Elyse Heslehurst is a name many Golden Key Asia Pacific members may already know. A member since 2013, Elyse joined Golden Key after her family received the invitation on her behalf while she was on exchange in the USA. The trip allowed her the opportunity to observe GK in its founding country, along with all the benefits the organisation provides members. This inspired her to heighten the organisation’s reach in her hometown of Canberra.
Elyse spent many years on the Canberra University committee, serving as President then Public relations officer, before becoming a member of the Golden key Asia Pacific team and taking up the role of University Relations Officer. Over the last seven years, she has proven herself to be a member that has truly worn all the hats.
Elyse says despite already working full time when she joined, she wanted to serve on the committee to embrace the opportunities it provided. This proved slightly difficult due to the lack of committee members and student engagement facing her committee.
“When we started on the committee, we had myself and a Vice President and that’s all,” Elyse says. “By the end of the year we had a secretary. The next year, we doubled our committee, and then the year after it almost tripled.”
Elyse used her time on the Canberra committee to build connections and network with professionals, which ultimately led to her being offered a full-time position at Golden Key.
“I was still on the committee, I was working full time, and I attended the APAC summit in Melbourne and at the conference, I caught up with Mark,” Elyse says. “I left the conference, and it was only a couple of weeks later I got an email from him, saying we have a position at Golden Key, are you interested?”
From there, Elyse began acting as a mentor for various Golden Key committees. She says during this time she watched many students grow by engaging with others to increase their social knowledge.
“Becoming socially aware makes you stand out in a workplace and in an interview, because you can give those examples of when you have worked together as a team in different dynamics,” she says. “Being on a committee, you can actually prove all the different groups of people you have worked with, all the different situations you have worked on, and it gives people, especially in the current climate, that opportunity to stand out from other applicants.
“You don’t always get a job because of the knowledge you know, sometimes it is because you are willing to learn, and (employers) can see that. That is the big difference.”
Remarkably, while also working full time with Golden Key, Elyse began studying a Master of Business Law. She says this challenged her in unique ways, but ultimately afforded her the ability to build on her time management skills.
Like many, Elyse has unfortunately faced the challenge of graduating during isolation. However, despite the indefinite postponement of her graduation ceremony, Elyse has remained optimistic and celebrated this milestone achievement in her own unique way.
Elyse says she performed a photo shoot with her certificate and a graduation cap she still had from her undergraduate.
“I had to get (my certificate) sent to me in the mail and it was sad because I didn’t get to walk across the platform but hopefully, I will get to attend one in person at the end of the year.”
When asked about her future plans, Elyse says the sky is the limit.
“I have lots of ideas. I have never wanted to give myself one end goal… I am loving what I am doing, training and developing, and designing programs, but I think the 5-year plan for me would be to eventually own my own business.
“Something that is organising events but also focusing on that motivational and leadership side of things and running workshops with that.”
No doubt, we will see big things coming from a member that has worn the various hats Golden Key has to offer.