Student Silva Robbins: A career as a doctor is not the only option for those interested in medicine

Silva studies bioinformation technology and participates actively in student life. She sees the Otaniemi campus as unique because it brings different fields and their student cultures together.
Bioinformaatioteknologian opiskelija Silva Robbins teekkarilakissa. Kuva: Markus Toivonen
Silva Robbins. Image: Markus Toivonen.

In upper secondary school Silva Robbins was interested in mathematics and physics, and she was almost certain that she would become a doctor. In her last year at school, she realised that engineers also have highly important roles in medicine and health technology. Her studies in bioinformation technology have also shown her new objects of interest, such as programming.

Why did you choose bioinformation technology?

In school I was interested in science and I thought that medical school would be the right place for me. In my last year I started to seriously think that although medicine seemed remarkably interesting, I did not feel that studies and a career in that field was really my thing. A couple of students from Aalto University came to visit our school, after which I started going through different technology options on the Aalto website.

Studying medicine and the social aspects of a doctor's life did not feel like the things that I wanted for my future profession. I finally ended up applying for major of bioinformation technology because I was more interested in practical activities. I was also pleased that my major allowed me to apply traditional engineering sciences to medical purposes.

What has been the most interesting course?

Although I ended up studying here for the medical aspects, I have also learned to like programming and data sciences. I hardly knew anything about them before, but now they have become a big target of my interest. I like them because they require logical thinking and deductive skills. In the data sciences we get to use programming and maths in practical applications, and it's cool to see how these tools can be used for optimising the smooth function of society.The courses on Machine Learning and Applied Mathematical Software were especially interesting and rewarding.

Versatility made the studies particularly interesting. Alongside traditional engineering, it has been possible to take a course on physiology, or molecular sciences involving cells, for example.

At Aalto, you can get so much more than just a degree.

Silva Robbins

What has student life been like in practice?

At Aalto, you can get so much more than just a degree. For example, there is a full range of volunteer activities available here. From my very first year I have been involved in the activities of both the Inkubio guild and the Student Union. I am currently the chair of the Aava community division of our Student Union; it has been cool to meet international students and students from the School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, and from the School of Business. The Otaniemi campus is truly unique, containing much history. It combines three independent fields of study as well as the student cultures of the different fields.

How has this prepared you for your career?

I spent a summer in a research group at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, and in doing so I got the topic for my Bachelor's thesis. It was great to get to see what the world of research was like in our field!

In my volunteer work I have acquired plenty of skills in leadership, group work, and project management. We have some truly big projects, especially in the Student Union, which one might not imagine that many people in their twenties would even get the chance to do. For example, the outdoor festival event Heatwave, which we organised in the summer. An estimated 500 people took part in the event. There was live music, karaoke, and an art wall.

In addition to acquainting us with future professionals, the guild holds different kinds of happenings and information events which help us learn about employment rates and opportunities in the field.

How does the future of the field look?

Bioinformation technology and health technology are growing fields, and we cannot be replaced by robots very soon. I think that it is especially important to know that it is possible to do quite meaningful work, such as developing and studying significant medical solutions. I also know that I have the capabilities to go into other fields, and not just health technology.

I would like to tell upper secondary school students that studies in medicine and a career as a doctor are not the only options for someone who wants to be involved in the development of medicine. It is worth considering what kind of a job description you want in the future and to be open to different options. I would like to encourage all of those considering our field to examine the course selection and to bravely get in touch with our guild, for example. We have very many people who are willing to help and to talk about the content of their studies. 

Would you like to hear more about studying, applying and student life at Aalto University? Sign-up for our newsletter!

More student stories on our Instagram account

Read more

Silva studies in Finnish-taught Bachelor's Programme. See our English-taught Bachelor's Programmes here. 

Aalto University / two students in the Computer Science building /photography Unto Rautio

Bioinformaatioteknologia, tekniikan kandidaatti ja diplomi-insinööri

Poikkitieteellinen pääainekokonaisuus kouluttaa tulevaisuuden huippuosaajia, jotka pyrkivät löytämään ratkaisuja esimerkiksi sairauksien diagnosointiin, niiden hoitoon ja ehkäisyyn, ympäristön puhdistamiseen sekä elämän laadun parantamiseen!

Aalto University / First year master’s student Oskari Lehtonen / photo: Linda Koskinen

In the Bachelor’s Programme in Bioinformation Technology, the best thing is getting to solve study tasks together

The broad range of courses offered and the free movement between the different schools enabled Oskari Lehtonen to go deep into the topics that interested him.

Heli Julkunen seisoo talvisessa maisemassa ja katsoo hymyillen pois kamerasta. Hänellä on päällään valkoinen talvitakki ja taustalla näkyy sumua, puita ja lumihankia.

If you study computer science, you may end up developing better cancer treatments by applying AI

Heli Julkunen developed a machine learning method that predicts how different drug combinations kill cancer cells, and now she helps advance preventive healthcare as a data scientist

kuva: opiskelijoita työskentelemässä

Study at the School of Electrical Engineering

Electricity is everywhere, and our society would not function without it. As a student at the School of Electrical Engineering, you can find solutions to issues related to sustainable development and human well-being.

School of Electrical Engineering
  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!

Read more news

Studies Published:

Mind & Study - toolbox for being well in studies (3cr) coming up in English and in Finnish

Popular course "Mind & Study - toolbox for being well in studies" will be organized in Finnish and English in the 4th period!
An illustration of planting a tree on a grave and the tree's growth
Awards and Recognition Published:

Landscape architect Anu Hakola receives Lappset prize

Hakola’s Master’s thesis examines memorial trees and their significance as part of the commemoration of the deceased.
Kolme opiskelijaa
Studies Published:

New Sähköisku podcast delves into the everyday life of electrical engineering students

In the podcast, electrical engineering students discuss their studies and the life of a teekkari at Aalto University. The first episode is now out!
Cooperation, Studies Published:

Unite! Research Week in October 2024 in Grenoble

A networking event focusing on AI, Energy and Industry 4.0 for faculty and doctoral students