We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily May and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
While instructional design is gaining popularity with the increased demands of online learning, I still find a lot of people giving me the eyebrow raise/deer in the headlights look when I tell them what I do. So, let’s clear the air. Instructional design is a systematic process of extracting information and designing (sometimes developing) activities around that information to encourage practical application and ultimately, change behavior. This can be for online courses (higher education, Massive Open Online Education, online coaching programs, etc.) corporate eLearning (think HR training), and everything in between – webinars, job aids, video/animation, and infographics are just a few. Some instructional designers focus primarily on consulting with a subject matter expert to help them get their courses online with appropriate technology/tools to support their students. Others focus on the actual development of the learning product and perform tasks like scripting, storyboarding or prototyping, building eLearning, and creating assessments. I do a little of both!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Simply put, I help people learn better. Emily May Consulting provides instructional design consulting services and develops digital learning products for companies that are committed to developing their people. Our user-centric approach to learning projects puts the learner first, which helps us identify the real problem and design solutions that align with objectives and deliver results. It’s taken a lot of hard work, perseverance, conscious shifts in priorities, and taking calculated risks to get where I am today. Has it been easy? Of course not! Nothing worthwhile ever is. Success takes time, patience, and the ability to allow yourself to be a beginner – and fail. I suppose this is a lesson this path has taught me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Prepandemic, I’d take my friend to a Red Rocks show. We’d likely spend a day walking around the city, making stops at Union Station, Larimer Square, the River North neighborhood for some street art viewing and brewery hopping. Another day might be spent exploring the Lower Highlands neighborhood with lunch and patio views from Avanti Food and Beverage, happy hour at Postino’s, and dinner at Root Down or El Five. If it’s fall, we’d take a drive through Guanella pass or Peaks to Peaks highway for some leaf-peeping. A hike would definitely be on the agenda. Maybe somewhere close like north or south Table Mountain with a late lunch at Woody’s Pizza in Golden or somewhere near Saint Mary’s Glacier and hit up Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs on the way home. A day trip to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and Denver Art Museum might make the itinerary, too. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My number one goes out to my husband, Jonathan. As an entrepreneur and business owner, Jonathan is constantly inspiring me with his ability to lead and maintain a mindful, intentional work ethic. He is one of the best listeners I know and cares deeply about others and his life’s work. We’re currently working together on developing a new training program for his growing practice, Highlands Sport and Spine, located in the city of Northglenn and the Sunnyside neighborhood in Denver. Next up, Heidi Rose Buckhout. Like Jonathan, Heidi is an entrepreneur who is passionate about storytelling and sustainability. Her business, Manifest-Ink, helps mission-driven companies develop effective marketing and communication strategies. Heidi and I met several years ago at a mutual friend’s baby shower and have since developed a great friendship and accountability partnership. We volunteered at the Freelance Business Week event a couple of years ago in Denver, and continue to collaborate on ways to improve our businesses today. I admire her perseverance, inherent business sense, and drive to succeed.