Meishan Lin wants to start a company that can benefit humanity

Meishan Lin’s dream is to start a cancer research and drug discovery company. She is currently completing the second year of her Bachelor’s studies at Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering.
Meishan Lin.

Meishan Lin’s dream is to start a cancer research and drug discovery company. She is currently completing the second year of her Bachelor’s studies at Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering.

“I intend to launch this company in Finland together with my father, who is a medical doctor. He advised that chemical engineering would be a great fit for the future of our company, so that was one of the reasons I applied to Aalto,” Meishan shared.

Meishan has a clear vision of how she wants to carry out her studies and career. After her bachelor’s, she intends to apply to the Life Science Technology master's programme at Aalto, with Bioinformatics and Digital Health as her major.

“I will focus on antibodies for both my bachelor’s and master’s theses. This research is closely related to the key focus of my future company as well. I want to start a company that produces raw material for drug development for other pharmaceutical companies at the initial stages. I really want to do work that can contribute back to humanity.

From Bachelor of Arts to nursing to chemical engineering

Meishan’s path to becoming a chemical engineering student has perhaps not been the most conventional. At the age of 19, she relocated from China to Seattle, where she finished a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington. During that time, she was not sure about what she wanted to do.

“It is not uncommon that students in their early twenties don’t know what their goal is yet. And that’s where I was at 20 years old as well! But I think that if people are lucky enough to find their passion early, they will conquer any challenges they might have during their studies or career. I have met so many passionate people in Aalto, I think it’s a valuable personality trait.”

Since moving to Finland in 2017, Meishan had numerous eye-opening experiences. While working as a registered nurse in 2021, she constantly found herself asking the question: how can I help to alleviate the patient’s pain? She continues to work as a registered nurse in Comprehensive Cancer Center while completing her studies at Aalto. Her experience as a nurse inspired her to explore the possibilities of expanding the help she can offer to patients.

“After I moved to Helsinki, I heard a lot of good things about Aalto. And I wanted to study something more advanced, instead of just following a familiar and repetitive routine like I did as a full-time nurse. If I was not a registered nurse, I would never have thought about studying engineering.”

Other Aalto courses complement aspirations

Currently, Meishan also takes on a teaching assistant role for two Aalto courses – Philosophy and Sustainable Development Goals as Entrepreneurial Business Opportunities.

“My role is to assist the professor in making sure the lesson goes smoothly. I edit presentation materials and solve possible technical problems during the lectures. I think it’s interesting to watch the interactions between the professor and the students. The lectures do offer incredible insights that I can ponder about after class and it helps to enhance my critical thinking skills.”

“There are many doctoral students in science, for example, who are also interested in philosophy. Since I’ve been working as a nurse, I have encountered many people who are wondering about the purpose of life and how to come to grips with dying. Pondering about these kinds of existential questions allows me to think deeply and inspires me to give back to humanity.”

Meishan says she has enjoyed both courses thoroughly, which complements her aspirations and studies.

“SDGs as business opportunities course is also inspiring and eye-opening. The course mission caught my attention. “We don’t want you to become a start-up millionaire; we want you to save the world. And maybe become a millionaire doing it.” This mission feels like what my company aspires to achieve. I want to save the world.”

Story edited by Clarrie Ng.

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