Merritt Group Blog

Q&A With a Merritt Group-er: Get to Know Hayley Bumgardner

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Get to know who's who on the Merritt Group team! 

What do you do at Merritt Group?

I am a Graphic Designer in the Marketing Services team where I concept and design visual treatments, page layout, custom illustration, hand-crafted typography and digital design.

What’s your greatest moment — whether in work, school or marketing/PR — so far?

My greatest moment was when a Merritt Group project, where I contributed my illustration design, won an ADDY (Annual American Advertising Award). This was my first prestigious professional award I was recognized for while interning at Merritt Group.

Who do you love to follow on Twitter or Instagram and why?

I intentionally flood my feed with print/web/UX/advertising design, as well as fashion and Interior design accounts. Some that inspire me the most are @worldbranddesign, @Elledecor, and @watts.place - but there are so many more. I have an embarrassing following/follower ratio as I follow a LOT of artists.

What's your favorite piece of technology?

It all comes down to my phone. I am constantly researching things about healthy cooking, beauty products, what new documentaries I should check out, and anything in between.

What’s the one gadget you think needs to be invented?

I would love to be able to use an app on my phone to fly a drone around a city like Rome or Paris to sightsee from my living room. Something like a remote tourist drone!

What’s your favorite thing about living in the Washington, D.C., area?

It has been a privilege to grow up around so many different cultures and gain perspective on how different we are – all while living in such close and active communities. My mother’s side came here from Germany and the cultural influence has been important for me. My Oma has been able to find European markets, like the German Gourmet in Falls Church. They import all the delicious groceries which I have familiarity with from when I visit my Oma and Opa.

What do you love to do when you are not working?

I recently moved into my first home, so decorating and setting up my new space has been so much fun for me. As I work with a few passed-down pieces of furniture and art, I have enjoyed piecing everything together in a thoughtful way. I love the creative freedom of arranging a space and sometimes unexpectedly finding beautiful solutions.  

What's the best book you've read recently?

I am really enjoying Behind the Beautiful Forevers. The author, Katherine Boo, documents the Annawadi slum in Mumbai, where she resided for a few years to observe life in these struggling communities. Reading personal stories of the daily hardships people face in these communities has been a real eye-opener.

What are your podcast recommendations?

I highly recommend Reply All. These are extremely intriguing investigative journalism-type stories about people using the Internet. They investigate bizarre hacker, ‘glitch’ and famous Internet phenomenons such as the viral pizza rat, how hackers steal personal Uber and Snapchat accounts, swatting, the business behind the tech support scams and so much more. The content is really compelling.

What's your favorite Merritt Group memory?

Merritt Group recently held a “Spring into Service” day, where I volunteered to play bingo with senior citizens at the Sunrise Senior Living center. I feel so proud to be a part of an agency that places such high value on giving back to the community. I even made some new friends at the Sunrise community!

What's one thing you can't live without?

I cannot live without my daily organizer. I have to write everything down old-school with an actual pencil and paper, and I live to make lists. Without my organizer, I don’t know how I’d make it in this world.

What's the most interesting item on your desk?

Still working on my desk decor, so at the moment it's probably my two succulents. Hard to tell if they are thriving or dying though...

Get to know more of our staff in our ongoing Q&A blog series or visit Who We Are. Want to join our amazing team? Check out our open positions.

Topics: career staff profile