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Fall 2016 Scholarship Winners Announced!

May 31, 2017


Today, we’re excited to display the recipients of the fall 2016 Golden Key headquarters awards. The winners of the Fall 2016 scholarships, in no particular order, are:


Golden Key Joan Nelson Study Abroad Award ($5,000.00)

  • Carly Hand, State University of New York at Fredonia


Golden Key Chartering Officer Award ($500.00)

  • Mina Delavar, California State University, Northridge
  • Tingwei Adeck, West Texas A&M University


Golden Key Geico Life Scholarship ($1,000.00)

  • Jose Faña, Queens College, The City University of New York
  • Morgan Frick, The University of Alabama
  • Bethany Martin, Arizona State University
  • Camillie Collins, The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Doaa Khalil, University of Southern Maine
  • Dai Zhang, Cincinnati Christian University
  • Jennifer Hoffmann, Ashford University
  • Joanna Stampelos, University of Delaware
  • Angelica Patterson, DePaul University
  • Kenneth Patterson, Colorado State University-Global Campus
  • Noe Arroyo-Williams, The University of Arizona
  • Alejandra Robles Saldana, University of the Incarnate Word
  • Agnieszka Kuligowski (Zalewska), California State University, Sacramento
  • Andrew Ackerman, New York Institute of Technology
  • Peter Lee, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York
  • Timothy Baba, Georgia Institute of Technology


Golden Key Education Debt Reduction Award ($10,000.00)

  • Jamaal Thomas, Walden University


Golden Key Research Grant ($2,000.00)

  • Bettina Koschade, Concordia University


Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award ($10,000.00)

  • Blair Flicker, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Patrick McCauley, The University of Sydney
  • I-Hsin Lee, Cleveland State University
  • Mohammed Ghuzi, University of Alberta
  • Ryan Davis, Indiana University


Golden Key Undergraduate Scholar Award ($5,000.00)

  • Dai Zhang, Cincinnati Christian University
  • Dipela Mondi, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • Lars Karlstroem, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Ryan Mui, United States Naval Academy
  • Montana Diabo, Concordia University


Congratulations again to all of the winners! We are so proud of you!

Interested in applying for Golden Key scholarships?  View the scholarship listings and deadlines now! You can’t win if you don’t apply!

The Golden Key Costa Rica Experience: A Great Cultural and Service Opportunity for Summer 2017

May 18, 2017

Header Summer 2017 (003)

Are you looking for a life-changing opportunity to serve and explore abroad in summer 2017? You’re in luck! You are invited to apply for The Golden Key Costa Rica Experience, an 8-night, 7-day program administered by Golden Key and the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA). The Golden Key Costa Rica Experience is now welcoming applications from Golden Key Members.


You can attend either of these sessions this summer:

  • Session One: August 5-12
  • Session Two: August 12-19

But please act soon, because the application deadline is July 8th, 2017.

The total trip cost is $1,295.00 USD. PLEASE NOTE that you are responsible for reserving and paying for your own round-trip air travel between a U.S. city of your choice and San Jose International Airport (SJO) in Costa Rica. You will be greeted at the airport by a program representative and escorted to your hotel in a fully licensed and insured motor coach.


The Experience of a Lifetime

Since 1989, more than 20,000 students have participated in programs administered by the CRLA. All lodging, meals, ground transportation, excursions and other experiences are meticulously chosen and supervised by CRLA staff. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be met by a program representative and escorted to your hotel – a safe, secure, air-conditioned facility with a swimming pool – where you will share a room with 2-other 3 program participants.

But don’t take our word for it!

“The Golden Key-hosted trip to Costa Rica was the best experience of my life,” writes Anna W, who took part in the program last year, “It was a total immersion experience and I learned things about the language, culture, and population that no amount of education could provide an individual. Every detail of the trip was amazing, including the wonderful tour guides who were nothing but kind, knowledgeable, and helpful . . . I would recommend anybody who has the option of participating in this trip to take advantage of the opportunity!” – Anna W.

What makes this program so outstanding? First of all, every detail has been developed and tested in years past. Prior to your departure, for example, you will receive contact information and photos of all participants, so you can connect before you leave for Costa Rica – and if possible, meet in your local airport and travel together.


Teach Students Good Hygiene Skills

You and other U.S. students will travel to a remote community in Costa Rica, where you will teach hygiene practices to elementary school students using a program developed by and supported by, two nonprofit organizations with the mission of improving health and hygiene around the world. You will help young students learn better hand-washing skills, using fun, innovative GloGerm™ kits.


Make the World a Better Place

In addition to serving as a hygiene ambassador, you will have the opportunity to design and administer a program that reflects your own vision of improving the world.

Last year, for example, a program member who was studying graphic design helped elementary school students create a plan of their school that showed emergency evacuation routes. In the past, nursing students have administered health screening tests, environmentalists have run special projects to protect wildlife, and more. So bring your passions to Costa Rica with you, and get to work.


Become Immersed in the Life and Culture of a Vibrant Country

You will also spend time getting to know a Costa Rican family, touring the city of Cartago with a program guide, exploring the Ujarras ruins and the Irazu volcano, visiting nature preserves, heading to pristine beaches, volunteering at a wildlife rescue center , zip-lining over the jungle, taking a river tour to see crocodiles, learning to prepare traditional Costa Rican cuisine in cooking classes. . . and even protecting sea turtles and distributing their unhatched eggs to a turtle hatchery.

As Anna W. said The Golden Key Costa Rica Experience is the “experience of a lifetime.”


Reserve Your Place Now

To learn more, email

And be sure to check out the Engage Costa Rica Facebook group!


Golden Key Announces $350,000 in Scholarships to Study Abroad in Italy

May 8, 2017


We are excited to announce that Sant’Anna Institute is providing up to $350,000 in scholarships for Golden Key members who wish to study at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento Italy.

The Professor Jeff Johnston Study Abroad Scholarship will be made available to Golden Key members who meet the following criteria:

  • This is an exclusive scholarship and students must be a Golden Key member
  • Students must have maintained the GPA that qualified them for the top 15% at their university at the time of joining Golden Key
  • Students must have a TOFL score of 71 for international students
  • Students must meet the Sant’Anna program requirements
  • Students must be fluent in English or Italian for the classroom
  • For successful completion of the program, students must provide a personal statement via blog or vlog about their experience during their semester abroad

This scholarship is for a full semester only
US academic credit will be earned through SUNY Alfred
Minimum of 12 credits, up to 15 credits
Scholarship is open to all majors
Includes housing and transportation from the Naples airport to the school (logistics handled by the Sant’Anna Institute)

Both internships and course study will be available (or both!) starting 1 June 2017.
More information on the Sant’Anna program can be found here.

  • Awards will be paid directly to recipients by Golden Key International Honour Society upon successful completion of program requirements.
  • Scholarship amounts vary depending on semester: Maximum individual scholarship for Fall 2017 is $3,500 USD. Maximum individual scholarship amount for Spring 2018 is $3,000 USD.
  • Deadline for fall semester is 15 July 2017

Questions about studying in Sant’Anna through this scholarship? Please email the David Black at

Be on the lookout June 1st for your chance to take advantage of this opportunity!

Golden Key welcomes its newest chapter in Canada at Carleton University.

April 17, 2017

IMG_4384On Thursday March 30th, 2017, Carleton University’s Golden Key Chapter hosted their first annual New Member Recognition Event. At 7:30pm over 200 students, along with their family and friends arrived at the Carleton University’s Bell Theatre. The Chapter was fortunate enough to have the company of Ian Sankey, Director of Golden Key Canada, Mark Herndon, the Director of Golden Key International, and Brad Rainey, the Executive Director of Golden Key. The two hour ceremony began with a warm welcoming of the inaugural class by Madeline Tater, the President of Carleton’s Golden Key Chapter. “It has been incredible to have played such an active role in building Golden Key’s foundation here at Carleton. In just a few short weeks, we have gone from a Society of 5 students to one of 395,” says Madeline. Brad Rainey formally presented the charter certificate. It was an honour for each member of the chapter’s executive team to be introduced and presented with their Golden Key pin from their Chapter Advisor, Provost Peter Ricketts. Inspired by this exciting congregation of students, Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, the President of Carleton University, shared, “Let me say how proud I am of those who have organized the event and those who have stepped up and said yes! I support excellence, I support leadership, I support community services, and I want to be a better citizen of the world!”

IMG_2040Following the introduction of the executive team, the Chapter was pleased to induct their first ever Honourary Members. Each Honourary Member was given a certificate of Honourary Membership and Golden Key pin in recognition of their demonstration of one or more of the three pillars of the society: Academics, Leadership, and Service. The following five outstanding individuals were recognized: Komal Minhas, producer and distributor of Dream Girl, Jennifer Stewart, the President of Syntax Strategic, Jay Nordenstrom, the Executive Director of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, Suzanne Blanchard, Carleton’s Vice President (Students and Enrolment) and University Registrar, and Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice Chancellor of Carleton University as well as the night’s keynote speaker.

Following the ceremony, new members and their guests, Carleton faculty, special guests, and Honouray Members mingled over light refreshments and dessert in the foyer above the theater. On behalf of the executive team we would once again like to congratulate all the new members and Honourary Members on their initiation into the Golden Key International Honour Society. Carleton’s Chapter is very much looking forward to all that is to come in Fall 2017.


Win The Job You Want

April 6, 2017

win the job you want

Win the Job You Want

Brad Rainey, Executive Director

Golden Key International Honour Society


If you are a student at a university or college, you are most likely working to prepare yourself for your first job or a better job.  The overwhelming number of respondents to a poll conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by New America in 2014 cited job and employment opportunities as their top reasons to attend college. The best jobs for recent college graduates, the jobs you want, are ones that have to be won.  If you want a great job with a great employer, you have to compete… and the better the job, the more competition you will face.  If you are going to win, you have to be ready and the time to get ready starts when you enter university.

Based on my experience hiring graduates and helping grads get hired, I would like to offer some observations.  Let’s break the process down into two parts:

  1. Getting the interview
  2. Winning the interview


Getting the interview

  1. Earn a degree that aligns with the career or profession to which you aspire. This is almost too obvious to mention but I see countless job applicants who lack the minimum educational requirements for the position for which they apply.
  2. Earn a good GPA. A 3.0 is good but a 3.5 is better.  Many employers have a minimum GPA requirement.  A great GPA won’t get you a job.  GPA is less important than other factors in hiring decisions but a good GPA is required to obtain the interview.
  3. Master written and oral communication skills. Learn grammar and punctuation.  Know how to structure a sentence.  Practice listening and speaking to others so that you understand and are understood.  A poorly written cover letter and errors in your resume are going to get you rejected every time.  You can hire someone to proofread your cover letter and resume, but at some point in the hiring process you will communicate directly with recruiters and interviewers.  You must be able to communicate effectively.


Winning the interview

  1. Demonstrate relevant work and leadership experience. An article published in USA Today College reported that work experience and leadership positions were more important factors in determining who was offered a position than GPA.  Work experience and leadership positions were ranked almost evenly as the first and second most important factors in their hiring decisions by the employers participating in the study.  If all types of work experience were equal, I would rank full-time employment first, part-time experience second and internships third.  All types of work experience, however, are not equal.  Work experience that is directly related to the position sought is going to count more than unrelated work experience.  The summer internship with the engineering firm is going to weigh more heavily when you are interviewing for an engineering position than the full-time job as a table server.

Leadership positions are readily available on every campus.  Every honor society, club, fraternity, sorority and organization has a need for officers.  They also need leaders to chair projects.  Take advantage of these opportunities and use them to demonstrate real leadership.  Join an organization that will provide you with opportunities to grow through participation in worthwhile projects.  Chairing a committee that planned and executed a community service project demonstrates real leadership and other skills which employers seek in their new hires.  Golden Key International Honour Society chapters provide exactly these types of opportunities.


  1. Be professional.  Professionalism encompasses all of the things that you should already know.  Be punctual, respond promptly to emails, return phone calls, dress appropriately, be properly groomed, hide the tattoos and send thank you notes to recruiters and interviewers.  If you really want to make an impression, send handwritten thank you notes.
  2. Prepare for each interview specifically. Study the job description of the position for which you are applying.  Research the firm and learn what you can of their culture and values.  To the extent that you can, determine what the employer needs and wants and articulate how you can deliver what they are seeking.  Your objectives during the interview are to convince the employer that you have the skills to perform the job they are seeking to fill and that you will be a good fit for their organization.


Dream jobs exist and you can land one.  Your chances of landing your dream job will be greatly improved if you prepare.  You attend college for an education and to prepare yourself for a career.  Studies and grades should be your first priority.  Those required courses and Gen Ed requirements are important.  Freshmen composition and speech are essential. Be active on campus.  Join an organization and serve as a leader.  Land an internship that is directly tied to the job of your dreams.  Take advantage of what your campus offers and let those things help you prepare to get and win the interview that lands you the job of your dreams.


Read more about the New America College Decisions survey findings here.

Find out if you qualify to join Golden Key International Honour Society here.

6 ways an International Internship Prepares You for a Successful Career

March 28, 2017

The Intern Group copyDoing an internship abroad through The Intern Group can enrich your life in a number of ways. It’s a unique opportunity for you to earn valuable professional experience while traveling and immersing yourself in a new culture. The different ways you learn and grow during your time abroad will stay with you for decades, making you a more international, culturally-sensitive, dynamic and open-minded professional.

6 ways an international internship prepares you for a successful career:

1. The experience pushes you to become a more dynamic person

When thrown into a completely foreign culture, you’re forced to alter your behavior to fit the new cultural norm. Having to make these personal changes to fit in at an international office pushes you to be more adaptable and dynamic. These skills will come in handy no matter where you end up.

2. You can hone your international networking skills

An international internship program thrusts you into social situations with citizens from the world over. At your internship you’ll have the opportunity to meet established professionals in your field. This is a great way to build up your network of professional contacts. You’ll also have the opportunity to make connections with other interns from all over the world in your free time.

3. It’s an opportunity to gain a global perspective

Going abroad opens your eyes and ears to the world beyond your home country. Living and interning in a brand new cultural context offers you a fresh perspective. Once you step out of your comfort zone and see how another culture operates, you’ll start to understand how big and diverse the world really is. You’ll realize just how important it is to understand what’s going on in the world beyond your own borders.

4. Meeting and working with a diverse group of people keeps you open to new personalities and points of view

There’s more than one right way to do things – each person approaches a task a little differently. These different perspectives and viewpoints can help solve complex problems and bring innovation and new ideas to the workplace. Working among professionals with different backgrounds at a young age will free your mind from the notion that a certain task has to be done in a certain way.

5. You learn to become comfortable being uncomfortable

One of the best takeaways from an experience abroad is how it forces you to become more open to feeling uncomfortable and out of your element. When you’re abroad, you’re put into new situations where you may not know what to say or how to act, but you have to figure it out somehow and keep your cool. People who can adjust quickly, adapt and think on their feet are exactly the kind of people managers want beside them in an important meeting or presentation.

6. Foreign language experience in a professional setting will open up unexpected doors

Knowing a second language can open up any number of professional doors in your future. For example, if you’re at a company that is looking to expand internationally to Latin America and you speak fluent Spanish, you’re a far more valuable employee than a monolingual. Language skills also help you connect to people from different parts of the world, so you can cast a wider net when you are networking.

Learn more about how to boost your career abroad through The Intern Group and benefit from a 5% discount off any program of your choice as a Golden Key member.



Are You Watching Golden Key’s Professional Development Videos?

March 13, 2017

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Many resources are available to you when you visit the Golden Key website and log in. You’ll find information on awards and scholarships, Golden Key Chapters and events, leadership opportunities, programs for studying abroad, and much more.

With all those resources available, you might have overlooked another valuable Golden Key resource on the Golden Key site . . .


The Golden Key Library of Professional Development Videos

CLICK HERE to review the available videos, choose some, and watch.  Here are some of the useful videos you will find . . .


Effective Communication for Leaders

Presented by Steve Neel, Golden Key Honorary Member

To grow as a leader, you must be an effective, compelling communicator. This presentation reviews strategies to help you develop top-notch communication skills.


Conflict Management

Presented by Jen Wright, Golden Key Advisor at University of Central Florida

True leaders know how to deal with and reduce conflict. This video teaches skills to approach conflict with confidence and move forward after it has occurred.


Secrets to Grad School Admissions 

Presented by Anthony Russomonno, The Princeton Review

Anthony Russomonno, an expert in graduate school applications who works at the Princeton Review, explains what it takes to get into graduate school. This session emphasizes a systematic approach that increases the chances of getting into the school of your choice.


Introduction to Servant Leadership 

Presented by Pat Falotico, CEO, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

Learn about Servant Leadership from the CEO of the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. This session explores what defines servant leadership, how to identify a servant leader, and much more.


The Importance of Researching Industries & Employers in Today’s Global Job Market

Presented by Vault

If you would like to avoid working in the wrong company or industry, this is a video you should watch. Learn important career-building lessons from Vault, the publisher of authoritative guides to different industries.


All That, and More, on the Golden Key Website

Be sure to spend some time exploring all the great resources available on the Golden Key website. Log in and check it out!


Not a member? Click here to find out if you’re eligible to join Golden Key!