1. Reconcile the cost of housing in Boston
Due to the large population, limited space and antique infrastructure, housing in Boston is one of the most expensive in the country. The average STUDIO apartment goes for an average of $1000 a month. Combine that with a high cost of living (Boston is 28% higher than the national average) and your postdoctoral stipend can be eaten up fairly quickly. Luckily Boston is an amazing city and when you have the opportunity to hear about amazing new startups and collaborate with some of the best researchers in the world, so hopefully the fact that you can’t save as much as you want to during your postdoc can be mitigated by the awesome scientific community around you.
2. Utilize the amazing science community around you
Regardless of whether you want a career in academic science or private industry, networking will further your career goals in ways you cannot even foresee. The great thing about Boston is that there are an incredible amount of networking opportunities and seminars for you to attend! From the great events put on by the Postdoc Association and Graduate Student Councils at Tufts to outside organizations that bring people together. Here is a short list of some organizations and events that are well worth looking into! There are plenty others!
- Propel Careers – Futures in Life Sciences Series
An annual seminar series that delves into different career paths for people in the life sciences using great panelists from the Boston area.
- Biotech Tuesdays
A monthly meetup of people from biotech, academia and pharma industries. If you register on their site, you can RSVP and attend their event for free!
- Venture Cafe
A weekly beer hour for startups, entrepreneurs and innovators, held in Cambridge MA.
- Association for Women in Science (AWIS) – Mass Chapter
Hosts networking events, workshops, seminars and runs an award-winning mentoring program. All events are open for both men and women.
- Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (WEST)
Hosts networking events, workshops and seminars: all events are open for both men and women.
Start networking yesterday!
3. Take advantage of the seasons
Boston is known for its amazing seasons. Spring is revitalizing with flowers blooming and warmer weather rolling in. Summer is hot and sometimes humid, perfect for enjoying the beach or esplanade. Fall brings the gorgeous autumn colors and cooler nights and preludes to the colder winter months. Most Bostonians understand that for 4 months of year (December through March), they may be stuck inside due to bad weather, so they make the most of the spring, summer and fall months. There are a myriad of activities during this time, from concerts and Shakespeare in the park to food truck festivals, sporting events and much more.
4. Explore the city
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the USA and is world-renowned for it’s amazing history. However, don’t just get a Lobster Roll and stroll through Faneuil Hall and call it a day. Boston and the surrounding area is teeming with great sights and sounds. Here are a few ideas:
- Explore the harbour islands, a national and state park with camping, historic lighthouses, beaches and much more! (Did you know that the movie “Shutter Island” was inspired by Long Island, one of the harbour islands!)
- Get your dose of culture at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Museum of Fine Art (MFA) or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – if you sign up to be a member of the Boston Public Library, you can also get discounted passes to all of these museums there!
- Let your geek flag fly at the MIT Museum, Museum of Science, or the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
- Relax in some of Boston’s great parks such as the Arnold Arboretum, Boston Common, Public Gardens, the Esplanade or many many others.
- Try some craft brew and go for a brewery tour at one of the many brewery in the city! Check out Harpoon, Samuel Adams or the many other amazing breweries in the area.
- Want more? Here are 43 unconventional things to do in Boston!
Although the lab is always calling, try to take some time out for yourself and make sure you get to experience the fantastic city Boston is!