Maja Crnjak was born in Zagreb. After finishing high school, she graduated in Business Administration in Heidelberg, completed the MBA studies in London and Heidelberg, and obtained a Master's degree in Human Resource Management from the Faculty of Economics and Business in Zagreb.
She started her professional career in 1997 at Ernst & Young Management Consulting, and since 2000 she has held various positions in the telecommunications industry. In 2005, she joined Erste & Steiermärkische Bank d.d. as Director of Human Resources, and still holds that position.
During this period, she spent 2 years at Erste Group Bank AG in Vienna as Head of Competency and Performance Management, where she was responsible for setting up a performance management process for the entire Erste Group.