February 25, 2007

My First Week of Work.

I think I’m going to like it here.

There was a substantial period of time where I deliberated over whether to move to Boston or not. At the time, I also really wanted to move into the dojo in Reno to intensify my Aikido training, and for a while I was leaning toward that option. There were a series of events, though, that made it obvious that it was time to go.

At first I felt like I was banging my head against a wall trying to get here—everything had to be difficult. All the apartments I wanted fell through, the job interview fell through, I got really sick, and so on until I felt like maybe I hadn’t made the right decision (though I knew in my bones I had). Then, little by little, everything started coming together in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined. I found a great apartment in an incredibly beautiful (and safe) location just a 10 minute walk from Joe and Nan. The apartment ended up being $100 cheaper per month than I was originally told. I got a job that seems really awesome (and a $15K/yr raise to go along with it). Maybe I wasn’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole after all.

The company that I work for used to be quite large, but has downsized a lot in the past few years because it is spinning off in an entirely new (and exciting) direction. The research that the company is developing now is fairly new in the field of drug discovery. Basically, my company will partner with other pharmaceutical companies that have drugs that are not doing well in clinical trials and try to "reposition" them for other uses. So, my company would run a whole host of assays on that drug to see if it is affecting some other biological process. Because the biology of our bodies is quite redundant, a drug that was meant to treat, say, a heart condition, might actually be better at treating cancer or Parkinson's or dermititis. Because pharmeceutical companies spend an incredible amount of time and money developing drugs (and getting them approved by the FDA for use in clinical trials), it would be much more effective for them to reposition a drug that is not doing well (if it is even possible to do so) than to go back to the drawing board and start again. This is exciting to me.

The first thing that really stood out about my company was the level of respect with which everyone treats each other. I just haven’t seen that sort of a thing anywhere else. I feel like the company truly values my time there and that they are really exited to have me on the team and that is great.

My desk is in a cubicle, which is kind of weird. There are six of us in a row (three on each side) with our desks facing away from each other. Everyone has his/her cubicle decorated with pictures and little knickknacks to make the cube seem a little less cube-like, which makes mine kind of sad—the only thing I have up so far is the dojo schedule. Everyone is really, really nice, and most of them are quirky like me. We are going to get along splendidly.

The company has this get-together every Friday night called FLIC (which stands for Friday Libations in Cambridge). Basically, everyone goes out for drinks and the company pays for it, which is awesome. I had a great time this week.

I am beginning to realize how lucky I am to have this job. Evidently, the interviewed around 15 people before choosing me, which makes me feel good in a way. At FLIC, some of the guys were talking about how it is almost impossible to get a job in Cambridge unless you know someone, because it is kind of like a small family where everyone knows everyone, and they all look out for each other. They would rather hire someone that is part of the group than someone who isn’t. I don’t really like systems like that (I think they are really restrictive), but it is nice to know that I somehow pierced through the Cambridge fabric, and that if I do well here, I can easily find work somewhere else when it is time to leave.

I miss home a lot, but I am really excited to be here. It helps that I have a great job, a great apartment, and good friends around. Boston will probably not feel like home for a while, but I'm okay with that. I didn't move here to be comfortable.

1 comment:

Ostentatious Transitioning Sophist said...

So do they call it FLICing? Just a thought. I am glad that things are awesome there, it makes me wanna move from this god forsaken town even more. I hope that you get used to living there and that you eventually become comfortable! Have a great night Erica!