Emily Yates: From Student to Student Relations Manager

Emily’s Heritage journey began winter term 2018 as a member of Heritage Denver’s first class of students. Six short months later she is one of Denver’s first Master’s graduates and now our newest team member! 

Originally from Chicago, Emily made her way to Denver after living in Cleveland, OH and then Madison, WI. Throughout her life Emily was a dedicated athlete culminating in a career as a collegiate Field Hockey player at DePauw University. Emily followed her passion for athletics by earning her BA in Kinesiology and a Masters Degree in Education. Following college she taught Physical Education for a couple of years before opening her own CrossFit gym in Madison, WI.  After owning and running the gym for several years she decided to take the opportunity to focus on her own training as an athlete in the sport of CrossFit. After two years of demanding, focused, and dedicated CrossFit training and competing, she knew it was time to pursue a passion she had put on the back burner. CrossFit was a great community for Emily to be a part of as both an athlete and a coach. As an athlete, she gained confidence and strength that she carried outside of the gym. As she coach she loved getting to know her athletes, so she could better motivate and inspire them. Ready to open her world up to more, Emily took a leap by enrolling in the Heritage School of Interior Design. 

Emily remembers watching HGTV with her mother and taking notes in her HGTV notebook on various tips and tricks the host would share with the audience. She also reflects on opening her CrossFit gym and being most excited about space planning and designing an image for the facility, instead of the business planning itself. Before learning of Heritage, she considered pursuing a real estate license. However, she quickly realized what sparked her interest in open houses and browsing homes on apps was the design of homes. Realizing her passion for design, her search led her to Heritage. Emily was ecstatic to learn that Denver had a school that would teach her what she needed to know to enter the design industry without going back to school for another 4-year degree. She “knew that attending Heritage would allow me to pursue what I was truly passionate about; creating beautiful spaces”.

Emily admits that she was “terrified” when she started at Heritage saying, “I had always loved design but did not consider myself an artist. I thought I was someone who could appreciate good design, but never saw myself as a person who could create good design”.  Emily’s experience at Heritage allowed her to explore her artistic side in an “incredibly supportive and encouraging environment”. She says the “amount of growth I experienced in six months at Heritage as a designer and as a person is incredible”.  Pursuing her passion for design not only opened a new career path for her, but taping into her artistic side has allowed Emily to “see all that I bring to the world and has allowed me to enjoy all aspects of the life that I am living”.

Now as the newest member of the Heritage Denver team, Emily is our Student Relations and Operations Manager. Emily feels incredibly lucky to have found a job that combines her love for both education and design, and is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the growth of Heritage. She is also taking on clients outside of Heritage and is thrilled to be given the opportunity to help clients make their interior design vision a reality. Emily is not quite sure what the future will hold, but she is “pretty darn happy right now”.  Welcome to the team Emily, we are lucky to have you!

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