Onward & Upward


I have found that most people will tell you experience is everything. As a student at Wichita State I was lucky enough to land a job at an advertising agency Advantage Marketing as an intern. My job title included everything from picking up food to answering phones. As we have grown we have also added more services for our client. The President of our company, Cori Kohlmeier was interested in Online Presence Management for our portfolio of clients, she sat in on the call and knew it was something that our clients needed. Fortunately for me she did not have time to manage this system. The process is not complicated but rather time consuming. Making sure all of our clients have the correct contact information attached to their profile is crucial to a successful result. Cori tasked me with learning the system, contacting the clients as well as working as a liaison between the agency and our vendor. To say I have learned a ton would be an understatement.

I graduated from Wichita State University in May of this year, Advantage Marketing offered me a job and my job title has changed from intern to Digital Specialist. For my graduation present my Mom and I traveled to New York City, it was my first time and it was amazing. It was a trip of a lifetime.

As the year progressed our reps with OPM started to mention a conference in October called Onward. Again, good fortune smiled upon me, the boss decided to go and since I manage this tool I was tapped to attend with her as well.

Now this was my first business trip and to say it would set the bar high would be an understatement.

Cori and I attended the three day Onward conference about online presence management.

From open to close, we were treated to data, forecasting, and analysis of the company’s online presence management platform. There were several keynotes with a good message and fancy food and pleasant drinks were also part of the package! However, the breakout content and industry connections are the biggest value of the event.

Advertising agencies rely on vendor platforms to execute on behalf of their clients. They are current on consumer demands and matching available technology to meet their needs. Every day at Advantage Marketing, I work with the online reputation platform to provide real-time responses and instant customer engagement. From the online dashboard I monitor client reputations and enhance search engine results. The tool is intuitive and thorough. It is also valuable in strategy and planning for our clients. Our team uses the different metrics provided to set benchmarks and plan accordingly. The Onward conference deepened my understanding of real-time response as well as what is coming with voice recognition.

Traveling with the boss was great, but I didn’t see too many other bosses like AdMark’s President Cori Kohlmeier. I appreciate Cori for asking me to join her. She showed me the ropes, explaining agency vendor relationship and even tried to convince me to join her for a run in Times Square. She was comfortable in NYC, confident in herself and her surroundings.

It is going to be hard for future work travel to live up to my time in New York City. Hitting my mid-20’s in the work world, hopefully attending conferences will part of the norm. I learned a lot on this trip and I love to travel.

-Kirstie Nottingham