Marianne Schmid Mast


Professor at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne

"My passion is observing human behaviour in the workplace – in meetings, job interviews and exchanges between superiors and their subordinates."

My career path

I’m a professor of organizational behaviour, and I conduct research and teach classes on communication and leadership. My focus is on social interactions. Many of us love watching animals and how they interact. Well, my passion is observing human behaviour in the workplace – in meetings, job interviews and exchanges between superiors and their subordinates. In my research, I ask people to come to the lab. We simulate workplace situations and observe how the people react both verbally and non-verbally. I draw on my scientific research to teach communication and leadership to students. I also run workshops for managers.

I’m passionate about understanding how people behave at work. I also enjoy working with talented doctoral and other students, seeing them progress and grow as both researchers and people. And I like working with colleagues on research questions, exchanging ideas, finding creative solutions, learning from other people and teaming up with people from other fields.

My career path. I got where I am through continued hard work and the support of my husband, children and parents.

A downside or obstacle ? I’m a well-organized and structured person, which can sometimes be stressful for other people.

I’m proud of what I do. For more than 15 years, I’ve been using virtual reality technology to conduct research into social interactions. I’ve developed a lot of virtual reality scenarios for my research, and I use these scenarios in my teaching and management training as well. I set up a company, VRIST, which is a spin-off from the University of Lausanne. We aim to make our virtual reality breakthroughs in the research lab available to those working in the real world. We work with people in HR and use virtual reality techniques to improve employees’ soft skills and to pick out promising candidates. My strength is that I’m both a visionary and a realist.

The Proust Questionnaire

This section is available only in the original language
Au-delà de votre profession

Partir en vacances avec ma famille et peindre.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Des personnes autour de moi, pas besoin qu’elles soient connues.

Un livre & un film

Le livre que je suis en train d’écrire sur les interactions et le leadership au travail (Leaderspritz) et Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino).

Un modèle

Une professeure aux Etats-Unis avec laquelle j’ai travaillé comme post-doc. Mariée, elle avait des enfants et était une vedette dans son domaine de recherche et une personne abordable et sympa. Je me suis dit que c’était possible.

Un rêve

Il y a toujours une solution ! On peut avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre, mais on paye quand même un prix !