So I have learned at lot these past few months on how not to do science, but it is becoming time to put these skills to work.
I am wondering how nice it would be if you could spend your whole day with things having to do with science. At this time I have sent out a couple of applications for PhDs and research assistantships, but I only have an interview with a commercial venture coming up. The job involves doing analyses of data handed in by other companies which I would present in a way that enables intuitive and easy insight. As I am interested in how not to do things, I will turn this torch towards my own choices during my time at the RMBCS.
One of the first things I would encourage is to go and live in Amsterdam. I stayed where I was in Utrecht (cheap housing and 18 min by train), but thinking about it that might not be the best thing. If you go and live in Amsterdam you will have the opportunity to be a lot more active and flexible also concerning social activities. And social networking is very important; so make use of this valuable time. Talk to PhDs, talk to post-docs, talk to professors. The availability heuristic also works for profs so make sure you interact plenty.
A second choice that might not be the best was my choice for which kind of research projects I would do. My first project meant I would be at home a lot (read; Utrecht) and work on a database. This is not leaving much opportunity for socializing with academics (read; opportunity to exploit availability heuristic). The second was with a research company near Utrecht, which was a good experience and I got to do testing in Amsterdam. But thinking back, this again meant not being based in academia and as you all know during testing you are really busy. Plus, testing is not done at psychology departments but rather in basements (read; dungeons) of psychology buildings. Just kidding, the new facilities are pretty nice. We only did not get to see daylight during the first half of our testing.
I did keep myself involved with the second project and I got to go to a symposium in Nijmegen during which I could network and listen to great talks. This second research project could turn out to be a good choice after all, because there might be a opening for a PhD position in a while. But choices are made with uncertainty and based upon probabilities so embedding yourself in academia would be your best bet, I think.