Eleanor Musgrove, development manager at Firethorn Trust, on how she got started in property, her top TV and music picks, the celebrities she’d most like to meet and the superpower she wishes she had.

Eleanor Musgrove headshot

Eleanor Musgrove

How did you join the property industry?

After completing my A-Levels, I left school at 18 and followed an alternative route. I had an unconditional offer to study law at university but decided to go straight into the workplace, working initially in recruitment then joining Firethorn in 2018 as an executive assistant and office manager.

What does your job entail?

Joining the Firethorn team at such a pivotal time fuelled my interest in property development and led to a career shift to development analyst in 2020. Now, I work on planning and development for logistics projects including Northampton Cross, Peterborough South and Ascent Logistics Park.

What do you like most about the property industry?

The variety and pace of work. Projects can carry similar traits but always present new challenges to get stuck in to and solve. Like many, I work best under pressure and I love that the job is fast-paced and requires quick thinking and reactivity.

What would you change about the property industry?

Our planning system in the UK is not running as efficiently as it could and this creates obstacles in practice. As an industry, we could be more accepting of new technologies and challenge processes that are outdated.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

I am very fortunate that Firethorn saw my drive and supported me in my career shift and masters qualification. This shift does present challenges, though – adding an extra level of pressure to build a reputation and prove my ability within an entirely new capacity. I am keen to see the industry continue to adapt, specifically in promoting opportunities for those who have taken a different route in.

What are you most proud of in your career?

This year, I graduated with a first-class masters degree in real estate management from the University of the West of England, after completing the three-year distance learning course online alongside my full-time role. I not only had to work hard in my studies, but getting accepted on to an MSc course without a bachelors degree also took a lot of persistence.

Thankfully, I convinced UWE that they should give me a space and I stand by my claim to them that “they wouldn’t regret it” as alongside the first, I have recently been nominated by the university for the Bristol Property Agents Association PG Student Award 2022 shortlist.

What do you value in people?

For me, reliability is key and an invaluable trait in all areas of life. “Do all you have agreed to do” (Richard J Maybury) is a simple yet inestimable principle.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

Trust your intuition and back yourself. I am proud to have trusted my instinct after leaving school, eschewing the traditional route and carving out my own path. I’d encourage others to do the same and have the confidence to shape their own career.