I joined Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) as part of the Management Trainee programme in Bulgaria five years ago, and now I am GA Reporting and Analysis Team lead for BSO located in Bulgaria.

Back then, I was finishing my studies in the UK and was looking to work at a big multinational company where I could learn a lot and there were possibilities to grow. This programme in particular I liked because it gave me the opportunity to see the full picture of the business, which isn’t very common here in Bulgaria.

This openness also translates to the way people work together at CCHBC. When I joined I was surprised by the staff’s relationship with senior management. In Bulgaria senior management is generally distant with a very official tone and formalised relationships. But here at CCHBC our General Manager is on first name basis with everybody. His door is always open and there is very little distance between him and the rest of the team.

Nikolay Boev holding a Coca-Cola heart
The spirit at CCHBC is like a family, which is something that I really love about my job. Nikolay Boev, GA Reporting and Analysis Team lead for BSO and former Management Trainee (Finance), Bulgaria

It’s a very supportive culture, and people help each other a lot. I see people doing another person’s job just to help them, without being asked. I feel like I work with my friends, and we have a lot of activities like big team events where we get a chance to have fun and get to know each other. We have an annual family pool party, a company-wide party at a hotel out of the city, and I participate in the finance conference for our whole department to work and have some fun together. Then of course there are also spontaneous team activities like bowling, dinners, movies, and some people play football every week.

It’s not always fun and games of course, but sometimes I think of CCHBC as a school because we’re always learning and growing. I started here five years ago with no practical knowledge. I wasn’t able to give much to CCHBC in the first year, I only took. The next year that changed as my time management and organisational skills improved, and it helped my work.

Here, it’s the on the job learning that really helps you grow. For instance, my last rotation as a Trainee was a leadership assignment during which I had to observe the Finance team in finance, work on their projects, and then make recommendations as if I was the team leader. I managed to do well on the project and as a result I was offered a new position, which has been followed by four other positions in the following few years, each with increasing responsibilities. CCHBC is a dynamic company where you can grow a lot in a short time through this increasing responsibility.

At the end of the day, I’m very proud to be part of this company for many reasons, but perhaps most of all because of how involved we are in the community. We have programmes that are related to environmental issues, healthy, and education, especially in rural areas to help guide students in high school and university. There’s always something going on, and it’s very inspiring.

On a personal level, I try to make an impact by being a leader that inspires people to do more and do it better. That’s how I have been treated during my time here, and I try to maintain that culture. I was ready to do anything for my leaders and to help my colleagues, and that’s what I strive to replicate.

By working together as friends and committed colleagues, we make a huge impact here at Coca‑Cola HBC.

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