After completing MSc Human Decision Science in Maastricht, I worked as an intern in the Behavioural Science Centre in summer 2013. It was a great experience - I enjoyed the collaborative and friendly atmosphere, the focus on cutting edge techniques and in particular the truly trans-diciplinary approach the Centre was taking to economic and psychology. Although I started out interested in 'Behavioural Economics' during my Masters, I realised that 'Behavioural Science' was a more accurate term for what I wanted to study. I was generally interested in doing a PhD but I had been wary because I wasn't interested in a traditional Economics PhD laden with DSGE models and real analysis that I felt wouldn't be useful to me. Fortunately the Behavioural Centre was also interested in a different approach, so when the opportunity came to do a Behavioural Science PhD under Dr Michael Daly (a psychologist) and Dr Liam Delaney (an economist) working on a project with both psychological depth and interesting economic outcomes, I could hardly turn it down!
My experience so far has been wonderful. The working culture is great, as I knew from my internship, and I'm enjoying the freedom of PhD life. My current research involves using large, secondary data-sets from the UK Data Archive so from the moment I started in October 2013 I have been able to start working on papers. I feel I learn better by doing so I have enjoyed this process of getting straight into things.
Given that I only started 4 months ago any conclusions about how this PhD will help my career would be necessarily speculative. I would say that receiving rigorous training in micro econometrics is no disadvantage for a career inside or outside academia. In addition the Centre often has opportunities to do field work and work with outside agencies so there is a lot of scope for interesting and diverse work. Overall though I imagine that being held to 3 years of extremely rigorous intellectual standards would have lasting benefits in a great many careers.