I’ve always had a keen interest in how things are made; understanding how they work, what bits go together to create something much more impressive, writes Aisling McNulty, development director, Bruntwood.
At school I was really interested in physical geography, understanding more about the earth beneath our feet and what caused the weather around us. Back then I wanted to study geology and didn’t know about surveying.
A chat with an inspirational teacher set me on the path to where I am today and the realisation there was a whole world of property to discover.
During my studies at Heriott Watt University I loved learning how buildings were constructed and exploring the more practical nature of the subject. My passion must have been apparent to Bruntwood as I landed a job and have been here ever since.
I’ve worked in different parts of the business from asset management, business rates, to working on five-year plans for every building in our portfolio.
Each role helped me to understand more about property and our customers. What they need is key for me when looking at how we masterplan and design buildings.
Being involved in placemaking, the creation of thriving new communities and making a positive change to our cities is the most rewarding part of my job.
This experience has resulted in the most exciting challenge of my career, having responsibility for Circle Square, one of the biggest developments currently being delivered in Manchester, which will have a truly transformative impact on the Oxford Road Corridor.
The scale and diversity of the project means that every day is different; I could be developing a building with our design team, working on funding, negotiating a lease, or appraising opportunities.
I’m slightly obsessed with making sure we get Circle Square absolutely right, with innovative workspaces, shops, studios, bars and restaurants, hotels and its green space.
The success of our newest addition to Circle Square, Hatch, is exciting; seeing a really eclectic new community evolve is great, and helping new entrepreneurial businesses succeed is what Bruntwood is about.
I take enormous pride in what I do and the best part of my day is being able to see Circle Square taking shape in front of my eyes. But I might not have been here had it not been for the advice of a teacher who inspired me at school. And there’s still a danger that property, with the range of opportunities it offers, is not well understood.
We need to do more to bring the sector to life, explaining the opportunities to younger people when they are curious. It’s something Bruntwood support, we take part in the National Citizen Service, working with young people and explaining what a career in property could look like – if it fired the imagination of just one young person, it will have been worth it.