Maya Taseva, HR Director at Carlsberg Bulgaria: Critical Thinking and Creativity are Closely Interrelated

In a series of interviews, we will feature some of the region’s prominent business experts coming from various industries. We now introduce you to Maya Taseva, HR Director at Carlsberg Bulgaria. Maya has extensive experience working in the field of Human Resources and has been with Carlsberg for the past seven years. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Established in 1847 by brewer J.C. Jacobsen, the Carlsberg Group is one of the leading brewery groups in the world today, with a large portfolio of beer and other beverage brands. More than 40,000 people work for the Carlsberg Group, and their products are sold in more than 150 markets. The history of Carlsberg Bulgaria dates back to 1882 and the company currently employs about 500 people in three cities- Shumen, Blagoevgrad, and Sofia.

What are the top three skills employers are looking for today?

•    Alignment

•    Accountability

•    Action

These are Carlsberg’s key competencies that we look for during an interview with potential candidates and that our employees further develop while working at the company. We believe they are crucial not only in a business environment but also in our day-to-day activities and relationships.

If you could give your younger self just one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Start your career as early as possible. This gives you a precious advantage in developing both your functional and soft skills and competencies.

What business leader—past or present— inspires you the most? Why? 

There are many business leaders, both past and present, we could learn a lot from. They all possess and display different characteristics and strengths we could map and use ourselves. What inspires me, and you may find this to inspire many other people as well, is determination and reflection. The first drives us forward, helping us even if we stumble along the way to stay on track and keep on being active. The second, reflection, helps us learn while taking accountability for our own development and successful growth.  

The liberal arts education puts emphasis on discovery, creativity, and critical thinking: by exploring a lot of disciplines, rather than focusing on just one. In what ways do people who have received a liberal arts education bring value to business?   

Critical thinking and creativity are argued to involve the same responses in the brain and therefore are closely interrelated and support us in “connecting the dots” that are sometimes hard to detect. Employees who have successfully developed such an approach during their studies could provide a more holistic overview of a certain issue or challenge. They could display a different dimension to a problem and optimized alternatives for solving it, thus adding value to business. Being able to challenge or question a perspective and provide a different overview on a certain topic is invaluable both in the short and long term. We see more and more transactional tasks simply being automated. Still, despite the competitive advantage one might gain while maintaining focus over multiple disciples, we should not underestimate the power of thorough examinations and analysis that brings deep knowledge and understanding in a certain field.

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