Before You Start

The “Before You Start” portal is critical to ensuring that you are ready for your first day at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Please review all the materials here, and do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. Please note that your Department/Center Administrator and/or designee is key in ensuring that you receive access to email, that you obtain your Harvard University Identification Number, and have access to the other elements to successful onboarding. Your offer letter will include the contact information for this designee, as well as steps that you will need to take to successfully complete the onboarding process.

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Cambridge & Longwood Orientations The Longwood Medical Area | Transportation Resources | Recommended Questions

 Employment Authorization (I-9)

Image of the I9 FormAlert Shield Completing the I -9 document is the first step in getting you onboarded at the School. Without the completion of this document, the hire process cannot proceed. Regarding the I-9 document:  “Employers must complete Form I-9 to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of each new employee (both citizen and non-citizen) hired after November 6, 1986, to work in the United States. In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), employers must complete Form I-9 to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of each new employee (both citizen and non-citizen) hired after November 27, 2011. Employers should have used Form I-9 CNMI between November 28, 2009 and November 27, 2011.”  – Instructions for Employment Eligibility Verification, USCIS Form I-9 at

Please work with your Department/Center Administrator and/or designee to set up a time, at least a few days before your first date, to complete your I-9. We recommend doing so 1-2 weeks in advance if possible.

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New Employee Welcome and Orientation (Cambridge)Alert Shield

The New Employee Welcome & Orientation, open to all employees, provides you with an overview of your benefits and introduces you to the structure and culture of the University. The program also includes information about a variety of employee resources and perks and gives you a chance to ask questions and meet other new colleagues. You do not need to bring anything, but you are strongly encouraged to watch the Harvard Benefits Highlight videos before attending.

Note that advanced registration is required. Please follow this link to register for the Cambridge New Employee Welcome & Orientation.

If you have questions about Orientation or have trouble using the registration link, please contact

Accessibility Accommodations: If you are a participant who would like to request any special accommodations, please contact or 617-495-4895 prior to your session date.

Harvard Longwood Campus Orientation and Networking Event (Boston)

Once on board, you will be invited to register for the HLC Orientation and Networking Event that takes place on the Longwood Campus. Check in will begin at 9:15AM, and the event’s duration is from 9:30AM-12:30PM. This event will introduce you to some of the resources here on the HLC campus, discuss training and development opportunities, and encourage networking with fellow colleagues within the community. Snacks and beverages will be provided. You will receive an email reminder about the event after your first day, which will ask you to sign up via the Harvard Training Portal (once you have access). If you would like to know the next available date in advance, please contact Rebecca Feeney at

In the meantime: Want to see and learn more about Harvard University? Click on the welcome video below!


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The Longwood Medical Area

The Longwood Medical Area (or LMA) located near Fenway Park, is a flourishing community of students, administrative professionals and healthcare professionals. Consisting of the Harvard Longwood Campus (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard Medical School), the area also serves as home to several Harvard affiliated medical, academic and research facilities. Among these facilities are the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. The area also includes several restaurants, retail venues and museums. For an interactive map of Longwood that includes transportation, a complete list of places to eat, as well as places to stay, please visit the MASCO website.

Watch this video to learn more about the Longwood Medical Area:

Cafeterias on the Harvard Longwood Campus

Elements Café
LOCATION: 1st floor of the NRB at 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
HOURS:  7:30AM-11:30AM Breakfast at Aliquots
11:30PM-2:00PM Lunch
2:00PM-3:00PM PM Snack
3:00PM-6:00PM Coffee Bar at Aliquots (Closed on Fridays)

Courtyard Café
LOCATION: Warren Alpert Building
HOURS: 7:30AM-10:30AM Breakfast
10:30AM-11:30AM AM Snack
11:30AM-2:00PM Lunch
2:00PM-3:00PM PM Snack

Atrium Café
LOCATION: 2nd floor Atrium in TMEC
HOURS: 7:30AM-10:30AM Breakfast
10:30-11:30 AM Snack
11:30-2:00 Lunch

Sebastian’s Café
LOCATION: Kresge Building, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston
HOURS:  Monday-Thursday 7:00AM-4:00PM
Friday 7:00AM-3:00PM
Closed weekends and holidays

More information about other restaurants in Longwood.

Coffee Locations                   Coffee images

Starbucks: 283 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
Dunkin Donuts: 1631 Tremont St (Huntington Ave.), Boston, MA 02120
Peet’s Coffee: 625 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115
Mike’s Donuts: 1524 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02120
J.P. Licks: 1618 Tremont St., Boston, MA

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Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO)

MASCO is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing Boston’s Longwood Medical and Academic area (LMA) for the benefit of those who live, work, study or receive care in the area. MASCO offers the following services:

  • Ridematching: Carpools and Vanpools
  • Pool-Aide Parking Program and Emergency Ride Home Program
  • Shuttles: M2 Cambridge/LMA, Ruggles Express, JFK/UMASS (Schedules and GPS tracking available on MASCO’s website)
  • Commute Fit Program
  • Customized Commuting Information
  • ZipCar discounts. More information from the Zipcar partner website.
More information about the services and resources MASCO provides to the School



The MBTA provides easy and affordable means to reach the Longwood Medical Area.  Here’s more information on the train and bus stops near our area.

Need further assistance commuting to the area?

More information on commuter planning that provides you with a commute planning option, where you can enter your start and end destination addresses to plan out your travel route.

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Rental and Housing Resources

If you are new to the area and looking for housing, as stated on it’s website, Harvard University Housing (HUH) offers a broad range of housing and real estate services to the University’s graduate students, faculty, and employees.  More information about Harvard’s Real Estate Advantage Program and  more information for preferred mortgage lenders.

If you are looking for rentals around the Boston area, visit The Off-Campus Housing Service for the Harvard Community. Per the website, Harvard University Housing has engaged Off Campus Partners to create an apartment rental listing site for Harvard University Affiliates. View maps, photos, and more. You are invited to post a listing for a small fee or search the site for free. There is also a free roommate matching section.

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Recommended Questions to Ask Before You Start

This is a new job and it is expected that you will have questions! You may want to reach out to your Recruiter, hiring manager and/or your supervisor to ask the following questions:

  • Should I bring a lunch my first day?
  • If commuting by car: Where do I park my first day/how do I get a parking permit prior to my first day?
  • If commuting by bicycle: where is the bicycle rack closest to the building?
  • What time should I be at work my first day?
  • What is the preferred attire in the group/department?
  • What is the accepted practice for decorating my work space — i.e. – can I bring photos from home or other personal items?
  • Will I have a schedule for my first days, such as for meetings or required training?


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