Get a GRIP!

You did it! Finals are over, the semester has ended, see ya, 2020! I sincerely hope you take the advice from our Executive Director Barbara Hewitt, and use this break to relax and unwind. However, if you’re interested in the Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP), you might be planning to dedicate some of your break to your application. The deadline to apply for GRIP is January 7, 2021, and since Career Services will be closed from 5PM December 23rd until 9AM January 6th, we wanted to leave you with some tips and best practices for your application.

1 – Check out our existing resume resources. Be sure your resume formatting is consistent and clear, and that the document is free of typos and errors. Remember you should highlight all of your experiences. Internships are valuable, but so are volunteer opportunities and club activities. Showcase your impact by starting your bullet points with strong, active verbs.

2 – Ensure you meet all eligibility criteria set forth by Penn Abroad:

  • A full-time, degree seeking undergraduate or master’s level student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Spring 2021 semester
  • Returning to the same degree program full-time in the Fall 2021 semester
  • Must be in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Must not have previously withdrawn from GRIP after committing
  • Must not be applying for an internship in your home country or a country in which you grew upIn addition, individual GRIP placements may have their own additional eligibility requirements. Please read the “Eligibility” tab of each program brochure in PASSPORT for specific eligibility requirements by program.

3 – Follow all instructions very carefully, including the instructions for uploading your application. Applications for direct placements require cover letters, and those for cohort placements require personal statements. A few tips for each:

Cover Letters (For Direct Placements):

  • You can address the letter in a variety of ways, but there should be a greeting. “Dear Hiring Committee:” “Dear GRIP Team:” are a couple of options
  • Ensure you write specifically about the job description AND the eligibility requirements. (Check under the “Internship Details” tab and the “Eligibility” tab on each program’s brochure in PASSPORT)
  • State why you are interested in the organization, the role, and how you meet each eligibility requirement.
  • While it’s still imperative for your writing to be concise and focused, these cover letters can provide a bit more detail, context, and run slightly longer than a cover letter for another application that’s not GRIP-related.

Personal Statements (For Cohort Placements):

  • You could address it to someone if you want, but this isn’t necessary. You could still say, “Dear GRIP Team:” or “Dear Business in Sydney Team:” for example.
  • Write about why you’re interested in the field in general, which subfields. you’re interested in and why (check for those under the “Internship Details” tab on each program’s brochure in PASSPORT).
  • Address what qualifications you bring. Since eligibility varies by specific role, you can speak broadly about why you would make a good marketing intern, for example.
  • While it’s still imperative for your writing to be concise and focused, your personal statement can provide a bit more detail, context, and run slightly longer than a cover letter might for another application that’s not GRIP-related.


Applications for all pre-approved GRIP placements are due by January 7, 2021 at 10:00PM EST.

Penn Abroad will offer advising on January 6 and 7. These will be the final two opportunities for applicants to complete the advising requirement. The link to register for advising on January 6 or 7 will go live on January 3. You can access the scheduling link on Penn Abroad’s meet with an advisor page.

The Career Services office is closed starting on December 23 at 5:00PM EST, and will re-open at 9:00AM EST on January 6. We will have additional appointment times available on January 6 dedicated to your GRIP application questions.




By Mylène Kerschner
Mylène Kerschner Host, Seasons 1-6