Our fellows come from across the country, and for some, it is their first time moving to a new city. There can be many challenges when moving to a new city—finding an apartment, navigating public transportation, for example. For first year, Jennifer Taing, her acceptance to Takeda was a new milestone: moving away from home for the first time. Find out why Jennifer chose Takeda for her fellowship, and how she’s been doing since moving to Boston in July.

People often ask why I chose Takeda for my fellowship, and the answer comes very easily to me—this company truly cares about their patients. In fact, I can still remember the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma advertisement I stumbled upon in Cure Magazines sponsored by Takeda. It piqued my interest to dig more into Takeda’s values and what I found resonated deeply with me. I wanted to be part of the movement to strive for curing cancer and creating a brighter future for patients.

Hence, my stars aligned, and I was granted this amazing opportunity with Takeda that has provided me with remarkable mentors whom nurture both my leadership and learning skills. So far, this fellowship has exceeded my expectations. Some examples comprise of projects that add value to the team and company and meeting Takeda colleagues from Indonesia and Zürich at an international congress.

My immediate emotions when I received my acceptance letter from Takeda Oncology was pure happiness. After four didactic-intense years in pharmacy school, I was ready to end my chapter as a student and finally begin my career as a Pharmacist.  I have never lived anywhere besides Philadelphia, so moving to Boston was monumental for me. It was my first time leaving my parents’ nest and having to learn how to be on my own. Below are some of my experiences when moving to Boston and my fellowship.

My first step after accepting my fellowship was to look for an apartment. To be frank, I did a lot of research online as well as ask MCPHS fellows what they thought of specific boroughs in the Boston/Cambridge area. I quickly noticed that living in Boston/Cambridge is terribly expensive and if you wanted to live a borough further away from the city (less expensive), transportation may become an issue. I concluded living in the Brighton/Allston area, which is not too far from the city, was the perfect distance from the city that would not cost you an arm and a leg. Another thing to note is that Boston is one of the cities that will charge a broker fee so be sure to put that in your budget. FYI, MCPHS fellowship usually provides a relocation stipend if you do decide to accept the fellowship.

After moving to Boston, one concept I had to get used to was the thought of public transportation. After Ubering the first few days in Boston, I realized the roads do not follow a grid pattern, street signs for cars merging are almost non-existent, and pedestrians can cross the road diagonally. With that said, public transportation is the best method of getting around as Boston is an extremely walkable city and public transportation will take you anywhere you need to go.

One aspect I was worried about was finding my niche in a new city, however, I quickly learned how welcoming Bostonians are. During my few months here, I’ve been able to meet a lot of people through the robust networking events MCPHS hosts, and many of the fellows have become a second family to me. I am never short of events to go to on my weekends which range from a relaxing movie to eventful festivals. Additionally, make sure to sign up for MassBio as this is centered on creating events for employees in biopharmaceutical companies. These events are filled with networking with colleagues from a variety of companies based in Boston. Some noteworthy events include attending a Red Sox game or seeing Kyrie Irving play at the Celtics games.

My final thought on my move to Boston is that I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so. Boston is a growing city that is rich with biopharmaceutical companies and networking. Overall, this experience helped me become a more independent individual and broaden my horizons. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

headshot of jennifer taingJennifer Taing, PharmD, is a Global Medical Information Post-Doctoral Fellow with MCPHS University and Takeda

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