Marlon Seijo '18
One of the most common complaints Harvard students have is that it can be difficult to escape the “Harvard bubble.” With so many things to do on campus, it can be easy to ignore all of the amazing opportunities in Boston and Cambridge. An off-campus job can be a great way to learn new things and experience what life is like beyond Harvard Yard. Just ask Marlon Seijo about his internship with WorldTeach, a non-governmental organization with their headquarters on Brattle Street that works to increase educational opportunities in developing countries.
Marlon has been working with WorldTeach since the beginning of his time at Harvard. He is the Campus Outreach intern, a work study-eligible position he found through the SEO database. Even though he thinks of himself as being more inclined to scientific studies, he has found the mission of WorldTeach to be one that he really identifies with. Marlon
wants to be a doctor and eventually move to Latin America to serve the communities there. “It’s a similar mission, but in a different way,” he says.
During the ten hours a week Marlon works with WorldTeach, he primarily works to help coordinate outreach events with campuses from all over as well as maintain opportunity databases. WorldTeach organizes college students to volunteer to go abroad over the summer and teach in rural areas in developing countries. Marlon’s passion for the work that WorldTeach does is obvious as he talks about his position. He is even considering volunteering abroad with WorldTeach next summer. He says it is very rewarding to be able to share with others the opportunities that WorldTeach has to offer, like chances to go abroad and make a difference. “It’s cool knowing that I’m getting a lot of people that chance.” Even just talking to his friends
can become an outreach moment for Marlon. “When I tell people what the program is about, they get interested. One of my friends actually applied to the Costa Rica program and he’s going on the program.”
Marlon is involved with many other activities on campus. He is the president of a club that volunteers at a hospital, he tutors on the weekends, and he is in the Harvard financial analysts club, as well. When asked if he ever finds it difficult to manage all of his time, he says that it is not so much that he does not have enough time, but rather that scheduling overlapping activities has been his biggest obstacle and it often comes down to prioritizing his activities. “You have to choose.”
Marlon says that he has learned “a lot of intangible things” during his time at WorldTeach, from customer service to email campaigning. Looking forward to how these things might be helpful to him as a doctor, he thinks the people skills he has learned will definitely come in useful. “It’s not just subjects that doctors are working on, it’s people.”
Working at WorldTeach has been a great experience for Marlon. Not only has he been able to work on a project he cares about and learn important skills, but he has also been able to get outside the confines of Harvard. “It doesn’t just become ten hours of work, it’s doing things outside of campus and meeting people outside of the ‘Harvard bubble.’ There are students from Boston University, from Boston College there. It’s a different experience that you wouldn’t get if you were working on campus.”