WITH COMMUNITY AND COLLABORATION, ÅHUS' FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT

BORN IN A SMALL TOWN, CHARACTERIZED BY A PRIDE FOR ITS INDUSTRY, MARIA BÉRES HAS INHERITED A TRADITION THAT FITS RIGHT IN TO HER POSITION AS MANAGER OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AT THE ABSOLUT FACTORY IN ÅHUS, WHERE COLLABORATION, INNOVATON AND A SENSE OF BELONGING ARE COMMON DENOMINATORS AS THE WAY FORWARD.

You tell me you background has helped you in your job here in Åhus. How?

Well, I grew up in Olofström, a small industrial town where the car manufacturer Volvo has a factory. It was the single largest employer for people in the town, so growing up there, we were all instilled with a sense of pride connected to the history and future of that factory. That pride really signified the atmosphere in Olofström and it deepened our sense of belonging and belief in the local community. Now, I recognize that we have that same spirit here in Åhus regarding Absolut Vodka, where collaboration and a sense of belonging are such important parts of how we think and act. That local togetherness, that community, is also very helpful when working with communication. I think one of the best proofs of that is the tight bond we have with local farmers and suppliers.

Is that part of why you joined the company?

It's a bit of both, actually. My professional background is in fast-paced industries, which is very much how I see The Absolut Company. We're constantly developing in new directions and taking initiatives to break new ground, which is why I decided to join the company in 2011. I think the rest came as a bonus.

One thing I love about this job is that I get to handle a wide spectrum of tasks and areas, ranging from communicating with companies, authorities and media, to hosting and arranging all sorts of events. That diverse nature of what I do has given me a deep understanding of where we are heading, and why. 

Connecting the dots between both future and past is very important in setting the way forward. And since part of my responsibilities include arranging and setting out internal and external events, I get to take part in how improvements can be made from learnings in the past.

What’s the best part of your job?

I honestly think I have the most entertaining job at the whole company. Although I am officially a part of the HR Department, I also view myself as somewhat part of the Corporate Communications Department based in Stockholm. In my role, I work closely together with many different departments, such as Marketing and Brand Advocacy, with whom I organize both events and guided tours. That means I get to meet a wide range of people and face new challenges every day, which constantly require new solutions. I absolutely love the diversity in this job, because it makes each day different to the other. 

Do you ever get time to relax and recharge?

Due to the high-paced nature of my job, I enjoy being out in the nature to find peace and quiet. I love going on hikes, and wander in the woods to find places that, in themselves, are peaceful. That gives me the energy to perform at work. That cyclicality between peace and high tempo is one of my dear treasures in life.