ASB sales associate and PPB’s 2021 Rising Star, Katie Kahler, has earned her Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certificate through Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). The MAS ensures designees have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the promotional products profession. We had the opportunity to chat with Katie about the coursework she completed.
How long have you been working toward your MAS?
I have been working toward my MAS designation for just over 2 years. At the end of 2020, I received my CAS certification and continued taking the required MAS level classes. As I approached my 3-year anniversary in the industry, I really focused on completing the necessary requirements and curriculum.
What does the MAS represent for you?
For me, the MAS represents continued learning and professional development. It is one of the tools I use to hone my marketing skills and provide valuable expertise for my clients.
What advice would you give to ASB sales associates considering the certification?
We are living in a time of many unknowns, and the best thing we can do is focus on what we do best to take care of our customers. My advice is to jump in feet first and learn everything you can about what your prospects and customers are trying to accomplish. The PPAI certifications are a great way to support this!
How did you balance your time with your business and earning an extensive certification?
I chose to complete my certification courses during the evenings and weekends. There were plenty of late nights and early mornings throughout the process, but I felt that I was able to use this knowledge to ultimately support my clients as an extension of their marketing team for merchandise production and distribution. This has helped me be a better partner for marketing strategy and bring thoughtful, well-rounded solutions to their teams.
What made the MAS stand out more than other industry certifications?
Many leaders in our industry have completed their MAS training, and it stood out to me as a high standard of professional expertise and experience.
What is your biggest take away from this course study?
One of the best parts about this course study is that it balances core curriculum with a wide range of electives to meet your own needs and interests. There are opportunities to develop your own business including improving processes, leading teams, and scaling. Other courses focus on marketing topics like customer lifecycle, branding, and social media. My favorites, however, focused on relevant new topics like leveraging AI in today’s business landscape.
The Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS), Master Advertising Specialist, and Master Advertising Specialist Plus (MAS+) Certifications are the promotional products industry’s premier professional designations. Individuals with a PPAI Certification are industry leaders — those who have attained a higher standard of professional competence, knowledge and experience. PPAI industry certification is acquired through a combination of dedicated certification classes, demonstrated years of employment in the industry, elective courses, and a successful demonstration of expertise. Certification is maintained through continuing education to ensure current knowledge and leading-edge professional skills.
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