Your First Week

You will need to take the following steps during your first week as an employee at the FAS:

Getting Your Harvard ID number / ID card and your HarvardKey

Your Harvard ID number (HUID) and your ID card are crucial to access email, voicemail, and the many services and benefits that come with your employment at Harvard.  Most online resources within the Harvard community require verification of your identity through your ID number and HarvardKey.  

  • Request your HUID number from your Department Administrator or Manager. Visit the Harvard ID Office at the Smith Campus Service Center, Room 807, with a government-issued photo ID, to request to have your photo taken and an ID card generated.
  • Claim your HarvardKey. Once you know your HUID you can claim your HarvardKey.  Visit the website Click on the ‘Claim your HarvardKey’ link and follow the prompts.

Once you have your HUID and HarvardKey:

  • Complete your tax withholding and direct deposit information. Review instructions for completing tax withholding and direct deposit online.
  • Update your personal information. Go to PeopleSoft, where you can review your personal information summary and complete the emergency contact, ethnicity/race and veteran self-ID information.
  • Sign up for a parking pass, if needed. Once you have your Harvard ID, visit the Harvard Transportation and Parking website to find out about and sign up for parking.  The Campus Services office is located at Smith Campus Center Room 807, 8th Floor, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. 
  • Sign up for an MBTA pass, if needed. For those taking public transportation, Harvard offers a generous 50% subsidy for most transit passes.  For details and to sign up, go to:  It may take 5 - 9 weeks before you receive your first transit pass, so sign up as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, there is no reimbursement for transit passes you buy on your own while waiting for your first pass.
  • Register for Harvard's MessageMe.  MessageMe allows Harvard to quickly distribute critical information to you, wherever you are located, during an emergency.
  • Register for Harvard-wide New Employee Orientation. This required orientation introduces new employees to Harvard's structure, culture, and opportunities available.  Employees learn about the benefits and services that Harvard offers, and have allotted time for questions.  At most sessions, a representative from the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) will offer a brief overview as well.
  • Mark your calendar with your your Getting Started at FAS  orientation session date. For staff who are new to the FAS, you will receive Getting Started at FAS orientation session information with your offer letter.  These workshops give new FAS staff members an opportunity to meet and learn what they can expect from working at the FAS.

Learn about...

  • Your new neighborhood. Find your way around Harvard and Harvard Square.
  • PeopleSoftPeopleSoft Time Reporting and Absence Management is the self-service automated process through which Harvard staff keep track of time worked and current balances for vacation, sick, personal and other time off.
  • Information Security. As Harvard employees, we all need to understand our responsibilities regarding the protection of confidential information and high-risk confidential information.  To that end, FAS requires that all staff members understand the why's and how-tos of maintaining security and confidentiality via a required online learning module and confidentiality agreement.
  • Performance management. Schedule an appointment with your manager within the next 30 days to set performance goals. This is the beginning of your entry into the annual performance review cycle.  Read more about goal setting at the FAS.  It is also a good idea to create a schedule for regular check-in meetings with your manager, where you can obtain feedback regarding your performance.