by Julia Brown
January 30, 2023
Malissa Arrington has been the associate director of U.S. member engagement at Golden Key for over four years. She said she was initially drawn to Golden Key as a member and part of the team because the team is like a family and welcomed her with open arms. Arrington said, “from the moment I stepped into the Golden Key office, I knew that it was a special place.”
Arrington said the scholarships are her favorite benefit of Golden Key. “It is so inspiring to see a member’s life transform just through the impact of receiving a scholarship, she explained. “It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
She said that this past year, she has been genuinely proud of Golden Key’s ability to accommodate and grow with the changing student population and involvement. Arrington explained, “through the pandemic, we launched a number of new benefits that are accessible in a virtual platform- something that our members were not able to have before.”
Arrington said her top advice for new members is to browse the website and reach out to chapter officers or advisors! She said the best career advice she has ever received was never to settle for less than you are worth. She explained, “you should always value yourself first and not take your education and strengths for granted.”
She said the best person she worked with was Golden Key’s CEO, Melissa Leitzell. “She is an incredible leader, listener, and friend,” said Arrington. “She goes out of her way to make things happen and sees them through!”
Arrington thinks ingenuity makes a great leader. “I believe that when a leader knows how to innovate and invent new ideas, it creates a culture of creativeness within a team and allows for all ideas to be heard,” she said.
According to Arrington, the best skill to have is knowing when and how to respond to someone. “I think it’s very important to be “proactive” than “reactive” in both your speech and actions,” she said.
She said that the new generation of students inspires her. “I believe that they are capable of making a true difference in the world for better,” said Arrington. “It inspires me to continue the work I do.”
Lastly, Arrington recommends that Golden Key members read The Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes.