Elizaveta wants to improve people’s lives through biotechnology

In autumn 2022, Elizaveta Sidorova began her Master’s studies at Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering. After working with cell biology and bioproducts in the past, she is now exploring the field of biotechnology and looking forward to doing work that can have a genuinely positive impact on people’s lives.
Elizaveta sitting on a rock at the seaside. There is a small green ferry in the background.

Before she applied to Aalto University, Elizaveta Sidorova had been making a list of suitable European universities with a biotechnology program. Aalto was not included on the list. However, her plans were altered once she realized that many of the universities on her list wanted potential students to pay for their application.

“I didn’t want to get into any specific university bad enough that I would have paid just to apply, with no guarantees of getting in. So, I kept searching for biotechnology majors in Europe, and Aalto was at the beginning of the Google search”, Elizaveta says.

Elizaveta also applied to many countries besides Finland, including Denmark, England, and the Netherlands. She was offered a spot at all the universities she applied for, and sometimes a scholarship. But she decided on Aalto and the School of Chemical Engineering.

“Fortunately, the application process itself was quite easy. It wasn’t until after I’d applied that I started to read more about Aalto. And soon I realised it was a wise decision to apply and I began to really hope I would be accepted.”

Combining biotechnology with courses on bioproducts

In the past, Elizaveta has worked with bioproducts applications like designing the dressings for chronic wounds. The work was so rewarding that she initially thought about applying to a bioproducts Master’s program. She is thinking of taking some elective bioproducts-related courses from other majors.

“I was also working with cell biology during my Bachelor’s and I’m looking forward to our course on the subject. But I chose biotechnology as my major because I saw it as a good balance of biology and chemistry that can help humanity.”

Right now, Elizaveta is completing courses on metabolism and microbial physiology, as well as a course on laboratory work.

“I have particularly enjoyed doing lab experiments. I can say that I have been very pleased with the biotechnology major as a whole.”

The Otaniemi campus offers a wide selection of activities

Besides her studies, Elizaveta enjoys music, singing, and movies. She is also interested in trying some activities that the various clubs and organisations at Aalto provide.

“There are so many opportunities for all kinds of hobbies at Aalto, it’s really amazing! I want to try something new, maybe dancing? It’s almost difficult to choose because there are so many options.”

Elizaveta has been pleasantly surprised by the amount of student events that are taking place on the Otaniemi campus in Espoo, where she is also currently living.

“Every week, there is something happening. It’s really cool and I’ve been delighted with the quality of student life at Aalto. I’m a member of the Chemistry Guild and it has offered me a sense of community through events and just general discussion on things like job prospects and applications.”

Elizaveta is also immersing herself in the Finnish language. She has been self-studying since May, and is currently attending a course on the basics of Finnish.

“In the beginning, it was very difficult for me to understand Finnish at all. In German, for example, I can make out specific words even if I don’t speak the language, but Finnish sentences just sounded like one long word. But now it’s already a little bit easier and I can understand short sentences.”

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