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Golden Key Spotlight: Malavika Kanoria

Golden Key Spotlight: Malavika Kanoria

“As an international student, what you really crave for is home away from home, and my university and the whole committee of Golden Key has been my home away from home.” Malavika Kanoria began studying a Master of Business Administration (International) at Deakin University in […]

Golden Key Spotlight: Marisa Duong

Golden Key Spotlight: Marisa Duong

By Connor Simpson Marisa Duong joined Golden Key in 2017 after discovering the society through her Bachelor of Philosophy degree coordinator. Marisa was seeking the opportunity to develop her academic career and explore fields of research that interested her. After learning more about Golden Key’s […]

How to reach our Human Potential with Stephanie Woollard

How to reach our Human Potential with Stephanie Woollard

At age 22, Stephanie Woollard founded the organisation Seven Women after meeting seven disabled women working in a tin shed in Kathmandu.

Despite facing harsh discrimination, these women were working hard to make a living. With her last $200, Stephanie paid a trainer to teach the women to create products to sell locally and abroad. Since then, the organisation has helped educate, train and employ over 5,500 women.

How to reach our Human Potential is the question posed and discussed by Stephanie Woollard in the GK Asia-Pacific Webinar.

Stephanie says meeting these seven disabled women working despite the limitations placed on them by society inspired her to act.

“Everyone has this incredible potential within them to create and come up with ideas and innovate,” she says.

“It is that ability to not listen to any limiting beliefs we have for ourselves… to surround ourselves with the right environment to reach our potential.

“My passion for justice, and meeting these women, seeing that their community had limited them and almost put a lid on their potential with this belief, urged me to act.”

The financial help Stephanie initially offered these women was just the beginning of their journey together. It was with hard work and perseverance that together they began successfully fundraising by selling products the women created.

Stephanie says the experience was a learning curve for her every step of the way, and many things did not turn out as expected.

“Now I realize, what you might think is a good product to take to market might not be what the market wants. I learnt that the hard way,” she says.

Despite facing setbacks, Stephanie continued working to fundraiser and help the women. She offers these words of advice to those starting out on a project themselves.

“You don’t need the full vision at the beginning to know what you will do, (and) when. It is handy to know how you are going to get there, you may have a bit of an idea, but actually it develops along the way.”

Stephanie has been internationally recognized with numerous global awards including the UN Rotary International Responsible Business Award. If you would like to watch the recording of her webinar, just click on the video below.

Finding a New Normal with Amy McWilliam

Finding a New Normal with Amy McWilliam

Covid-19 has impacted many things, including the office landscape. The pandemic has demonstrated to employers that many roles can now be performed remotely which has impacted the future of work flexibility. Finding a New Normal with Amy McWilliam explores how individuals can adapt to working […]

Leading a successful organisational transformation with Samantha Wilkinson

Leading a successful organisational transformation with Samantha Wilkinson

Transformation in the workplace can be difficult to achieve for many organisations, due to the many unknown impacts it may have on a business. However, there is a way to navigate the complex transformation landscape. Samantha Wilkinson, an executive-level Human Resources professional, with a blend […]

Get connected with LinkedIn with Pratishtha Purohit

Get connected with LinkedIn with Pratishtha Purohit

Are you new to LinkedIn? Do you want to learn how to optimise the opportunities this platform offers?

GK Asia-Pacific recently presented two LinkedIn orientated webinars, both of which saw host Pratishtha Purohit show members how to begin and improve their LinkedIn journey.

Pratishtha is an ICF certified coach, currently working towards her ACC accreditation. She works as a Career Consultant for Work Connect with Tertiary Education Commission, where she partners with migrant clients and international students to make them New Zealand work ready.

The first session “Introduction to LinkedIn” discusses how to set up and use your LinkedIn account, while the second session “Get Connected with LinkedIn” explores maximizing opportunities provided by the platform.

Pratishtha says with so many people currently displaced from jobs due to Covid-19, LinkedIn is a valuable tool that will help people navigate their career journey.

“I would like you to think of LinkedIn as your go to when you are looking for a job,” Pratishtha says.

The reason Pratishtha says this is because unlike job orientated platforms such as Seek, LinkedIn helps show off your personality rather than just your CV. This allows potential employers to learn about your personal interests and certifications.

“I would highly advise you to spend at least half an hour every day on LinkedIn.”

Pratishtha’s introduction to LinkedIn shows the audience how to set up their LinkedIn profile, a truly informative resource for anyone struggling to understand how to begin using the platform. This is done with step by step instructions and visuals for members to follow.

The second webinar talked our members through updating their profile to encourage attention from job recruiters.

Pratishtha says 70% of the people that found jobs on LinkedIn were hired by a company where they had a connection.

“When I am talking about a connection, I don’t mean this person will know you or has worked with you. It would be just that you are connected with this person,” Pratishtha says.

The second webinar focuses on finding contacts that will help you throughout your future career.

Pratishtha says when searching for these connections, it is important to first find people you already know, before searching for new contacts.

“There is a way to look for connections. You do not just go and randomly connect to people… LinkedIn is not about quantity; it is about quality.”

Each of these sessions provided a wonderful look at opportunities LinkedIn has to offer students and industry professionals and is a much watch for anyone wanting to expand their profiles platform. You can watch the recordings of these sessions on the links below.

Introduction to LinkedIn with Pratishtha Purohit

Get connected with LinkedIn with Pratishtha Purohit

Golden Key Spotlight– Kitty Hoi Yan Wong

Golden Key Spotlight– Kitty Hoi Yan Wong

Golden Key strives to encourage its members in three aspects: Academics, Leadership and Service. Kitty Hoi Yan Wong, a Golden Key member since 2017, perfectly encapsulates the values of Golden Key, and her work in Community Service has proved truly impactful to her local community. […]


The Canadian Golden Key Leadership Summit, also known as CANCON, was held in Montreal this year February 23-25, at the Marriott Chateau Champlain.

Golden Key's Executive Director Brad Rainey Reflects on 40 Years of Golden Key

Brad Rainey, Golden Key’s Executive Director, Reflects on What Golden Key Has Become in 40 Years . . . and What Its Future Holds

I became involved with Golden Key within a few months of its founding in 1977 and today, I am Executive Director. Even though I devoted 35 years to building a career in real estate, I have always been intimately involved with Golden Key.  For all Golden Key’s 40 years, I have been a champion and a believer.

The Golden Key story began in 1977 but the events that led to my involvement can be traced to the fall of 1973 when I was a freshman at the University of Mississippi. It was then that I met Jim Lewis, who is rightfully recognized as Golden Key’s founder. Jim and I got to be buddies, so much so that we decided to room together our sophomore year. Even though Jim transferred to Georgia State during his sophomore year, we remained friends. And as things turned out, we worked closely together as Golden Key grew and developed.

When he was completing his senior year at Georgia State, Jim saw that there was a need for a new kind of honor society. So he talked to students, got people interested, and ultimately obtained approval from the University to invite students to join the organization that would become Golden Key. The seminal idea was to create an honor society that would extend membership invitations only to top academic achievers – students whose GPA fell within the top 15% at their schools. Jim felt that idea would resonate very well with top students, so invitations were sent out. The response was very good, and the first induction ceremony took place on November 29, 1977 at Georgia State.

Based on that response, Jim saw the he had an idea that was worth pursuing – one that would resonate at other universities as well. A woman named Mary Evans became the first secretary.  And the fledgling staff was soon joined by another student, Steve Pracht, who shared the vision for Golden Key. Things were off to a good start and Golden Key was highly successful wherever it went. Activities increased at such a pace that Steve got excited and worked for a year without taking a paycheck.  Much of the credit for the early success and growth of Golden Key should be assigned to Steve Pracht.  Steve worked full time for the Society for about 25 years and still contributes to its mission.

One reason for Golden Key’s immediate success, I believe, is that it was more ambitious in vision than other honor societies, some of which I was also involved with at the time. One of them was Phi Kappa Phi, really quite a distinguished society. Being tapped to join was, and is, quite an honor. But at that time, Phi Kappa Phi didn’t get too involved with ongoing student activities or programs. Members were nominated by faculty members. There was a very elegant induction dinner, but then not too many more things happened.

Golden Key was conceptualized in a different way. As I noted above, only students who had performed to a high academic standard – the top 15% of students – would be invited to join. That was different from being nominated by a committee that weighed a variety of factors.

Another difference, from the start, was that Golden Key would provide funding to chapters and let the students who led them control what their Chapters would do, and how they would spend their Chapter’s fund. Activities were planned and run by the Chapters, not by the governing organization. That led to some interesting developments. The founders of Golden Key didn’t at first envision it as an organization that would get extensively involved in community service. That activity was actually born in the Chapters. We discovered that when you get a group of high-achieving people together and provide them with funding and other resources, great activities begin to happen almost spontaneously. And when students are given the resources to develop activities that have meaning for them that generates a lot of enthusiasm.

From the early days, Golden Key took a portion of the membership fees received and turned right around and used them to provide scholarships for members in every Chapter. Offering scholarships and financial aid to members is a foundational activity for Golden Key. It remains a central part of our vision for supporting high achievers.

As Golden Key was expanding to new campuses, it got a certain amount of pressure from the administration at Georgia State to incorporate, to file for proper status with the IRS, and to organize a Board of Directors and be properly governed. That was in 1978. I became a Board member, and I have remained involved with Golden Key for its entire 40 years. During those years, I took on many roles, including Chair of the Board, Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Finance Committee, Secretary of the Board, and Chair of the Compensation Committee. But I did not actually become an employee of Golden Key until November of 2011. At that time, a search began for a new Executive Director to helm the organization. The Board asked me to watch over the activities of the staff while the search moved forward. But I was then given the opportunity to serve as Executive Director, a position that I gladly accepted. I had spent 35 years in real estate business, and assuming another leadership role at Golden Key was a natural step for me.

I have greatly enjoyed serving as Executive Director, and I am extremely proud that over the last four years alone, Golden Key has awarded millions of dollars to our members in grants and scholarships.  There have been many other activities that have made me especially proud. Over the last few years, we have placed additional emphasis on providing members with opportunities to have international experiences. We’ve been providing travel grants that have helped Golden Key members travel to countries outside their own regions to attend conferences. For example, we are providing travel grants to attend the 6 Leadership Summits that we will host in 2018 for student members in the United States, Canada, South Africa and Australia. As it has been in the past, we are deeply committed to programs that give students the opportunity to study abroad – international experience.  Golden Key is an international society and most of the credit for our presence outside of the United States is due to Mark Herndon who is currently serving the Society as Vice President – International.

I have had the opportunity to meet outstanding students from all over the world. As you know, we have operations in countries that include Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, and more. I am always impressed at the caliber of our members, just incredibly moved by the stories of many of the people I have met. One is Kenechukwu Ikebuaku, a young man from Nigeria whom I first met at a conference in Australia. Thanks to his hard work and with the support of Golden Key, he first became an outstanding student. He is now in the process of launching Nigel International, an organization whose mission is to expand opportunities for young people in Africa. He is now a graduate student at the University of Texas and he is working with Onesimus Technologies, a company that helps Nigerian youth start and run their businesses. Kene is an inspiration. And a few months ago, I got to know another Golden Key member named Omarwalid Noorazada, an outstanding student and Fulbright Scholar who has traveled all over the world as a Golden Key Chapter President. It is immensely rewarding for me to be involved with so many great students who are performing at such a high level and doing outstanding things around the world.

Where do I see Golden Key going in the future? In the world environment today, I think that it is incumbent on the Honor Society to find ways to better deliver new and more extensive benefits to our members, so they become more empowered.

And the core benefits of Golden Key will remain unchanged. Members know they are part of a quality organization that will help them advance their careers, make valuable connections, and enjoy unequaled opportunities to grow and make contributions to their communities and the world.

Why Honor Societies Have Admissions Requirements

Why Honor Societies Have Admissions Requirements

Have you been invited to join Golden Key International Honour Society? Or would you like to join?