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Meet a Helpful Human – Michael McDonald

Posted on by Todd Terwillegar
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We’re the employees you would hire if you could. Responsive, helpful, and dedicated in ways automation simply can’t be. We’re your team.

Each month we recognize one of our Most Helpful Humans in Hosting. 

Meet Michael McDonald

Michael is a graduate of Western Michigan University, class of 2007. Both before and during college, Michael worked IT-related jobs for a handful of companies. Ultimately determining that he wanted a career in technology, he came to work for Liquid Web in 2012. Michael discovered early on that his experience as a teacher, which made up most of his experience before coming to Liquid Web, helped him easily translate complex web hosting concepts into language clients understood.

We caught up with Michael, currently a Network Administrator at Liquid Web, to find out what he loves most about working in the Hosting Industry.

Meet a Helpful Human - Michael McDonald

Why did you join Liquid Web?

I had been looking for positions in an IT-related field and found Liquid Web more or less by accident. I applied, having only minimal Linux and desktop support and troubleshooting experience from a previous job at Geek Squad. I was so grateful that Liquid Web gave me a chance. Upon hiring, I quickly excelled at learning Linux and began supporting clients as one of The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®, and the rest is history.

What draws you to the Hosting Industry as a career?

I was searching for a customer-oriented career since I genuinely enjoy working with people. Customers are at the heart of what we do at Liquid Web, so I knew quickly the career was a good fit for me. I also wanted a career that offered room for growth and self-improvement. I like learning about new technologies, and Liquid Web is always growing to be able to offer more for our clients. There is a seemingly endless amount of tools, software, and products for me to improve my knowledge of all things Internet-related.

Is there something specific at Liquid Web that you just love?

Liquid Web is a company that gives employees a great deal of latitude in how much freedom we have to get the job done. Working in a supportive environment allows me to resolve issues for my customers as quickly and easily as possible by finding the best solution for every problem. 

What’s your favorite part about the company culture at Liquid Web?

There is always someone willing to help at Liquid Web. Whatever the problem may be, work-related or not, I have no trouble finding someone who is an expert and glad to lend some assistance. It’s part of what makes us the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®, for customers and colleagues alike.

In your eyes, what’s the difference between Liquid Web and other employers?

Liquid Web is still a small(er) company. There is a huge focus on the employees, and that shows. Liquid Web goes above and beyond to create a supportive and fun atmosphere for employees. We're not just numbers or assets—we’re people who are recognized and respected, helping us stay motivated and energized to give customers our best. That’s how we remain as the leader in our industry with a Net Promoter Score of 67.

What is the biggest milestone you’ve accomplished?

I became a certified Red Hat instructor, enhancing my skills and ensuring I was proficient in exciting new technologies. This certification allowed me to combine my love of technology and teaching while helping my coworkers learn and grow. The knowledge helps me find creative solutions for issues that may arise for customers.

Tell us about a truly rewarding experience you’ve had with a customer.

I've had too many to recount! There is nothing more satisfying than ending a call with a client and knowing that something "clicked" for them; a piece of information stuck that will make all the difference. Not all of our clients are tech gurus. Some are employees at a company thrust into a position in which they are dealing with technology that they may not fully understand. 

I firmly believe that the main product we offer our clients is us, the Liquid Web employees who work tirelessly to ensure that every need of our customers is met as quickly and seamlessly as possible. I am there to support my clients, helping with hosting infrastructure, troubleshooting, and answering questions as they arise. By being that bridge between client and infrastructure, I get to help tons of people every single day. It's extremely rewarding to hear that "Thank you!" My clients aren’t just being polite, but offering me their honest gratitude for supporting them beyond where other hosts may be unable or willing to help.

What are you known for at Liquid Web? What do people specifically come to you for?

I'm fairly well known for being the Red Hat Certification instructor, so people ask me questions about the class, the exam, and how to study. We have Windows, Cisco, and Red Hat Linux Certified technicians at Liquid Web. I’m also someone people come to if a customer has a unique problem. It’s nice to be part of a robust support system for my colleagues and our customers.

What is one thing you wish our customers knew about their hosting? 

Always have a backup or even multiple backups. RAID (“redundant array of independent disks”) drives are not equivalent to a backup. Don't trust on-device backups; always have multiple copies of backups, and take them regularly. I always stress the peace of mind that Liquid Web’s Cloud Server Backups offer our customers; a built-in safety net that prevents costly data loss and downtime.

Work aside, what are some of your hobbies?

I love reading and being outside in nature. I also have a 1976 Corvette I'm constantly fixing. And I'm a geek for all things technology-related, including the news.

What is your favorite app?

Apollo (an iOS-specific Reddit client). The developer is an amazing person who listens to his devoted fans, constantly improves the app, and does it all by himself. It’s very impressive!

If you could have dinner with one famous person [dead or alive] who would it be?

Probably Steve Jobs. He’s a titan of the tech industry that changed the world.

We hope you enjoyed our series, and stay tuned for the next Most Helpful Human in Hosting profile.
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Todd Terwillegar

Todd has been published with several global brands on the topics of marketing, SEO, and blogging, including Nexcess & Uberflip. You can follow Todd on LinkedIn.

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