At Attain Partners, we have the privilege of leading education institutions—colleges, universities, and K-12—as well as nonprofit organizations through their digital transformation journeys. We fuse our comprehensive understanding of the student lifecycle with our expertise in the ecosystem to enable education institutions to manage constituent engagement in a scalable, comprehensive way.
Attain Partners is proudly recognized as a Salesforce Summit Partner and the Salesforce.org 2022 Partner of the Year – Education, both of which are a testament to our unparalleled expertise in the ecosystem. We employ the industry’s brightest thinkers and problem-solvers to create, deliver, and implement cost-effective, easy-to-manage, and highly impactful Salesforce solutions for our clients.
We celebrate our people who make our clients’ and our company’s success a reality. We believe in promoting individual strengths, which is why we started our Team for Speed series to highlight the extraordinary talent behind our impactful solutions.
We sat down with Senior Consultant and Salesforce expert Samantha McDonald to learn more about her expertise and experience—both inside and outside of the ecosystem—and how she leverages these to deliver innovative solutions to our clients. Read our conversation below!
Attain Partners (AP): What brought you to Attain Partners?
Samantha McDonald (SM): I was working with Attain Partners as a client when I found out about an open position! After working on the client side of a Salesforce implementation for close to a year, I developed a passion for the entire implementation process and Salesforce as a whole. I felt that it was something I would be a good fit for.
Since joining Attain Partners, I have loved getting to do this work for a variety of nonprofit and higher education clients! This position has truly been a great marrying of my technical skills and business consulting acumen—I am proud to put these competencies to use every day!
AP: What did you do before joining Attain Partners?
SM: My background was in general business consulting, and I have worked with a variety of clientele. My most recent position prior to joining Attain Partners was with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) as a small business and startup coach. I helped business owners plan strategy, write business plans, obtain financing, improve marketing, increase profit, and more! I also have a passion for data and assisted the MI-SBDC in building out their reporting and dashboarding capabilities.
Before MI-SBDC, I also worked as a consultant for Deloitte in Washington, DC, where I primarily assisted Federal clients with systems implementations.
AP: Since joining Attain Partners, which of our core values has been the most prevalent in your work?
SM: Be the Best! Our clients are incredible organizations accomplishing extraordinary feats. They deserve the best solutions and the best service possible to enable the work they do. One of the main reasons why I love working at Attain Partners is because I know our team can and will deliver exactly that—the best.
AP: What aspect of your job empowers you to Be the Best? In other words, what is your favorite aspect of the work you do?
SM: Listening carefully to a client need or problem and determining a course of action to solve it with the tools we have access to—both within and outside of the Salesforce ecosystem—is the most rewarding part of the work. Challenges are always fun because it means getting our hands dirty, dissecting an issue from all angles, and coming out the other side with amazing and innovative solutions.
AP: Can you share an example of a project in which Attain Partners enabled a client to Be the Best?
SM: I am very proud of our recent implementation of UC Innovation’s ascend for a large hospital foundation. Our team was running against a tight timeline for a complex and comprehensive system (that included tracking constituent bio demo data, processing gifts, and managing prospects and donors), but we were able to deliver a valuable solution, on time, that will greatly expand the foundation’s advancement potential for years to come.
I got to travel to the client site to train users in person and assist with the system’s go-live. Having the opportunity to sit with users one-on-one to teach them how to use the new system and figure out ways that they can leverage it to do their jobs more efficiently and productively was really wonderful.
AP: What aspect of the work do you find most challenging?
SM: The most challenging aspect of this job is turning your brain off at the end of each day. As problem-solvers, it is second nature for us to reflect on our work and think through all the many approaches we could have taken to address a problem. I have worked in consulting for a long time, and this seems to be a common theme! Although this can certainly be all-encompassing, it keeps the wheels turning and helps fuel the fire for the next project.
AP: Aside from your intrinsic problem-solving abilities, how else do you stay current with the latest happenings and updates in the Salesforce ecosystem?
SM: While I read articles, watch videos, Google things (constantly!), my primary resource for receiving the most up-to-date and helpful information stems from all my amazing colleagues. Attain Partners is filled with highly knowledgeable and experienced consultants, and I learn something valuable from each person I work with every day. I feel very lucky to work with such talented individuals!
AP: What, if any, is your preferred energizing food/beverage?
SM: TEA! I love all kinds of tea, but especially a strong black tea in the morning to kickstart my day.
AP: What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
SM: I’m currently based in beautiful, northern Michigan with my husband and 2.5-year-old son (and a baby girl on the way—set to arrive June 2023!). We love boating, spending time at the beach, trying out new restaurants, and traveling together.
Attain Partners – Salesforce Experts
No matter if your organization is beginning its Salesforce journey or 10+ years into development, Attain Partners is here to help you achieve your goals. Contact our team today to learn how we can help your organization advance its mission by harnessing the power of Salesforce.
To learn more, check out our Salesforce Innovation services, read case studies about our transformative work, and explore blog posts from our Salesforce experts.
Learn more — Samantha McDonald
Samantha McDonald is a Senior Consultant at Attain Partners with roughly 10 years of experience in consulting, software implementation, and data management. In her time at Attain Partners, she has primarily worked with university and foundation Advancement offices configuring and delivering ascend by UC Innovation, in addition to other Salesforce solutions. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Richmond. She is a certified Salesforce Administrator and a UC Innovation ascend Certified Configuration Specialist for both Bio Demo and Gift Processing modules. Samantha is a natural problem-solver who loves bridging the gap between business needs and technological capabilities.