GRIP, Internships Abroad Becoming a GRIP Intern
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July 17, 2021
Kristina Gorel, CAS '23
Hecho Por Nosotros & animaná - Buenos Aires, Argentina
As soon as I had arrived at Penn as a freshman, I had begun hearing about GRIP internships and thought they sounded like an impossibly valuable opportunity to pursue an internship abroad, especially for someone like me. I knew I wanted to have novel, global experiences during my time at Penn but felt overwhelmed about where to begin. I kept GRIP in the back of my mind until sophomore year, when I finally applied for the Social Impact in Buenos Aires opportunity for this summer, the summer of 2021. I was thrilled to find out that I had been accepted to the program, and furthermore placed with my top choice intern site, Hecho por Nosotros and animaná, a NGO non profit and B Corp company, respectively. Hecho por Nosotros’ mission is all about inspiring systemic change and promoting sustainability in the fashion world. Animaná, a company founded by the same woman as Hecho por Nosotros, builds off of the non-profit and adds value to artisan-produced goods as a high-fashion knitwear brand. I would be their Marketing & Business Development Intern for the summer.
I was confident that an internship with Hecho por Nosotros and animaná was exactly what I was searching for without explicitly realizing it. As a Communications major minoring in Consumer Psychology, I looked forward to sharpening my communication and marketing skills, gaining confidence working in a professional setting, being valued as a member of a small team, and of course, experiencing the work culture of a foreign country through this GRIP opportunity and eagerly awaited further details about what my job with Hecho por Nosotros and animaná would entail. In the meantime, shortly after being notified of my placement with Hecho por Nosotros and animaná, I was notified that the program would take place fully virtually. The reality of my immersive cultural internship experience moving online was one that I could have seen coming, but the news required a shift in mindset and perspective nonetheless. I still looked forward to the experience and thought of all of the positive aspects of a remote internship. In a world that is moving online at a rapid pace, I knew that working remotely would help me to develop an additional set of entirely new, necessary skills.
Soon enough, I was contacted by my supervisor and we met to discuss what my summer with Hecho por Nosotros and animaná would look like. It began to feel real as we discussed some of the projects I would be working on, nearly all of which tied back to Hecho por Nosotros’ toolkit. The toolkit is currently in development, being published in sections that aim to make educational aspects of sustainability, design thinking, and more accessible to artisans, collaborators, and the general public. As a Marketing and Business Development intern, I would collaborate with other team members and my supervisor to brainstorm, design, and finalize several important aspects of the toolkit to be published later in the summer.
Now, in my first few weeks of working with Hecho por Nosotros and animaná, I am able to see these plans coming to life. I feel doubly confident now that this is the perfect internship for me. As I sit on my back porch (my beautiful “office”) each day, there is always something new and engaging happening at Hecho por Nosotros and animaná, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of their meaningful work for the entire summer!
The Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to intern or conduct research abroad for 8 to 12 weeks over the summer. Participants gain career-enhancing experience and global exposure that is essential in a global workforce.