Workshops on transversal skills

The program offers the students the opportunity to acquire or develop their transversal skills, useful both during the time of studies and for their professional future.

“Skills that are typically considered as not specifically related to a particular job, task, academic discipline or area of knowledge and that can be used in a wide variety of situations and work setting.”

Transversal skills have been repeatedly emphasized as one of the most important skills for current and future leaders. Usually not easilly visible or measureable, these skills are increasingly in high demand to successfully adapt to changes and to lead meaningful and productive lives.

The McCall MacBain Leadership Development Program provides workshops that will focus on topics including leadership, communication, enterprise, organization, interpersonal and intrapersonal (see the list below).

The students have the opportunity to attend three workshops in the first year and then two per the next two years. The workshops are all hosted at EPFL, in English, and on Saturdays. Please see below more details and the calendar for the planning of the year. 

*Please note it is highly recommended for students to attend all workshops. Any absences will need to be justified in advance (except for emergencies and illness).

Workshop Topics

This workshop goes into the context and definition of what is Leadership? Discussion points including –

Increasing self-awareness
Team awareness experiential activities
Working in teams
Reflective practice


Silke Mischke is a Cognitive Psychologist, conference speaker, lecturee and the co-program director of the IMD IECC program. She works as a leadership lecturer and senior executive coach. She holds a Phd in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology.

Silke is licensed to administer and interpret several instruments to illuminate individual and group preferences and growth potential. These include the Hogan, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, NEO, IDI and FIRO-B. She is also trained and certified by the Tavistock Institute in facilitating groups and decoding group dynamics. 

Her coaching and teaching activities cover work with teams and individuals from international organizations. She works globally with customers from various industry sectors and governments.

Further to her role as Senior Executive Coach, she teaches emotional intelligence, negotiation skills, stress management, time management, and personal development.

Silke wrote her doctoral research on the impact of emotional intelligence on trust and leadership development in a coaching context.

This experiential workshop provides students with the opportunity to practice skills for managing their breathing, bodies and minds for strong communication. Alternating between applied activities and self reflection, we explore non-verbal communication and meta-emotional strategies for reducing stress and presenting ourselves.


Siara Isaac is a scientist at the Centre for Learning Science EPFL, Lecturer as well as a teaching advisor. She holds a PhD in Educational Research from Lancaster University in UK, A MSc in Bio-Organic Chemistry from McGill in Canada. 

 Siara’s current work inclues:
– Epistemological development of engineering students
– Transversal skills development for undergraduate students (project management, team work, equity, inquiry)
– Pedagogical skill development for doctoral teaching assistants 

The goal for this workshop is to cultivate among the next generation of engineers and computer scientists a mindset that prioritizes the societal impact of their work. Introducing ethical reasoning frameworks, this workshop aims to equip students with the ability to think more critically about the ethical and societal implications of the systems and algorithms they design.


Zsuzsanna Szemeredi joined HEC Lausanne as a Lecturer in 2022.  Before joining HEC Lausanne, she was a Lecturer in the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, where she taught and redesigned the course Critical Thinking & Complex Problem Solving in Business. During this period, she also worked for ThinkerAnalytix, an educational non-profit that partners with Harvard University’s Department of Philosophy to teach logical reasoning.  Prior to working at Olin, she was a Senior Lecturer in Economics and in Critical Thinking & Argumentation at CUNEF, Madrid, where she designed and launched the university’s critical thinking curriculum. Over the past decade her focus has been on critical thinking pedagogy, and she has designed courses that develop the transversal skills of logical reasoning, argumentation, and collaborative problem-solving (applicable to a variety of domains).

Prior to her career in academic education, Zsuzsanna worked at economic and business consulting firms, including Deloitte’s Economics and Statistical Consulting Group and Business Valuation Group in the Boston office.

She holds a PhD in Management from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a MSc Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA Degree from Rutgers University. 

What guides scientists and engineers in making ethical judgment? Is moral reasoning about applying rules, standards, and principles? This session invites students to engage with the question of moral reasoning, think about their unique resources in the process of moral deliberation, and reflect on broader contexts in which moral quandaries are embedded. Throughout this interactive workshop students are engaged with several case examples related to their academic experience and potential professional career as well as broader social problems. The activities include small-group discussions, hands-on activity with tangibles, and an exercise based on a movie clip.   


Yousef Jalali is a scientist at the Centre for Learning Science EPFL. He holes a PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech in USA.

Yousef’s fields of expertise includes:
– Collaboration
– Ethical Reasoning and Imagination
– Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
– Engineering Education

*Overall participation and attendance to the workshops also serve as evaluation of completion of the program.*