not a job interview

The most effective networking happens when you ask for information, not for a job, for several reasons:

  • If you ask for a job, your networking contacts will either refer you to the employment office at their companies or turn down your request to meet. (“We are not hiring jobs right now.”)
  • When you ask for information, most people will be happy to meet with you. If they know of jobs that are right for you, they will refer you to them. In contrast, asking for a job interview is a “hit or miss” strategy that has little chance of getting results.

Effective networking means staying in touch with people, not just meeting once

On the day you meet with someone, he or she might not know of any jobs or other opportunities that are right for you. In a week or two, that could change! That is why it is so important to take the following steps to keep your networking contacts active:

  • Send a written thank-you note after your first conversation. Not an email . . . not a tweet . . . a good old-fashioned handwritten thank-you note! It will get your networking relationship off to a strong start.
  • Share news about what you are up to. When you get an internship or win an award, let your networking contacts know.
  • Send links to articles and other information that your networking contacts will read and appreciate. It is a quick and effective mind to “stay on their radar.”
  • If you get a new job, let them know. It’s another way to demonstrate that you see your networking contacts as resources who are part of your success team.

Effective networking works best when you meet people face-to-face, not only connect online

Online forums like LinkedIn can certainly help you network. But the most productive networking happens when people invest the time and effort to meet people face-to-face. Some reasons include:

  • When you actually meet your contact, you become vastly more memorable.
  • Your contact will notice strengths and abilities in you that simply cannot be communicated online.
  • Genuine in-person relationships are far more easy to maintain and strengthen than online relationship can ever be.

So go out there and start connecting! Do you have any tips for networking you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments!

International Summit 2016: Recap!

October 3, 2016

Discover Your Destiny, Adventure Awaits was the theme for the 2016 International Summit, held in Tucson, Arizona.  Tucson provided a beautiful backdrop for the Summit, a skyline of rolling hills dotted with cacti and Sonora wildlife.  The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa was an oasis atop a mountain overlooking the city of Tucson.  Around 400 members, advisors, alumni, partners and friends attended the Summit from 28 July – 31 July.

Thursday, 28 July- First day of conference.

The delegates arrived throughout the day and visited registration to receive their name tags, T shirts, conference supplies and goodies.  The summit wing of the hotel was lined with fun games like giant Jenga, jumbo bowling, board games and the “Amazing Race”.  The Amazing Race gave delegates a chance to get to know one another through Minute-to-Win-It games and activities with an Arizona theme.  All regions and countries met before opening session to mingle with the other delegates in their regions as well as get hyped up in their regional colors before Opening Session.

The Happy Mariachi Trio mariachi band welcomed the delegates into the Opening Session. Each region walked in dressed in their colors.  The Associate Directors ran on stage and did regional shout outs before introducing our Opening Session speaker, MrJeffDess.


MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. Born and raised in New York City, he received his B.A and M.A in English Literature from St. John’s University. MrJeffDess is the author of four books of poetry. His forthcoming book, Trill Motivation (2016) will present the freshest and coolest look at leadership and motivation that’s ever been seen. He has performed, spoken and presented across the nation and internationally at various institutions and universities. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt, MrJeffDess continues to help students reach their highest potential.  He currently serves as the Assistant Director of Campus Life at New Jersey City University and vows to always keep it funky.

MrJeffDess taught us about achieving our legacy.  It’s one thing to be a great leader but it’s another thing to set the bar to unseen heights. To reach a new level of leadership, you must achieve a legacy slam.  MrJeffDess used music and dancing to get the crowd pumped up and energized for the first night of Summit.


Michael Crossland, the Closing Session speaker was the emcee for the networking event.  Michael set up Minute-to-Win-It games for the entire audience to compete in. Even our Executive Director, Brad Rainey, joined in on the fun.

After the networking event, Advisors were honored at an Advisor VIP event, dedicated to appreciating all of their hard work and efforts throughout the year.  A delicious fiesta-themed dinner was enjoyed before a presentation of the advisor tenure awards.


Friday 29 July- Second Day of Conference

Friday started with a light breakfast and the Advisor Plenary Session.  The Plenary Session was an update from headquarters as well as an open forum to ask questions about the society.  After breakfast, workshops began.  Workshops varied from personal/professional development, chapter specific and Advisor specific.  Titles included: Building Your Personal Brand, What the Five Elements of Hip-Hop Can Teach You about Leadership, Servant Leadership, Be an ACTion HERO, Five Questions Chapters Must Ask for Success, and Secrets of Advisors.

After the first two workshops, delegates received a boxed lunch and were able explore the GK Expo, take pictures at the photo booth, play Xbox 360 games, meet with companies and Graduate schools and more!


After the second set of workshops concluded, delegates were free to explore the hotel as well as downtown Tucson.

Saturday 30 July- Final Day

Saturday started with a light breakfast before heading into the Service Kick-Off.  The project started with a 45 minute presentation from Ben’s Bells founder Jeanette Mare.  She spoke on how the organization came about as well as how kindness fits into our everyday life and can lead to social change in communities.   Ben’s Bells is a local organization whose mission is to “inspire, educate and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships and our communities.”


Recent research demonstrates that kindness benefits our physical and mental health, and that recognizing kindness in others increases a person’s happiness and satisfaction. But just as solving a calculus problem requires advanced math skills, the challenges of daily life require advanced kindness skills. By focusing on kindness and being intentional in our personal interactions, we can improve our ability to connect.

After the program everyone was split into groups.  Four groups were participating in Ben’s Bells activities consisting of painting pieces for Ben’s Bells, learning communications games, having discussions, etc.  Activities were meant so chapters can use them to create their own SPARK projects.  One group created math and reading flashcards to be used at next year’s Golden Key Kiddos Camp.

Our goal was that our chapters would be able to learn from as well as form a new SPARK contact through Ben’s Bells.  We hope this new knowledge can be taken to local schools, libraries and community programs to be shared with local children.  We feel that Ben’s Bells is a great opportunity to teach real world preparedness lessons such as citizenship and anti-bullying both in within their schools and communities.

After service, delegates were released for lunch.  There were two sets of workshops after lunch and plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful amenities of the JW Marriott.

At 5:00 on Saturday evening, the Red Carpet reception began.  Ticket holders were able to mix and mingle with Michael Crossland before the Gala began.  Michael continued to keep everyone laughing and enjoying themselves at the event.

An hour later, the doors to Gala were opened and delegates dressed in cocktail attire began to find their seats.  There was a presentation of the Key Chapter awards by Executive Director Brad Rainey, ILC President Harriett Watkins and Outgoing Board President Anita Miller.  After the presentation, dinner began.  While dinner played, we were graced with the gorgeous piano playing of a few talented Golden Key members.  At the conclusion of dinner, Michael Crossland was welcomed to the stage.


Diagnosed with aggressive life threatening cancer before his first birthday doctors told Michael school and sport were not options. Infection and fatigue were too great a risk. His only wish was to lead a normal life and be able to do all the things that other ‘normal’ kids took for granted every day.

Now, an accomplished businessman, Australian of the Year finalist, Australia Day Ambassador, Camp Quality Ambassador and international hall of fame inductee, Michael inspires many people from all walks of life with his story and inspiration of believing in yourself and achieving impossible dreams. Michael has an absolute passion and belief in people’s ability to change direction and become who they truly want to be and achieve success.

We then had the amazing opportunity to induct Michael as an official staff member since he was inducted as an honorary member at last year’s International Summit.  The best surprise of the night was when Executive Director, Brad Rainey told Michael about the creation of the Michael Crossland Scholarship which will allow Golden Key members the opportunity to travel to Haiti and work at Michael’s school for 10 days.


“The world is in good hands with the future leaders from Golden Key.”

-Michael Crossland

The overwhelming response from delegates was that Michael was one of the most inspirational speakers they have ever heard. “I loved Michael Crossland. He energized me in a new way and made me want to do more for the world,” one delegate said.

The night was ended with an official close to the Summit by Harriet Watkins.  The lights were dimmed and the music played as delegates hit the dance floor for the rest of the night.


Golden Key would like to send a huge thank you to everyone that attended and helped with the 2016 International Summit! We hope you had an amazing time. For those who missed out, we hope you will join us in 2017.

Click here to watch the Summit Recap video!

Winning the Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship

September 8, 2016

An interview with Golden Key International Honour Society Scholarship Winner and Marine Biologist Patricia Hanley

Anyone who worries that too few bright young women are becoming scientists should get to know Patricia Hanley, a Golden Key member who is studying marine biology at the University of New Brunswick. Patricia, who was raised in Saint John, New Brunswick, is conducting research into lobster movement in the Bay of Fundy. It’s just the right research topic for a young woman who hails from the Maritimes.


Patricia Hanley of University of New Brunswick, Canada


Golden Key was gratified when Patricia applied for the Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship – and delighted when she won. Patricia will use her $5,000 award to study at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, where she will assist adjunct professor Eric Bjorkstedt in his research.

How will Patricia benefit from the scholarship? Here is what she told us in a recent conversation.


How Will the Scholarship Help Patricia?

Patricia is thrilled that her scholarship will give her the opportunity to conduct more extensive research in her chosen field. “It has enhanced the quality of research I do by allowing me to absorb knowledge and skills from a larger group of scientists,” she states.

She also believes that studying with Professor Bjorkstedt will continue to help her make connections to a broader range or experts in her field. “Undoubtedly,” she says, “the experience has already broadened my prospects as an early-career researcher in the research community.”


How Patricia Describes the Benefits of Joining Golden Key International Honour Society

How has Patricia’s Golden Key membership helped her? She says that it has improved her C.V., increased the size of her professional network, helped her connect with researchers who share her research interests, and even started to connect her with potential employers. She is certain that her Joan Nelson Scholarship will give her a competitive advantage when she begins to apply for jobs.


Are You Thinking of Joining Golden Key International Honour Society? Ask Patricia

“I would tell prospective members not to hesitate to join. Members of the society are a unique and varied group with access to scholarships that could offer them invaluable opportunities now and in the future.”

Are you interested in scholarship opportunities? Visit the Golden Key Website to see a current listing of all available scholarships and application deadlines. Someone is going to win them; Why not you?


Golden Key Atlanta Regional Summit 2016

August 19, 2016

AtlantaRS copy

Golden Key’s Regional Summit 2016 for Regions 3 and 7 kicked off in Atlanta, GA. On Friday, February 28, 2016, Golden Key members arrived to the gorgeous Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel with the anticipation of having a fun filled weekend. Everyone knows that Atlanta traffic is quiet interesting so in order to give all the attendees time to arrive the early arrivals took place in a photo scavenger hunt. The “Amazing Race” themed scavenger hunt took places near the beautiful Centennial Olympic Park and surrounding areas.

After the scavenger hunt, everyone met up Friday afternoon for the opening sessions. It was a wonderful evening of seeing the many colleges and universities that were beaming with smart and talented students. During the opening session we were thrilled to hear from Golden Key’s CEO Brad Rainey as well as our regional directors. During the opening session we heard from a wonderful speaker, Yvette Pegues. Mrs. Pegues was the first person of color to win Ms. Wheelchair USA. During the opening ceremonies spoke on being aware of those with disabilities as well as how to take a disability and make a difference. After the opening sessions the attendees were sent out for dinner, and encouraged to make some new friends with those from all over the country.

Saturday morning began bright and early on day two of the regional summit. Luckily for many of the attendees and myself there was a Starbucks conveniently located downstairs from the meeting hall. After we loaded up on caffeine we all were ready to begin our day! To start our Saturday morning we had wonderful motivational speaker named Allegra-Lawrence-Hardy. Mrs. Hardy is a fellow Golden Key member and graduate of Yale law school. Mrs. Hardy gave us a very informative speech on how to be a servant leader. After Mrs. Hardy finished the attendees participated in workshops on different topics. These workshops were opportunities for many of the attendees to learn from professional development, communication, and stress management skills that they could take back to their prospective universities and share with their members.

After the workshops it was time for everyone to have a little fun. Some of the attendees went and view the historic civil rights museum or the 1996 Olympic rings. Other attendees rode the new Atlanta streetcar that toured parts of Atlanta and some students went to the infamous Lenox mall to do a little retail therapy.

After lunch was over, the attendees all came back together to have an officer round table and to discuss how our experience has been while being and officer as well as to give advice to others on how to become an officer. After the officer round table discussion, the attendees all reconvene for a Spark a Change Mind Melt. This was an opportunity to meet others from different universities as well as brainstorm ideas on how to make Spark a Change events possible at our respective universities.

After the Spark A Change event, the attendees all return to their rooms to get ready for our Gala Dinner. This was our last event all together as one big group and many were sad to see the summit end. The weekend had been so extraordinary that having a nice, fancy sit down dinner was the only way to end this wonderful weekend! After dinner many numbers were exchanged and I definitely have enjoyed keeping in contact with my new friends all over the country and the world.

Written by JaBreia James – Kennesaw State University